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Thiagarajan denies blocking Makkal Osai’s printing

 | August 16, 2012

Samy Vellu comes to the rescue of Makkal Osai, the Tamil newspaper which used to criticise him while in power.

PETALING JAYA: Businessman “Oms” Thiagarajan has denied that he tried to block the printing of Makkal Osai, a local Tamil newspaper, yesterday.

“Makkal Osai management was the one who locked the printing premises and not me,” he told FMT when contacted.

Makkal Osai today reported that Thiagarajan had tried to block the printing of the paper as he owns the newspaper printing machine.

According to the news report, the machine was formerly owned by Makkal Osai general manager SM Periasamy’s son-in-law M Mathialagan, who had subsequently sold it to Thiagarajan.

Thiagarajan said he bought the machine for Thina Kural, another Tamil daily, to assist in printing of the paper, which is facing financial problems.

“Once I bought the machine, Makkal Osai approached me asking for the paper to be printed using the machine which I agreed. I sent a tenancy agreement to the newspaper as the premises where the machine was located is owned by Makkal Osai.

“However, Makkal Osai did not accept the agreement and said that there was a claimant for the machine. When I asked who the claimant was, until today they remained silent.

“They also told me that I should settle the matter in court, when I already have a court order giving me the right to the machine and that I can dismantle and shift it from the Makkal Osai printing premises.

“I don’t know why they are doing this because I have never said anything against Makkal Osai or taken any other action against them.

“They did not want the machine, so I bought it. Then they wanted to use it to print and I accepted. But then they did not want to sign the tenancy agreement, so it is only right I dismantle the machine and use it elsewhere,” he added.

He claimed that Makkal Osai’s management had deliberately delayed dismantling the machine for reasons “best known to them”.

However, Thiagarajan said he would start dismantling the machine tomorrow.

Using Tamil Nesan’s printing facility

The Klang-based businessman also said his initial plan to print Thina Kural was discarded because S Sunther, son of former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam, had bought a 50% stake in the newspaper.

Sunther is also a major shareholder in Makkal Osai.

Meanwhile, Periasamy said he decided to sell the machine after Makkal Osai management told him that they were looking to print the paper elsewhere.

“The management at a staff meeting revealed that they would start printing the paper from a plant in Puchong starting Aug 1. And since they had decided on this, I sold the machine to Thiagarajan with consent of my son-in-law last month,” he told FMT.

Sources reveal that Makkal Osai was now printed using Tamil Nesan’s printing facility in Batu Caves.

Tamil Nesan is owned by former MIC president and Works Minister S Samy Vellu.

It is a known fact that Makkal Osai had been highly critical of Samy Vellu during his term in MIC and the government.

“They [the management of Makkal Osai] contacted Samy Vellu and asked if the paper could be printed using Tamil Nesan printing machine and he gave them the green light,” said a source.


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