PETALING JAYA: Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the passing of S Samy Vellu, the first Malaysian to receive the republic’s prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award.
“Saddened by the passing away of Tun Dr S Samy Vellu, former Cabinet minister of Malaysia and the first Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awardee from Malaysia.
“Heartfelt condolences to his family. Om Shanti,” he said in his tweet.
The prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest Indian award for non-resident Indians, people of Indian origin (living abroad), or an organisation or institution established and run by such people.
The award, conferred by the president of India, honours the recipient’s contributions to India, such as in welfare and humanitarian activities, and in developing closer ties with India.
It is given during the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in India.
Samy Vellu served as Malaysia’s special envoy to India and South Asia for Infrastructure from 2011 to 2018.