(The Star) - Selangor state economic adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been criticised for keeping mum on the Talam debt restructuring exercise despite various calls for an explanation.
Yap Ee Wah (BN Sungai Pelek) said Anwar should make a public stand on the controversy, in which the Selangor government had been accused of bailing out Talam Corporation Bhd.
“To this day, the Selangor economic adviser has not issued a single press statement,” he said when debating the Supplementary Supply Bill 2012 at the state assembly here yesterday.
Yap also asked why the state government had overpaid Talam by RM42mil for a plot of land in Bestari Jaya in the exercise.
“I want to congratulate Talam or Trinity Corporation as it is now known on their business skills. They were the smartest and profited the most from the deal,” he said.
Yap said almost half of the 2,263-acre land was either submerged in water or part of a forest reserve and that it had low market value.
At this juncture, Shuhaimi Shafiei (PKR Sri Muda) demanded to know why Yap was only raising the matter now, asking why he did not question former Selangor Mentri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo when the state failed to collect the debts during the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
Yap then retorted that he was not an elected representative during Dr Khir's administration.
“Sri Muda, you are a first-term assemblyman. I am also a first-term assemblyman. You asked why I didn't ask Sungai Panjang (Khir Toyo). My answer is the same as yours. You didn't ask Sungai Panjang, too,” he said.
Sulaiman Razak (BN Permatang) claimed that the Universiti Selangor (Unisel) campus in Bestari Jaya might end up being a white elephant as it continued to record a drop in income.
He said Unisel's income had dropped from RM94.4mil in 2008 to RM93.51mil in 2009 and then to RM75.48mil in 2010.
“It is a drop of nearly 20% while its expenditure is going up and not in line with the income generated,” he said, adding that expenses had risen from RM93.97mil in 2008 to RM113.11mil in 2010.