By S. Retna &
HULU SELANGOR, April 19 (Bernama) -- The deal to sell Maika Holdings
Bhd to a local Indian-owned consortium is for real and details are now
being worked out, its chief executive officer, S. Vel Paari, said.
He denied that it was an election gimmick to attract Indian voters in
Shareholders of Maika
should "hold their horses just a little while longer as details of the
deal will be announced as soon as possible after a number of issues have
been ironed out," he told Bernama here.
On April 16, Bernama ran a story that the long wait by some 66,000
shareholders of Maika was about to end as a local Indian private sector
group had agreed to purchase all of their investments for about RM106
The proposed purchase value of the shares is RM20 million above the
total net value of Maika's assets, which are only worth about RM85
Maika shareholders are mainly poor Indian estate workers who had
invested in Maika shares in 1984 by pawning their jewellery while some
had withdrawn their life savings.
Maika was established in 1982 to enable Malaysian Indians to participate
in the country's economic growth. However, the company was unable to
produce the required results, much to the disillusionment of its
The relatively poor return on investment of Maika shares had been a
nagging problem for the MIC and the Malaysian Indian community for the
past 26 years.
The matter had been brought to the attention of the government on
numerous occasions and it was only recently that a decision was made to
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, confirming the Bernama report
last Saturday, said:"It has been a long and difficult journey but now
the issue looks set to be resolved. I think the shareholders will be
happy and we are relieved too. I have been briefed about the buyout."
Meanwhile, B. Krishnan, a Maika shareholder, when contacted by Bernama,
said that while settling the problem was good, Maika should ensure that
the deal was beneficial to shareholders.
"Now we at least see the light at the end of the tunnel after 28 years.
It is positive and I hope the shareholders will agree to the deal and
put an end to this nagging problem," he said.
He said Maika shareholders should not only be paid "ringgit for ringgit"
for their investments but also be given "something extra" for their
M. Dharmakoundar, another shareholder, also agreed that dividends should
be paid as well because Maika had not paid any in the past.
"If there is any buyout, then shareholders must be compensated
adequately," he said.
S. Nadarajah, a Maika shareholder who has been campaigning for dividend
payment for many years, said the proposal by the unnamed investor group
put the share buyout at 80 sen per share against the entire shareholding
of 125 million shares.
He claimed that the proposed purchase sum of RM106 million was also
lower than the RM149 million offered by Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd for Oriental
Capital Assurance Bhd, a 74.165 per cent subsidiary of Maika, in 2008.
Usaha Tegas is an investment company controlled by tycoon T. Ananda
He claimed that the latest share offer was inferior as the would-be
investor would get to control the insurance company via the purchase of
Maika for a lower price.
Nadarajah, who also asked whether the recent announcement was an
election ploy as there were 1,500 Maika shareholders in Hulu Selangor,
said Maika should provide details to clear the air on the proposal.