Abdullah Badawi should direct Sothinathan to give a full and frank account of his role in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal or withdraw him as the Barisan Nasional candidate for Teluk Kemang by-election


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): I am surprised that my query  on Sunday during my visit to Teluk Kemang to campaign for  the Barisan Alternative candidate Ruslan Kasim asking the Barisan Nasional candidate S. Sothinathan to explain his role and to apologise for his involvement in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal sparked so much emotions among MIC leaders.

The first to lose his cool was the MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who described  me as a "dead politician"  who has no right to talk about the plight of the Malaysian Indians because I was defeated in Penang in last yearís general election and who even  went to the extent of fabricating the falsehood that I had opposed the allocation of RM100 million special fund to poor Indians during the height of the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal ten years ago.

Sin Chew Jit Poh  today reported that Samy Vellu was very angry when he was asked about Sothinathanís involvement in the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal, challenging me to lodge a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

Sothinathan himself was no less emotional than Samy Vellu, openly calling on me to "shut up".  According to Sin Chew Jit Poh today, he denied that he was involved in the 1990 MAIKA Holdings "affair", claiming that my allegation that he was director of the three companies which had hijacked the nine million Telekom shares specially allocated to MAIKA was baseless.

May be Sothinathan did not know that Samy Vellu had already admitted on his behalf that Sothinathan was the director of Personal Computers Sdn. Bhd. and SB Management Services Sdn. Bhd. (a RM2 shell company), two of the three companies which hijacked six million out of nine million shares specially allocated to MAIKA Holdings for the socio-economic upliftment of the Indian community.

How can Sothinathan continue to deny his involvement in the two companies when Samy Vellu had publicly admitted them, although the MIC President denied that there was any "hijacking scandal", claiming "Sothinathan has donated all the money to MIED, what else does he (Lim) want."

Sothinathan should feel very proud and thankful that I am giving him the opportunity to tell the Teluk Kemang voters of what he had done for  MAIKA and the Indian community ten years ago, instead of trying to hide the whole episode unless he now agrees that his involvement in the MAIKA Telekom shares episode was something disreputable and dishonourable.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, who is heading the Barisan Nasional by-election campaign in Teluk Kemang, is also the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Good Governance.

Abdullah should direct Sothinathan to give a full and frank account of his role in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal in keeping with the principles of good governance or withdraw him as the Barisan Nasional candidate for Teluk Kemang by-election.

On 30th June 1992, I wrote to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on the RM120 million MAIKA Telekoms shares hijacking scandal, where I highlighted the most salient points of the scandal, which were as follows:

(a)  The Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told Parliament on 6th May 1992 that the allocation of nine million Telekom shares to MAIKA Holdings was withdrawn after the MAIKA management had informed the Finance Ministry that it was not willing to take up the nine million shares because of financial constraints.
(b)  The Deputy Minister of Finance Ghani Othman told Parliament on 12th May 1992 that the Finance Ministry diverted the nine million Telekom shares to three companies proposed by MAIKA Holdings, namely Advanced Personal Computers Sdn. Bhd., S. B. Management Sdn. Bhd. and Clearway Sdn. Bhd.

Events proved both statements by Anwar and Ghani Othman, which were based on Treasury minutes in connection with the allocation in September/October 1990, were untrue, that MAIKA management never rejected the offer of nine million Telekom shares and never recommended the three companies to the Finance Ministry to receive the nine million shares - and that they were the work of one man, the MIC President, Samy Vellu.

At that time, the MAIKA Board of Directors and the then Managing Director of MAIKA, Tan Sri Rama Iyer, p[ublicly denied that MAIKA had rejected the allocation of 10 million Telekom shares at RM5 per share, and that in fact, MAIKA was "able and willing" to take up all the 10 million Telekom sharers because of the full RM50 million loan facility from the Arab Malaysian Merchant Banking Bhd.

The MAIKA Board of Management also denied that the Finance Ministry diverted the nine million Telekom shares to the three companies on the recommendation of MAIKA, as MAIKA never knew about the existence of these three companies.

This is what Sothinathan should explain, how he came into the picture and the role he played in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal where the 66,000 MAIKA shareholders and the Indian community lost over RM70 million as a result of the diversion of the special allocation of nine million Telekom shares from MAIKA to the three companies.

Sothinathan should not run away from the issue of his role in the RM120 million MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal and give a full and satisfactory statement on the matter or he should withdraw as the Barisan Nasional candidate in Teluk Kemang.

(7/6/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman