Led by DAP’s Ipoh Barat parliamentarian M Kulasegeran, they submitted a memorandum to Deputy CEO Zaharah Abdul Wahab Fenner in Kuala Lumpur this morning, seeking the CCM's intervention.
In it, they urged CCM to instruct the Maika board to defer the date and to change the venue - the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Mont Kiara, located in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur.
Kulasegaran, himself a shareholder, said the date was inappropriate, being the eve of a national holiday for Merdeka which “all peace-loving Malaysians” celebrate.
“(Like other Malaysians), shareholders will be on vacation to attend various functions at state and national level,” he told reporters.
“To the best of our knowledge, no public-listed company in Malaysia holds an AGM on the eve of Merdeka. Why only Maika?”
Many members feel that the board deliberately selected the date to prevent many shareholders from attending the AGM.
Kulasegeran also took issue with the choice of venue, saying it is “located too far from the city centre” and could therefore deter shareholders from attending the meeting.
He urged the CCM to send at least two representatives to observe how the AGM is conducted and to appoint a neutral officer to record the minutes.
“(At) the last meeting, I was manhandled for asking a question (deemed unfavourable),” he said.
This upcoming meeting is expected to be fiery as some shareholders plan to quiz the board over the proposed sale of Maika’s cash cow - the insurance division of Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd - to an engineering firm for RM129.8 million. The deal can only be concluded with shareholder approval.
Another item is the proposed share buy-back scheme mooted last year, whereby Maika proposes to pay RM130 for every RM100 invested in it.
Zaharah, however, told the group that the CCM could not do anything to postpone the meeting.
“We can’t adjourn or postpone the meeting as it is out of our control, and it is more to the internal matters of the company,” she said, but added that she would look into other long-standing complaints of shareholders.
On that note, Kulasegaran urged the commission to “get teeth and to bite” Maika Holdings.
“We have lodged many complaints against Maika, but nothing has been done so far,” he added.
Maika has periodically been in the news over the years, over transactions like the sale of Tumbuk Estate in near Sepang, and re-channelling of 9 million Telekom Bhd shares and almost all of the 10 million Tenaga Bhd allocated for sale to the Indian Malaysian community as part of equity distrubution.
Maika Holdings was set up in 1982 as the investment arm of MIC president S Samy Vellu. It currently has about 66,000 shareholders, the majority of whom are from the lower-income group.