Land deal raises more questions


NEW CLAIMS: Talam still owes Menteri Besar Incorporated RM80 million

SHAH ALAM: AS Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim yesterday  claimed that a huge profit was made by the Selangor government in its controversial dealings with Talam Corporation, a fresh allegation surfaced of how actual losses were incurred from the so-called "RM1 billion deal".

Khalid, while fielding questions at the state assembly said the state government's investment arm, Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), had amassed more than RM300 million from the amount Talam owed to them.

He said Talam still had an outstanding debt of more than RM80 millon with MBI.

"I was told that MBI, so far, had recovered RM302,711,391 that it (Talam Corp) owed to the state. The money is expected to grow as it would be invested," Khalid said in response to a question by Mohd Shamsudin Lias (BN-Sungai Burong), who asked about the exact amount the state government had collected from Talam.

Contradicting Khalid, MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, claimed that a Selangor government's subsidiary was now in debt after buying land assets formerly owned by Talam, worth RM450 million from the state government.

He said Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) owed a financial entity RM316 million, which was used to facilitate the acquisition.

This comes after Chua's allegations last week, which revealed the "RM1 billion deal" between Talam and the Selangor government.

The land assets in question were part of 13 parcels disposed of by Talam as part of a RM392 million debt settlement with the state government.

Chua, last week, said instead of collecting the debt, the state government had bought RM676 million worth of assets from Talam between March and April 2010.

"According to PNSB's audited accounts in 2010, it had purchased six land parcels in Bukit Beruntung 2 and Bestari Jaya from the Selangor government.

"However, PNSB had to pledge a lot of its assets to borrow RM230 million from a bank with an interest cost of RM86 million."

Chua, citing the company's audited accounts in 2009, added that prior to the purchase, PNSB was debt-free and had RM76 million in cash reserves.

"PNSB is now in debt as the RM230 million loan would have been used as part of the payment to the state government for the land purchases," said Chua, who is also deputy agriculture and agro-based industries minister.

Chua urged the Selangor government to explain why it had not taken steps to help bring PNSB out of debt by selling off the six land assets to private parties.

"I understand that since 2010, none of these land parcels have undergone major development.

"As such, how does the state government plan to help PNSB repay its loan?"

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