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Devotees want police to probe missing money

 | August 23, 2011

A former MIC senator is under fire over a RM250,000 discrepancy in the Taman Permata Maha Mariaman temple building fund.

DENGKIL: A group of ex-plantation workers have accused MIC Serdang division chief N Rawichandran of allegedly misappropriating funds in a temple project here.

Yesterday they lodged a police report against Rawichandran, a former senator and better known as “Kajang Rawi”, alleging that he misused funds allocated for the Maha Mariaman temple in Taman Permata, near here.

The temple which began construction in 2001 was completed last year.

Speaking on behalf of the workers, who are now residents in Taman Permata, J Chandran said plans for the temple began in 1999 when the federal government decided to build its new administrative centre in Putrajaya.

The development of the sprawling administration hub involved the eviction of four estates and squatters in the neighbouring areas.

The four affected estates were Prang Besar, Galloway, Sigili, Medingly and Kampung Bukit Damar squatter settlement.

Affected residents were relocated to Taman Permata in Dengkil.

Chandran said as part of the “settlement”, Putrajaya Holdings and Cyber Jaya Holdings had allocated more than RM800,000 to build a temple in the new residential area in Taman Permata.

‘Where’s the money?’

But Rawichandran, however, had allegedly told the residents that both companies gave only RM542,000.

According to Chandran, the residents grew suspicious when Rawichandran refused to reveal the details of the temple’s fund to the public.

He said Rawichandran’s claim of amounts received from these two companies were contradictory to what they knew.

“What we know is that Prang Besar estate was allocated RM302,000, Galloway RM270,000, Sigili RM80,000, Medingly RM52,000 and Bukit Damar was awarded RM260,000 from Putrajaya and CyberJaya Holdings.

“In January, Rawichandran claimed both companies gave only RM542,000.

“There’s more than RM250,000 shortage in the temple accounts and now he is refusing to reveal the full details of the accounts.

“He is also refusing to show us the photostated copies of the cheques that the companies issued to the temple,” Chandran said.

Chandran also took Rawichandran to task for declining to display the full list of donors who donated towards the temple project.

He cited, as an example, an alleged donation to the temple by former MIC president S Samy Vellu.

“Samy Vellu, who officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony in 2001, gave a donation but there are no details of how much he donated to the temple fund.

“We the residents feel there is something fishy happening here and and urge the police to investigate the accounts of the temple,” he added.

‘Don’t look at me’

Chandran also said that the residents will be lodging another report with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) soon.

But Rawichandran (photo), when contacted, dismissed the claims made by the residents.

He said he was only one of five coordinators who handled the temple funds.

“Both the companies gave the money directly to the estate coordinators.

“I took charge of the Prang Besar estate after the previous coordinator passed away.

“So, my accounts is based on the sum of amounts handed over to me by the coordinators and not the companies,” he explained.

He urged the unhappy residents to take their grouses to the respective coordinators.

“If there is shortage on the amount, then the residents should ask the coordinators and not me,” he said.

On Samy Vellu’s donation, Rawichandran said the former president had not contributed anything to the temple.

“Samy Vellu’s son Vell Paari donated RM10,000 and it’s clearly stated in the account, ” he said.


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