One shareholder, who attempted to throw curry powder at others, was apprehended and taken out of the hall. He suffered a gash on the head while resisting.
He asked to see the former deputy president and only went away after being assured by Subramaniam that he was all right.
Another shareholder, S. Nadarajah caused a furore when he said that the AGM was conducted in a gangster-style manner. He, however, later apologised for making the comments.
Officials said about 900 shareholders attended the annual general meeting, the first time that such a huge number had turned up in the company's history.
Abdul Rashid had a tough time controlling the meeting with shareholders from the rival camps; one aligned with MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and the other with Subramaniam, shouting at each other.
Despite the heated exchanges, the meeting went on smoothly, with Abdul Rashid replying to the questions put forward by the various shareholders including DAP's Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran.
At about 1pm, the shareholders were asked to vote on the various resolutions including one calling for the sale of the insurance company Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd for RM129.8 mil.
Maika's management claimed that the sale of OCAB would enable the company to clear its outstanding debts and repay the shareholders who wanted to withdraw their investments.
Speaking to reporters later, Subramaniam said he was pushed when he tried to put forward a suggestion at the meeting.
He said he was not opposed to the sale of OCAB but wanted Maika should give the first option to an Indian community-linked company or cooperative so that its majority stake would remain in the community's hands.
Subra caught in shoving match at Maika AGM
KUALA LUMPUR: Former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam was shoved around by rival groups of shareholders at the 24th annual general meeting of Maika Holdings here yesterday.
Subramaniam, furious at being prevented from forwarding a suggestion to Maika Holdings chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdul Manaf, walked out of the hall with several of his supporters.
One of the supporters, who tried to throw curry powder at others, was caught and escorted out of the hall. He resisted the attempts and suffered a gash on his head.
He had asked to see Subramaniam and only went away after the latter assured him that he was all right.
Officials said that about 900 shareholders attended the meeting, the biggest turnout in the holding company's history,
One of the shareholders, S. Nadarajah, commented that the meeting was conducted in a “gangster-like manner.” However, he later apologised for his comments.
Subramaniam made his way into the hall 15 minutes later.
Abdul Rashid had a tough time controlling the proceedings as shareholders aligned to MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Subramaniam crossed swords. Abdul Rashid had to urge them to sit down numerous times.
Despite the heated exchanges, the meeting went on smoothly, with Abdul Rashid replying to the questions put forward by various shareholders including DAP parliamentarian M. Kulasegaran.
At about 1pm, shareholders were asked to vote on various resolutions including one calling for the sale of the insurance company Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd for RM129.8mil.
Maika Holdings chief executive officer S. Vell Paari said all the resolutions were passed.
He said each of the shareholders could redeem their shares for one ringgit each, including for the bonus shares given to them.
“We are in discussions with financial institutions to reduce the loans and if we get the reduction, then the benefits will be passed on to the shareholders,” he said.
Vell Paari said Maika would refund shareholders who want to reclaim their investments after approvals are obtained from the authorities.
“If some of the shareholders don't want to withdraw their investments, then they would have to decide on the professional management to run the company,” he told reporters here.
Maika AGM: Ex-MIC deputy chief assaulted
Aug 30, 07 Malaysiakini
Former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam was assaulted by a group of men at this morning’s annual general meeting of Maika Holdings, the party’s troubled investment arm.
Subra was roughed up several times when he attempted to speak at the four-hour meeting. The meeting, which kicked of at 10am, was punctuated with a series of commotion.
According to eyewitnesses, punches were thrown at Subra but the former deputy minister did not suffer any serious injuries.
Eyewitnesses added that Subra was charged by a group of irate men, who are believed to be aligned to rival leader, MIC chief S Samy Vellu. However, Subra’s men stepped in to protect their boss from the attack.
Supporters from both sides were involved in the ensuing melee.
It is also believed that opposition DAP leader and Ipoh Barat member of parliament M Kula Segaran and a few other shareholders were also roughed up.
Speaking to reporters later, Subra said that he was disappointed with the way the meeting was conducted.
"I am upset with the violence involved in this meeting," he said.
The controversial meeting was attended by 800 angry shareholders who are unable to recoup their investment in Maika.
Maika was established in 1982 purportedly to enable Indian Malaysians to have a share in the country’s economic growth.
The company raised RM106 million in 1984 from 66,000 investors but some shareholders - after seeing little returns on their investments - have since accused the company of squandering the capital through dubious channels.
