Accountants will be brought in to check through Selangor's handling of the alleged Talam scandal, says the menteri besar.
SHAH ALAM: Reputable accounting firms will be invited to check through the Selangor state government’s handling of the RM392 million Talam Corporation debt settlement, which MCA recently claimed to be a misuse of public funds.
Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim told the state legislative assembly that five selected accounting firms would be invited by the state to review the Talam affair.
After this, the results by these firms would be presented before the assembly. They would also be checked by former accountant-general Mohd Salleh Mahmud to ensure their independence.
“…We will invite five select international… firms to do a review of all the business matters, to determine what are the decisions made in making sure that Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) can collect the RM392 million.
“The review of these accounts, we will give to the Dewan [Negeri Selangor], so that there will no longer be any more accusations that show us as helping Talam and giving a high price [for the land], and that [we have] fooled the state government and the Selangor people,” he said today.
Khalid added that the state had also been visited by the Auditor-General’s Department about “two or three months ago”, and that he had invited them to review the matter.
He was referring to the alleged RM1 billion “questionable” deal which was raised by MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Chua Tee Yong last week.
In his expose, Chua accused Selangor of misusing public funds to bail out Talam.
He claimed that Selangor had done so via a RM392 million supplementary budget passed in the state’s legislative assembly in 2009.
Chua added that the state bought an additional RM676 million worth of assets from Talam.
However, these claims were attacked by DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua who accused the MCA-Labis MP of “double-counting” and not really understanding the issue.
Following Chua’s revelations, the Selangor state government threatened to sue MCA over the allegation.
In a press conference later, Khalid explained that two stages were involved in settling Talam’s debts: debt recognition and “agreement implementation”.
The first, he said, involved going through the debts that Talam owed, and assigning Menteri Besar Incorporated to handle it.
The second, Khalid added, was a complicated process that involved the transactions between Selangor and Talam.
“Among the efforts was to make sure that Talam signed an ‘underwriting assets document’ agreement. All assets handed over by Talam were not to be less than RM392 million,” he said.
The documents of each transaction, the MB assured, were recorded to the fullest, and that there was no space for commissions.
Khalid also said a White Paper detailing the Talam matter would be presented along with the accounting firms’ results when the Selangor Budget 2013 is tabled later this year.
Asked why it took so long to come up with a White Paper on the matter, Khalid said that many of the transactions were still being finalised.
“A White Paper must be a completed paper. It cannot come out in the middle [of transactions],” he said.
He said that matters surrounding the issue included land ownership, the transfer of land titles, and the checking of assets.
Khalid added that at the same time, some wanted to buy these assets as well.
Asked what he thought of Chua’s expose, Khalid laughed, saying: “Continue to speak…We have a lot of other work to do.”