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Poser over RM4.7m Tamil school

 | April 25, 2012

A former member of the Midlands Estate Action Committee wants the Selangor government to reveal how much it sold the 'gazetted' Midlands Tamil school land for.

SHAH ALAM: While Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is going around promising to upgrade Tamil schools, the Selangor government has built one – complete with a 1,000 capacity convention centre, 24 classrooms, laboratories and a library. The cost: an “overpriced” RM4.7 million.

According to Klang Consumer Association president A Devadass, the Midlands Tamil school was not constructed in the interest of poor students and was just another project to enrich Pakatan Rakyat cronies.

“In 1995, the previous Barisan Nasional state government agreed to allocate four acres of land in Section 7, Shah Alam, where the I-City is now located.

“But nothing happened although the land was gazetted to the school,” said Devadass, who was at that time a member of Midlands Action Committee which was set up in 1991 to represent the Midland Estate plantation workers.

Then in 2008 after Pakatan took over the Selangor government, I-City developers who had already secured the surrounding areas in Midlands Estate offered to buy the gazetted land from the government.

The school administration accepted the state government offer of an alternative four-acre site and a RM3 million grant to build a new school. The site offered was the spot where they were already occupying with temporary classrooms.

According to the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman M Kumaravel, the Selangor government gave them a grant for RM3 million and the school raised the balance RM1.7 million needed to complete construction.

“But the issue now is why did the Pakatan government only award the school RM3 million when it is rumoured that the land at I-City was worth over RM20 million?

“So where is the balance money? Also, we know it was not the state government that gave the school RM3 million… the money came from I-City. So who’s pocketed the rest of the cash?” Devadass asked.

(According to real estate agents here, the current price per sq foot in I-City is RM150 per sq ft.)

He also urged the state government to be transparent and reveal the details of the sales and purchase agreement with I-City so “everyone will know who really benefited from the project”.

Crony contractor

Meanwhile, MIC Youth chief T Mohan has challenged Selangor state executive councillor, Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, to explain the high cost of construction of the school and why the convention centre was leased to a private company.

According to him, the total construction should not have exceeded RM3.5 million.

“There is something not right here. Also, why was the convention centre built and privatised to a company?

“I am told that the deal with the company is that they will take 70% of the profits from private functions for 10 years.

“This is something unusual. Not even the Chinese schools practise this. Most of the Chinese school halls are funded by private companies,” he added.

Mohan also urged Jeyakumar to explain why the state did not call for an open tender for the school project and had instead awarded the deal to an individual allegedly close to Jeyakumar.

He said that the individual operates a “sole proprietorship” and undertook all contract projects involving Tamil schools in Selangor.

“We want Xavier (Jeyakumar) to clarify why such a privilege is given to this individual,” said Mohan.

Asked if he thought Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim was involved, Mohan said “no”.

“I don’t think the menteri besar knows of this internal agreement between Xavier (Jeyakumar) and the individual,” he said.

FMT’s request for comment from Jeyakumar has gone unanswered for more that two days now.

The exco’s aide said that Jeyakumar would respond after seeking advice from Tamil educationist groups which are advising the state government on Tamil schools.


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