Friday, 6 July 2012

Talam offers to 'educate' Chua on debt settlements

Talam Corporation Bhd today offered to assist MCA deputy minister Chua Tee Yong on the mechanics of its debt settlement with the Selangor government, following what it said was “his current erroneous perception of facts”.

NONEIn a statement today, Talam, or Trinity Corporation as it is known now, encouraged Chua (left) to have a look at publicly available documents which the company has disclosed to Bursa Malaysia in past years.

“We urge the deputy minister to not be selective in his criticism but we encourage him to look at the public documents as a whole as his statement has misled the public into believing that we have cheated the state despite the fact that we have dealt justly and fairly.

“If that would be too much to ask of him, we are prepared to explain to him to enable him to be educated of the facts and to assist him in having to decipher the truth as opposed to his current erroneous perception of facts,” chairperson Tsen Keng Yam said.

Chua had yesterday claimed that the Selangor government had “overpaid” Talam by RM42 million for a tract of land in Bestari Jaya, as part of the state’s debt recovery exercise.

To prove that the transactions were above board, and “eradicate (Chua's) doubts”, Tsen said the company was even willing to take up advertisements in local newspapers to disclose the details of the deal.

However, this comes with the condition that Chua, who is a trained accountant and former chief financial officer of a government-linked company, is willing to foot the bill.

On the Bestari Jaya land, Tsen said  the Labis MP was cherry-picking and ignoring the fact that all 13 pieces of land involved in the settlement were taken as one transaction.

'Selangor got land at a discount'

He claimed that taken as a whole, the 13 plots of land had a total value of RM685 million, exceeding the final sum of the transaction, which was RM676 million.

According to its announcements to Bursa Malaysia, Talam had used RM676 million worth of assets, plus RM12.7 million in cash, to offset RM392 million it had owed the Selangor government.

The value of the land is higher than the actual debt as the bulk of the land is still charged to the banks.

azlanOn the Bestari Jaya land, Tsen said Talam bought the land at RM115,000 per acre and sold the same land to the state in 2010 for RM80,000 an acre.

“Common sense dictates that it was Talam which was at a loss, as opposed to the state.

“We are certain that the deputy minister is able to do elementary arithmetic to decipher if Talam was bona fide in its transaction for the settlement of debt,” he said.

Lamenting that Talam was caught in “political crossfire”,  Tsen added that the Labis MP's decision to single out the Bestari Jaya land “raises eyebrows as to his motive in doing so”.

Tsen also said the MCA leader had revealed his “lack of experience” by pointing out that ecology sites, forest reserves and lakes at the lands as shortcomings because such features are “value adding”.

According to the valuation report revealed by Chua yesterday, 232.65 hectares (574.9 acres) of the land is marked as “ecology” and “forest reserve” zones and that the value was lowered because 44 percent of the land is under water.

Talam also “demanded” that Chua stops using the company as a “political tool”.

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