V. T. Sambanthan
Tun Thirunyanasambanthan Thevar s/o Veerasamy Thevar, better known as Tun V.T. Sambanthan Thevar, was the fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress and one of the Founding Fathers of Malaysia along with Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tan Cheng Lock. He was the MIC President from 1955 to 1973, when he was ousted by party members.
Sambanthan Thevar was one of the leading Indian leaders who played a prominent role in the independence movement in Malaya. As president of the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) during this important period of transition, he worked closely with Alliance Party leader Tunku Abdul Rahman and they developed a close personal bond.
He is credited with three important developments in Malaysian political history: the consolidation of the Malayan (now Malaysian) Indian Congress, its transformation into a mass-based party, and its integral role as a partner in the current ruling alliance.
The entry of the MIC into the multi-communal Alliance in 1955 contributed greatly to enhancing the coalition’s image as the main representative of the three main communities in Malaya.
The finest hour was achieved on August 31, 1957 when Independence was achieved under the Merdeka Agreement, to which Sambanthan was a signatory.