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‘MCA’s RM1b Talam bailout claim is fiction’

 | July 6, 2012

PJ Utara MP Tony Pua ridicules MCA's RM1 billion allegation against the Selangor state government and provides a detailed explanation.

UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP ridiculed MCA’s RM1 billion bailout allegation against Pakatan Rakyat, with a detailed presentation over how Talam Corporation settled its RM392 million debt with the Selangor government.

In a press conference today, DAP’s publicity chief Tony Pua said that MCA-Labis MP Chua Tee Yong erred in his quest to attack Pakatan Rakyat.

He said that adding Talam’s debts and Selangor’s acquiring of its assets – worth RM676 million- was a case of “double-counting”.

“If someone had done his homework, he would not have made these stupid blunders,” Pua told reporters at DAP’s headquarters today.

Pua said this while presenting documents regarding Talam Corporation Berhad’s debt settlement to the Pakatan Rakyat-run Selangor state government.

These documents, he added, were publicly available.

On July 3, Chua accused the Selangor state government of misusing public funds to bail out Talam.

The MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief alleged that Selangor had done so via a RM392 million supplementary budget passed in the state’s legislative assembly in 2009.

He added that the state bought an additional RM676 million worth of assets from Talam.

Taken over  by MBI

Today, clarifying the matter, Pua said Talam had originally owed debts to state subsidiaries Universiti Selangor (RM255 million), Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (RM115 million) and Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (RM22 million), which totalled RM392 million.

He said that Selangor put all these debts under one entity, Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), which would handle Talam’s debts and settle it with the subsidiaries later.

To pay off the debts it owed Selangor, Pua said that MBI took over RM676 million worth of assets from Talam.

Talam, he said, had made the full payment of RM392 million in the form of cash and assets through two different settlement packages; on March 12 and April 9, 2010.

Pua added that Talam had paid RM12.7 million in cash to Selangor, settling the rest in property assets.

“In this case, MBI took over RM676 million of assets from Talam, which had RM266.2 million of loans outstanding and RM30.5 million of other fees to be paid.”

“Hence the net value accruing to MBI for these properties after deducting the loans and fees, will be RM379.2 million,” he said.

By adding the RM12.7 million cash and property assets, Pua said that MBI had collected its RM392 million.

What bail out?

With this in tow, the DAP MP asked how Chua had come by his allegations, and attacked the latter’s accounting and financial credentials.

(Chua is a trained accountant, and worked as the chief financial officer for a government-linked company before he became Labis MP in 2008.

“He (Chua) does not understand simple debt restructuring… If I was Talam, I wouldn’t feel like I was being bailed out [as] I have given RM676 million to pay out my old debt!” he said.

Pua also asked how Chua had come by the claim that Selangor had bought up to RM284 million worth of assets from Talam to “assist the company”.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said that Chua’s allegations was part of a “desperate” attempt by MCA to attack Pakatan Rakyat.

In a related matter, Pua said that the state government had also underpaid for a piece of land which MCA claimed Selangor had overpaid Talam to the tune of RM42 million.

Declining to reveal more at this time, he then gave MCA 24 hours to “repent” and withdraw its accusations.

Failing this, Pua said that he would come up with another press conference to debunk MCA’s Talam land allegations.

Also read:

S’gor overpaid Talam by RM42m, says MCA


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