(The Malaysian Insider) - The Selangor legislative watchdog Selcat will hold a public hearing if it is not satisfied with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s explanation about alleged discrepancies in the state government’s debt recovery exercise deal with Talam Corporation Bhd.
“We will wait for MB’s explanation in the assembly. If the (committee) members are satisfied with his explanation there will be no public hearing. If Selcat members are not happy with the explanation, surely we’ll call for public hearing,” Speaker Teng Chang Khim (picture) told a press conference here today.
“In Selangor, we are not used to covering up issues,” he said.
Khalid had said last week he would address the issue later this afternoon during the Selangor state assembly sitting here.
Last Tuesday, the MCA’s Chua Tee Yong had alleged that the Selangor administration under Khalid had bought over Talam Corp’s RM676 million assets to clear the firm’s outstanding debts of RM392 million to three state subsidiaries.
He had further claimed that the RM392 million in the supplementary budget approved by the state assembly in November 2010 to Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI) was used by the state government for the alleged bailout.
Talam Corp, now known as Trinity Corporation Berhad, had owed Universiti Selangor (Unisel) and Permodalan Nasional Selangor Berhad (PNSB) RM277 million as well as SAP Holdings — a subsidiary of listed company Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Berhad (KHSB) — RM115 million, equalling a total debt of RM392 million.
On Friday, DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua pointed out that the debt had been incurred during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule of the state and had been considered a “hidden debt” as it was never recorded in the books of the three state-linked subsidiaries.
But after Election 2008, he said the debts were “uncovered” by the newly-elected Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government, which later immediately commenced action to recover the monies.
He explained that the state government, through the state assembly, had in November 2010 legislated MBI to handle the collection of the RM392 million that the troubled property developer firm owed to the state’s subsidiaries.
On Saturday, the lawmaker conceded Selangor had overpaid RM41 million for the piece of land but stressed that the state had ultimately underpaid the troubled property developer by RM9.1 million for the acquisition of 13 plots of land.