Monday, August 23, 2010

Discussion in Sitiawan as to how to "protect the Heritage property of the Community"

Among the speakers at this discussion were DIA President Shanmugam, YB SivaKumar,Lawyer Madhialigan, Dr.Jayabalan,Dr.Muninandy, and others.
The attendence was good over 500 people. My contents of my speech is as follows:
The Indian Heritage land is still being talked about especially in the Sitiawan area.In the 30's Indian estate laboures decided to purchase the 2 hectare Dindings Indian Association land. In the land a school was built to educate their children in English as the estate children were going to Tamil schools in the morning.
I was appointed as the Dindings Indian Association (DIA) legal adviser in the early 1980's.
Former President of DIA the late CSC Sellapan handed to me 2 title deeds of the land namely:-
1) as custodian 2) to make application to vest the property in the name of Trustees.On 13thApril1987, the properties were vested in the name of A.Krishnan and C.S.C Sellapan.Sometime in 1998, N.Krishna came to my law office and asked for the title deeds on the ground that members of DIA wanted to have sight of the original title deeds.
We handed to him. He gave a letter in writing dated 21/9/1994 assuring the return of the title deeds within a month. However, Krishna has never returned the titles to date.
Unknowing to us and the local community, on 28thNovember1995 Krishna and with his committee’s approval entered into a joint venture to develop the land.
There were a lot of queries on the Joint venture (JW) agreement namely:-
1) the agreement was much in favour of the developer and it was signed without protecting owner’s rights.
2) the DIA will after surrendering the title deeds for the joint venture will get a club house measuring 8000 sq.feet as compared to the total area 236,683 sq feet it surrenders. What it means is the DIA because of Krishna and his committee’s decision will get back just only 3.38% of the land.3) Up front deposit payment which is usual in a JW is absent here. Why? Krishnan and his committee must be reminded that this heritage property belongs to the whole Indian community and he is ONLY a custodian. He has NO rights to enter into a JW and treat this property as his personal one.At all times this Indian Heritage property should remain in the hands of the Indian community and it is not for sale or to be taken over by the Government.

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