KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan today shared his rags-to-riches story from being a “glorified unemployed person” to being listed as the top earner in the Perikatan Nasional government.
In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia published today, the MIC deputy president said that despite his early life setbacks, he was able to make money as an accomplished businessman and found success in agriculture before becoming a federal minister.
“Before this, I was a glorified unemployed person, I had a lot of time,” he told the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia.
Saravanan said that he used his experience in agriculture to venture into coconut cultivation, especially the Pandan and Matag variety, which he sold for RM1.60 to wholesalers when retail prices were at RM6 to RM7 per fruit.
He added he has 11 acres of land in Tanjung Malim, Perak dedicated to planting coconuts and that his venture paid off with an estimated monthly sale of 50,000 coconuts.
“We have started making profits. I have an additional income, not only dependent on my government salary,” he told Mingguan Malaysia.
In an earlier interview with The Star published on September 1, Saravanan described himself as a high achiever who came from a humble background and had to forego furthering his studies while schooling when his rubber tapper father died.
Saravanan is currently listed on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s asset declaration portal as the top earner in the Perikatan Nasional government with his RM143,628.55 monthly income, topping even Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who earns RM104,000 monthly.
Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin has repeatedly touted the humble coconut as the next cash crop, noting its ranking as the fourth most important industrial crop after oil palm, rubber and rice.
In a January 11 column in local financial paper The Edge, Daim noted that Malaysia is among the world top 10 coconut producing countries and
stressed the importance for the country to diversify its crops to avoid national dependency on any one single crop to drive its economy.