Many Maika shareholders were estate workers who had pawned their family jewellery and withdrew their life savings to invest in the company. The investment company, however, has been a spectacular failure with many of its business ventures failing to take-off.
Maika has only paid its shareholders cash dividends on seven occasions to date, the last being in 1995. It will not be paying dividends this year too.
Last year, Samy Vellu, under whose vision the investment company was formed, had said that a buy-back scheme would be implemented whereby Maika would pay RM130 for every RM100 invested. To date, nothing has materialised.
Shareholders are also upset that Maika directors have proposed to sell the company’s only cash cow - insurance company Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd for RM129.8 million.
Maika claimed that the sale of OCAB would clean off all of its debts but shareholders claim that the sale would only act as a precursor to close down Maika.
Samy Vellu’s son Vell Paari is the chief executive office of Maika.
Subra roughed up at Maika meetRK Anand
Aug 30, 07 Malaysiakini
Former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam was roughed up during the annual general meeting of Maika Holdings, the party’s debt-ridden investment arm, in Kuala Lumpur today.
Met at his residence in Petaling Jaya later, Subramaniam, who described it as “shameful and the worst meeting he has attended in his life,” said a group of men had prevented him from speaking.
“When I asked the chairperson (Abdul Rashid Abdul Manaf) permission to speak, 20 fellows stood up and said, ‘you don’t speak’. And the chairperson just sits there and keeps quiet. Then another 20 fellows would come to hold and push each other.
“I was manhandled, one person put his arm on me and pushed me. He told me ‘you don’t have permission to speak’.
“I told him to stop pushing me and keep quiet as I am talking to the chairperson ... the chairperson is telling me ‘how to speak in this condition’. The chairperson looked pathetic,” he said, adding that it was nothing short of a ‘pandemonium’.
“I went twice to the mike but both times a huge group of people came ... telling me not to speak. One of them physically restrained me. I told him not to push me. I know him, he comes from the Ulu Selangor (MIC) division. He did not back off, he said, ‘no, you don’t have to speak here ... in front of the chairperson.”
Subramaniam, who was visibly upset with the incident, will file a police report on the ‘assault’ against him either today or tomorrow.
Commenting further on the situation in the hall, the former MIC deputy president said there were some 100 people standing around who did not look like shareholders.
“They were brought there in the name of security,” he said.
“Every time a question is raised, and if the question is not liked by someone in the hall, they will go and stand next to the speaker and hold him. One speaker was physically pushed out,” he added.
Subramaniam said he has not attended a Maika meeting for the last seven or eight years as he had lost faith in the way the company was managed.
However, he decided to attend this meeting due to two important resolutions that were mooted - the sale of Maika’s cash cow Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd (OCAB) and the distribution of the returns to the shareholders.
Apart from this, he was also there to speak on behalf of the minority shareholders who had turned to him for help.
“This is why I went. I was hoping to speak on these issues. I was not interested in deliberating on the bygones or the losses in each and every investment they (Maika) made.
“(But) there was no way I could submit or even talk about the resolutions (because of the disruptions). It was pointless, so I walked out of the place,” he said.
“The resolutions were not even read out, somebody from the floor, with a 100 or 150 people standing around, said ‘let us take a vote on the resolutions’. Some people said ‘aye’ while others protested saying ‘what are you doing, there have been no discussions’.
“Then the chairperson gets up and says ‘let’s put the resolutions to vote’. (Following this) the chairperson and the board left the hall. Only the scrutineer, who is supposed to be an auditor was giving out the (ballot) papers, so I thought I had no place there.
“Even when the chairperson was around, it was an unruly situation. If the chairperson and the board felt that it was not suitable for them to stay on. It was more important that I also leave,” he added.
Front row trouble-makers
According to Subramaniam, the chairperson and the board were not running the meeting.
“The fellows seated in the first three or four rows were trying to run it as they pleased. I don’t know where the community is heading to with these kind of situations.”
“There was a resolution that required much attention, it was a big decision. But not one fellow spoke about it or was allowed to speak,” he lamented.
Subramaniam said he will now focus on how to protect the interest of the minority shareholders in Maika Holdings, which is helmed by MIC president S Samy Vellu’s son Vell Paari.
Subramaniam and Samy Vellu have been at loggerheads over the past two decades. The feud culminated in the former’s defeat in last year’s MIC polls to the president’s choice for the number two slot, G Palanivel.