Jerit disputes tycoon’s statement on Tumbuk estate PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 18 December 2011
Source: Free Malaysia Today
K Pragalath | December 15, 2011

Housing issue would not have arisen if G-Team had delivered on its promise to the estate workers in 2010, says Arutchelvan.


PETALING JAYA: Oppressed People’s Network’s (Jerit) founder-member S Arutchelvan disputed G-Team Resources Sdn Bhd’s explanation on the controversy surounding Tumbuk Estate near Banting.

He said that there would not be an issue if G-Team Resources had kept to its promise to provide housing for the estate workers.

“The fundamental issue is that Maika Holdings Bhd signed an agreement in 2006 with the Tumbuk estate workers where they were supposed to build houses for them by 2010.

“G-Team then took over all the properties of Maika Holdings, including Tumbuk Estate, in 2010. If the houses had been delivered as promised, the water issue wouldn’t arise.

“The problem with Maika Holdings then and G-Team now is that they did not fulfil their promise,” said Arutchelvan, who is also Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s secretary-general.

Arutchelvan was responding to a FMT’s report where G-Team Resources’ owner G Gnanalingam claimed his company was not responsible for the water cuts in Tumbuk Estate.

Gnanalingam said G-Team Resources did not sign the initial agreement in 2006 with the residents, represented by the National Union of Plantation Workers and Maika Holdings.

The dozen or so estate workers have been facing cuts since November and they had alleged that G-Team was responsible for their predicament.

Arutchelvan said that the company should be responsible for all issues when it took over Tumbuk Estate from Maika Holdings.

“G-Team was advised by Labour Department (under the Human Resources Ministry) to settle outstanding water bills which it had refused.

He added that even the previous Maika Holdings CEO S Vell Paari had been consistent in paying for the water supply.


‘Pressured to accept the payment’

 

Arutchelvan disputed G-Team’s claim that the outstanding water bill stood at RM16,000 when in fact it is RM4,500 and the supply could have been reconnected if they paid just RM2,000.

“The Labour Department will testify that the amount was around RM4,500,” he said, adding that the state government will not approve development plans as long as there are outstanding issues on Tumbuk Estate.

He said that the G-Team did not heed the advice of the Selangor water supplier, Syabas, to settle the water bill.

Arutchelvan also dismissed claims by Gnanalingam that the workers had declined the land and houses that G-Team had offered in 2010 as a deliberate “distortion”.

On claims that 14 of the 22 workers had received RM25,000 along with an ex-gratia payment of RM201,000, he said that many had been pressured to accept the payment.

He also disputed the events that transpired at a meeting that was held in Selangor exco member Xavier Jayakumar’s office.

Gnanalingam had claimed that Jayakumar agreed to accept the decision of the majority who took up the offer.

Jerit cannot be blamed because G-Team’s representative, Tamil Selvam, walked out of the meeting before it had ended.

“Tamil Selvam also on many occasions during the meeting said that G-Team was no longer in the picture and that he himself had ceased to be a representative of G-Team.

“This can be confirmed by the Labour Department officers,” said Arutchelvan.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 December 2011 )
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