Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wheelers and dealers shortchange MAIKA stakeholders ― Ramakrishnan Suppiah

Wheelers and dealers shortchange MAIKA stakeholders ― Ramakrishnan Suppiah

January 02, 2013
Malaysian Insider--Side Views
 
JAN 2 ― In the year 2000, MAIKA, the MIC’s loss making investment arm was sold to tycoon Tan Sri Gnanalingam’s G Team Resources for RM106 million. 66,000 MAIKA shareholders had been clamouring for the listing of its priced asset, OCA, by MAIKA itself. But the MIC and their saviours had other plans, shattering the 29 years of hope for recovering their investment.
Last year (2012), Tan Sri Tony Fernandez bought over OCA from G Team Resources and renamed it TUNE Insurance Bhd, marking it for listing after six months of acquisition. It is expected that TUNE insurance will have a market capitalization of RM1 billion.
Why were MAIKA shareholders left in the lurch without proper compensation? The 66,000 shareholders invested hard earned RM1,000 per lot of the MAIKA shares in 1981. All they got back in 2010 was RM800 per lot.
And those who took loans had to pay back with interest and many relinquished their loan along the way. Many of MAIKA shareholders were poor who wanted to do their part and responded to the call of the MIC president in 1981.
Quite a number died while still in debt. But at the time of selling of MAIKA holding with its priced asset OCA, all their sacrifices’ were for naught.
MAIKA directors and MIC promoters got away scot-free and Tan Sri Gnanalingam and Tan Sri Tony Fernandez took away the prized asset of MAIKA for themselves.
Barisan Nasional and the prime minister conveniently got themselves out of a politically embarrassing situation. But poor MAIKA shareholders who waited for 29 years were dumped. Another let down of Indian saga under BN rule.
The RM146 million payment for 74.1 per cent OCA stake by Tan Sri Tony Fernandez would have left clean RM40 million for Tan Sri Gnanalingam to be redistributed to charities.
Many ex-MAIKA shareholders expected that they will be included in the charities list. Unfortunately, they were left out here, too.
TUNE Holdings also bought another 3.75 per cent of OCA from G Team Resources and 1.92 per cent from GYRSS Holdings Sdn Bhd, which another investment arm of Tan Sri Gnanalingam and family.
In all these wheeling and dealing of OCA shares, were MAIKA shareholders compensated? They seem to be completely left out in the disposal of MAIKA shares.
However the real issue is not the RM40 million gain but rather the lost opportunity by not listing OCA by MAIKA itself. It’s really perplexing why MAIKA didn’t want to list OCA on its own.
Had it done so even with a market capitalization of RM300 million, MAIKA shares would be worth RM3 each, which is much better compared to repayment of RM800 per lot of 1,000 shares after 29 years.
Why didn’t MIC get the support of Bank Negara and Ministry of Finance and list the OCA in BURSA Malaysia themselves? Is MIC hiding something from MAIKA shareholders?
At least TUNE Insurance could have offered its shares to ex-MAIKA shareholders. Why the gross injustice to Indian Malaysians? Can we trust BN and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak anymore?
If the Indian Malaysians don’t wake up, the MAIKA saga of Indian community will be buried and forgotten once and for all after this 13th general election.
Indian Malaysians are short changed once too often.
Will the ghost of MAIKA holding resurface before the 13th general election to haunt MIC and BN?
Will the blatant betrayal of MAIKA shareholders by MIC leaders, opportunistic businessmen and Umno leaders be held accountable?
Would the impending listing of TUNE Insurance cause controversy and anger among MAIKA shareholders?
Are the Indian Malaysians forever left out not only in government policies but ribbed and robbed of their own hard earned assets?
Is there any hope for Indians under MIC/BN rule?
* Ramakrishnan Suppiah is a former senator.

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