Claiming corruption, ex-MIC man wants MACC to probe Senator Vell Paari’s Perak land acquisition

Former MIC Sungai Siput division chief M. Lokanathan speaks to reporters at the MACC’s headquarters in Putrajaya September 15, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former MIC Sungai Siput division chief M. Lokanathan speaks to reporters at the MACC’s headquarters in Putrajaya September 15, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 15 — Former Sungai Siput MIC division chief M. Lokanathan today accused newly-minted Senator Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari of acquiring large swathes of land in Perak for below market prices.

Lokanathan claimed the former MIC secretary-general is now the beneficiary of over 100 acres of land in Sungai Siput, including the 114-acre Ladang Dovenby that had been promised by its former MP and Vell Paari’s father Tun S. Samy Vellu to be turned into a public housing project in the run-up to the 2004 general election.

He also alleged Vell Paari used corrupt means to acquire two plots of land now occupied by the Sungai Siput Convention Centre; and a house that allegedly belonged to Samy Vellu’s mistress in Ipoh.

In the Ladang Dovenby case, Lokanathan claimed Vell Paari transferred 114 acres of oil palm plantations to a company called Syarikat Ratus Sanjung Sdn Bhd for RM11,280 per acre when the value of the land price is RM68,000 per acre.

“Vell Pari is one of the directors,” Lokanathan told reporters at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters here where he had filed a report against the senator.

Lokanathan claimed the company was previously owned by a Chinese proxy of Samy Vellu who bought the land in 2005 after promising to turn it into a People’s Housing Project during the  2004 general election, with Vell Paari taking control of it last year.

To support his claim, Lokanathan showed a document said to be from the Registrar of Companies’ record appointing Vell, his mother R. Indrani and sister S. Mangayerkarasi as directors of Ratus Sanjung on December 10, 2019.

“The land is actually for housing development for the people and cooperative members as promised during GE11,” Lokanathan claimed.

He also claimed that two plots of land in Sungai Siput totalling three acres that were reserved for Taman Tun Sambanthan residents and members of Koperasi Pekerja Jaya Berhad had been sold by Samy Vellu, who was chairman of the cooperative then.

“The land was sold for RM100,000 to Astral Heights Sdn Bhd, which is now owned by Vell Pari and the Samy Vellu family,” Lokanathan claimed.

He purported that the Sungai Siput Convention Centre was built on that piece of land with government funds.

“The company charges a building rental business for residents and members for a fee of RM3,500 a day,” Lokanathan claimed.

The third allegation by Lokanathan concerned a house in Ipoh that is currently being fought over in court by Vell Paari and a woman named E. Meeriam Rosaline who claims to be Samy Vellu’s common-law wife.

Lokanathan claimed the house was owned by Samy Vellu and valued at RM6 million, but Vell Paari sold it at RM750,000 to a “crony”.

Lokanathan told reporters it was not the first time he was seeking out the MACC to act against Vell Paari.

“This is the third time I have lodged a report with the MACC, but no action has been taken.

“I hope the MACC takes appropriate action against the cronies and owners of companies involved in the misappropriation of government-allocated land,” he said.

Lokanathan, who was accompanied by several associates, arrived at the MACC headquarters at 11am and came out an hour later.

He said that all the documents have been submitted and accepted by the commission.

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