A land owner accuses Hutan Melintang assemblyman S Kesavan of 'forcing' him to sell his family property.
K Ratha Krishnan, 51, claimed that he owned a one acre plot of land in Simpang Empat, Teluk Intan, Perak, which was given to him by his father.
However, he alleged that Kesavan was “forcing” him to sell the land in order to rebuild a temple located there.
“My father (Krishna Dass) was a prominent businessman in the late 50’s and the first secretary-general of MIC. He bought the Bernam Estate (520 acres) from a British plantation company back then,” he said.
When the estate was sold off in small portions, Ratha said his father retained the one-acre plot as well as the temple.
“Everything was going well until I decided to build four units of three-storey shop lots on the land which was opposed by Kesavan and other PKR members,” he told FMT.
Ratha claimed that Kesavan had approached him recently to surrender the land to a committee which would take over the temple management.
“Why should he try very hard to form a committee when the temple is a private temple?” he asked.
According to him, he signed an agreement with a housing developer in January to develop the land and the developer agreed to rebuild the temple.
“The temple rebuilding is part of the deal stated in the agreement,” he said.
Ratha said that although the temple was located on his land, he had never stopped the people from praying there.
“My intention is very simple which is to build shop lots in order to get some revenue for myself and the temple will also benefit from the rental. So why is Kesavan trying to stop me?” he added.
Ratha also claimed that Kesavan had led a group to protest against the on-going construction work there.
“He tried to convince me to sell off the land by offering RM500,000. However, I rejected his bid,” he said.
Ratha also revealed that he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak over the matter.
Despite numerous attempts, FMT could not reach Kesavan for his comments.