KL Larut’s Thiagarajan says his lease has not been renewed because of a bias for Kumpulan Semesta
“The protest is not against the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, but against the disrespect that the state government has shown to the court,” said a lawyer for Thiagarajan, who is said to be a close friend of Anwar Ibrahim and is often seen at the PKR leader’s private functions.
Thiagarajan, popularly known as Ohm’s Thiagarajan, is the director of KL Larut Sdn Bhd, a tin mining company operating in Batang Kali. He is well regarded in the Indian community for his philanthropy. According to sources, his contributions to Tamil schools and Hindu temples have amounted to millions of ringgit.
KL Larut lawyer K Sarawathy told FMT that Thiagarajan would picket outside the Selangor government headquarters in Shah Alam at 11am this Friday.
KL Larut first obtained the mining lease in 1999. It covered 1,030 acres of land. The lease, due for expiry on July 20, 2010, was renewable for a further 10 years at a fixed rate.
Saraswathy said the company applied for the renewal a year before the expiry date. However, she added, the Selangor Land and Mines Department, instead of making its own decision as allowed by the law, forwarded the application to the State Executive Council, which decided against renewing the lease.
Saraswathy noted that under Section 66 (5) of the Selangor Minerals Enactment, the Land and Mines Department is required to approve or reject and application for lease renewal within six months of receiving the application.
She said the Selangor Executive Council did not give any reason for rejecting KL Larut’s application.
“Worse still, the state government had given approval to Kumpulan Semesta to remove the sand stockpile on part of the land,” she added.
KL Larut took the matter to court, claiming that executive council was exercising a bias against it.
Two weeks ago, the court ordered the Land and Mines Department to renew the lease within 14 days.
“The deadline given by the court expires today,” said Saraswathy. “It is clear that the Land and Mines Department is deliberately disobeying the court order because there is a conspiracy within the state government not to renew the lease.”