Was Sothinathan  an early  benefactor of the Indian community or was he a key player of the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): When I visited Telok Kemang to campaign for the Barisan Alternative candidate, Ruslan Kasim last Sunday, I called on the Barisan Nasional candidate S. Sothinathan to  explain and apologise for his involvement in the RM120 million  MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal ten years ago.

There has been no response from Sothinathan, although the MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had spoken up on Sothinathanís behalf.

The first question that comes to mind  is how could the voters of Teluk Kemang expect Sothinathan to stand up for their rights and interests when he had to hide behind Samy Vellu to explain his role in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal in the early nineties.

Samy Vellu was being typically himself when he described me as a "dead politician" and even alleged that I had opposed his proposal for a RM100 million special fund to help the Indian community in the country.

I find Samy Velluís attempt to resort to communal politics by trying to dub me as "anti-Indian" most pathetic and laughable, which seems to be the most convenient election gambit of Barisan Nasional leaders.

Samy Vellu must have believed me to be "anti-Indian" when I was trying to hold him and the MIC leaders to account for the RM120 million MAIKA Telekoms share hijacking scandal, just as I was regarded as "anti-Malay" when in the early eighties I sought to hold the UMNO leaders to account for the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal, and the MCA leaders regarded me as "anti-Chinese" when I exposed the various MCA scandals in the past.

But I do not believe that in the new millennium,  the people of Malaysia, in particular the Malaysian Indians, are so gullible and  would so easily fall prey to Samy Velluís irresponsible brand of politics.

The Indian community needs not just RM100 million but many times more this sum in order to uplift their socio-economic status, having been marginalised as the most neglected group after three decades of Barisan Nasional rule.

But the Indian community definitely cannot afford any more scandals like the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal.

The voters of Teluk Kemang and the Malaysian people at present, however, are more interested in S. Sothinathans than in Samy Vellu and want to know why the Barisan Nasional candidate in Teluk Kemang is unable to personally explain his role in the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal where nine million Telekom shares specially allocated to MAIKA Holdings was diverted to  three companies, of which Sothinathan was a director in two of them.

Samy Vellu said yesterday: "Sothinathan has donated all the money to MIED, what else does he (Lim) want. We utilised the money to build colleges and now we have children studying there because of the money."

If Samy Vellu is right, that Sothinathan, at the tender age of about 30 years old, was already responsible for the donation of millions of ringgit to MIED to build colleges and provide educational opportunities, then he is a great benefactor to the Indian community and this great deed should have been highlighted as his greatest achievement in his curriculum vitae as candidate in the by-election.

Why was this great and glorious contribution of Sothinathan completely ignored not only in his personal c.v. but also during the whole campaign period, as if it was an infamous and inglorious part of his  past which he did not want anybody to know and would want to keep  hidden from public knowledge?

The Teluk Kemang parliamentary by-election on Saturday should elect a Member of Parliament who would dare to  stand up for justice, accountability, transparency and public integrity and oppose without fear or favour all forms of corruption, malpractices and  abuses of power.

How could  Sothinathan be a courageous and  outspoken Parliamentarian to strengthen the  voices of justice, accountability, transparency and public integrity if he had played an important and dishonourable role in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal  - something which he wants buried from public view but would always be in the know of the powers-that-be?

To date, Samy Vellu has never been able to give a full and satisfactory explanation about the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal, where nine million Telekom shares specially allocated to MAIKA Holdings for the socio-economic upliftment of the Indian community were hijacked by three companies, and Sothinathan was director in two of these companies, Personal Computers Sdn. Bhd and  S.B. Management Services Bhd.  Whatís more, the latter company was a mere RM2 company!

As Sothinathan is now the Barisan Nasional candidate for Teluk Kemang by-election, he should  give a full and sastisfactory explanation as to whether he was an early benefactor of the Indian community ten years ago or whether he was a key player in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal.

The MIED accounts should be fully opened to public scrutiny to ascertain how much Solinathan had donated for the founding of colleges and educational places from his directorship of  two of the three companies which had hijacked the nine million Telekom shares from MAIKA Holdings.

If Sothinathan is not prepared to come clean and tell the full story of the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal, then clearly he is not suitable to be elected to represent the voters in Parliament in the by-election.

(6/6/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman