DAP's Tony Pua says that the Pakatan-led state government has done well to collect the debts owed by Talam Corporation.
PJ Utara MP Tony Pua of DAP said the Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong’s exposé on Talam is proof that the Pakatan Rakyat administration is transparent and accountable and would be able to manage nation’s coffers better.
“The recent ‘egg-in-the-face’ exposé by Chua over an alleged RM1 billion land scandal in Selangor has instead allowed the state administration to showcase our integrity and accountability in managing the rakyat’s money, in stark contrast to the Barisan Nasional [BN] government,” he said.
He was commenting on Chua’s exposé on the state government’s purchase of land from Talam Corporation.
Last Tuesday, Chua said that Selangor had possibly misused public funds to bail out Talam via the RM392 million supplementary budget.
He added Selangor also bought an additional RM676 million worth of assets from Talam.
On the same day, Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim responded, saying that his administration would table a white paper during the tabling of the state budget.
On July 4, Khalid upped the ante by announcing that Selangor would sue MCA over the allegation.
The following day, Chua alleged that Pakatan-ruled Selangor over-paid Talam by RM42 million for a land in Bestari Jaya.
On Saturday, Pua provided a detailed presentation to debunk Chua’s allegation on the land and explained that Selangor had actually underpaid Talam by RM9.1 million.
‘Two minus one equals three’
Meanwhile, Pua today criticised Chua’s inability to understand basic accounting.
“The facts which have surfaced over the past few days since Chua’s sensational exposé that was given front-page treatment by BN-owned mass media has proven that he not only could not tell the difference between debit and credit columns of a balance sheet, but he also had the uncanny subtraction ability of “two minus one equals three” (2 – 1 = 3).
“The records show that Talam Corporation was allowed to incur debts of RM392 million to the Selangor government during the BN administration before 2008,” he said.
“These debts were never properly documented or recorded in the books of the state government companies – Universiti Industri Selangor (Unisel), Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor and Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB).
“What is worse was the fact that there were no efforts made by the BN administration to collect these debts,” said Pua.
He also praised Khalid for his political will in ensuring that no companies can get off scot-free while being in debt to the state government.
“Within a year after discovering the discrepancy in the state-owned companies’ financial records, Khalid has via the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) recouped every sen of the RM392 million debt from Talam Corporation in the form of cash and properties.
“The most remarkable thing about the entire exercise was that the Selangor government did not have to suffer any haircuts in the debt recovery exercise despite the fact that Talam itself was just recovering from severe financial difficulties.
“On the contrary, the state government was able to get RM676 million of property assets which was valued by an independent valuer to be worth more at RM685 million.”
He added that Pakatan’s efforts in increasing the state reserves are in contrast with the BN-led federal government that funds itself with deficit budgets and debts.
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