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Talam deal: ‘Selangor lying over hidden debts’

 | August 15, 2012

MCA's Chua Tee Yong unveiled documents from 2009 revealing Selangor had terminated BN's debt settlement with Talam Corporation.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor state government had terminated all previous Talam Corporation Bhd debt settlements in 2009 and created new terms of settlement, Chua Tee Yong revealed today, adding that he was ready to challenge Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to a debate over the issue.

Chua, the MCA Young Professionals Bureau chairman, said that a July 14, 2009 document signed by Khalid proved that all Talam assets accepted by the Pakatan-led Selangor government was (made) based on its own decision and was not related to the previous state government, as Pakatan had claimed.

“The following is mentioned in the document: ‘All settlement agreement signed earlier between state government agencies and Talam shall be terminated and cease to have any effect.

“‘New terms of settlement shall be negotiated to recover all amount outstanding from Talam,'” Chua said at a press conference here today.

“This shows the Pakatan government is lying and misleading the public when it says all the debts are hidden and no state subsidiaries have attempted to recover the debts from Talam,” he said.

Last month, DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua revealed that Talam Corp’s RM392 million debt to three state subsidiaries had originally been incurred during BN’s reign in the state and was considered a “hidden debt” as it was never recorded in the three firms’ books.

Talam Corp, now known as Trinity Corporation Bhd, had then owed Universiti Selangor (Unisel) and Permodalan Nasional Selangor Bhd (PNSB) RM277 million as well as SAP Holdings – a subsidiary of listed company Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB) – RM115 million, for a total of RM392 million

“Why are these assets accepted by Pakatan Selangor government?” Chua asked.

He also claimed that the Selangor government had determined the value of each asset, and demanded to know why there was an apparent overvaluation of RM107 million to RM165 million.

He also questioned the need for Pakatan to provide what he claimed was a RM36 million early incentive discount, after having already terminated all previous agreements.

Chua wants to debate with MB

“I officially challenge the Selangor menteri besar over this whole issue,” Chua said.

“I don’t want to deal with any DAP member with only third-hand knowledge of the facts,” he added.

Pua had previously issued repeated challenges to a public debate with Chua over the Talam debt issue, but the latter had rejected the offer on the grounds that the menteri besar had yet to reveal details in a promised White Paper since three years ago.

Today, Chua said he was ready to debate with Khalid and expected a response after Hari Raya celebrations this Sunday.

“If the menteri besar does not accept my challenge, then why is the DAP challenging me to a debate? Is it because the DAP is more confident than the menteri besar?” Chua said.

Since July 3, Chua had been embarking on a series of exposé alleging that the state government had possibly used some RM1 billion in public funds to bail out Talam.

He had alleged that the state lied about fully recovering its RM392 million debts when it “did not”.

He had questioned why in addition to a RM392 million supplementary budget passed in the State Legislative Assembly in 2009, an additional RM676 million worth of assets were purchased from Talam to further assist the then ailing company.

Chua subsequently showed that several of the questionable assets obtained from Talam, in the debt- recovery exercise, were bought at overvalued prices.


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