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Friday, December 30, 2011

It’s a total lie, screams Jerit


The network disputes the explanation by G-Team Resources regarding the housing offer for the residents of Tumbuk Estate.
PETALING JAYA: The Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit) has refuted G-Team Resources’ claim that Maika Holdings Bhd shelved the housing project for Tumbuk Estate near Banting because the residents were indecisive over who should get the corner lot.
“This is a total lie as there was no such incident as drawing lots and choosing the corner lot. The only issue was the location of the houses,” said Jerit spokesperson S Arutchelvan.
“Maika proposed several sites but the ex-workers wanted houses near the Tamil school and the temple. That was the only condition then and it seems very reasonable,” he added.
Arutchelvan was responding to a Dec 24 report in FMT which quoted G-Team Resources chief operations officer T Tamil Selvan.
Tamil had explained the firm’s offer of RM25,000 or houses for the ex-workers.
Arutchelvan asked why G-Team’s owner and shipping tycoon G Gnanalingam came to the estate to make the offer to build the houses if the project had been shelved by Maika as claimed by Tamil.
“A week after Maika was taken over by G-Team, Gnanalingam himself came to the estate and told the ex-workers that he will fulfil the demand and build houses but less than three months after that Tamil came to the estate and told the workers that because of three caveats by Nesa Coorperative Society (linked to former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam), it will take 10 years or more to build the houses.
“So he pushed them to accept the RM25,000 and vacate the estate,” he said.
Water woes
On the issue of unpaid water bills, Tamil had said G-Team was only required to pay RM550 due to an agreement signed by Maika in 2006 before G-Team took over the estate.
Commenting on this, Arutchelvan said G-Team must fulfill their verbal agreement for individual meters and regulate the bills to housing rates.
He pointed out that since G-Team had to pay RM25 per family and Selangor provided 20 cubic meters of free water, the residents should be receiving free water.
If they do not get free water, Arutchelvan said G-Team must provide adequate drinking water as stipulated in the Minimum Housing and Amenities Act 1990.
Another issue disputed by both Jerit and G-Team was the number of people who opted for the houses.
Tamil had claimed that only eight families, and not 14 as reported before, took the option. The remaining six, he said, failed to prove that they were eligible for the houses.
Arutchelvan explained that of the 14, two had accepted the cash option but still wanted the houses.
“There are also four workers who had retired then (when the offer was made) but they were still staying in the estate houses. Therefore they are genuine ex-workers and not illegals,” he said.
Arutchelvan said the four could not raise the advance sum of RM10,000 each to be included in the scheme.
According to him, the four were then informed that they could apply for the houses at special rates after construction.
Jerit’s stand on the plight of the four was that they had contributed to the plantation industry and the nation, hence they deserved to receive the houses.
On the RM201,000 ex-gratia payment that was missing from Maika Holdings, Arutchelvan said that the issue should be investigated by the police and Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

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