(The Star) - MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong says Tony Pua is not fit to debate with him on the Talam issue and its effect on Permodalan Negri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) as the DAP publicity secretary “can’t even read a simple financial statement”.
Chua, a trained accountant, said this in reference to Pua’s claims that the total assets of PNSB had increased from RM111.4mil in 2009 to RM823.8mil last year.
Pua had earlier challenged Chua to a public debate on the Talam issue.
Chua said that according to the financial statement, PNSB’s had RM304mil in assets in 2009.
“But Pua has forgotten to mention that while the total assets had increased, there was also an increase in the liabilities which shot up after the debt recovery exercise,” Chua told a press conference here.
Chua, who is also Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Deputy Minister, said PNSB’s total liability had leaped from RM27mil in 2009 to RM497mil last year.
He also lambasted Pua for failing to acknowledge profits that were accumulated in PNSB under the Barisan Nasional administration before Pakatan Rakyat took over the state in 2008.
“Despite being an economist and the DAP spokesman on the economy, I am quite surprised that Pua does not know how to read a simple balance sheet or financial statement. Hence, he is not fit to debate with me.
“Furthermore, Pua does not represent the state and he is spinning more for publicity rather than giving answers. Where are the Selangor exco members who know the transaction details better?” he asked.
Chua had asked the state government to explain why it had burdened PNSB with RM316mil in bank loans and interest payments in its bid to recover debts from Talam Corp Bhd.
He said PNSB, which used to be debt-free, was now burdened with bank loans after the state disposed of its assets worth RM450mil acquired from Talam.
The Talam issue became public knowledge when Chua questioned early this month if the Selangor government had “overpaid” by RM57mil for four plots of land in Danau Putra, of which 80% is under water.
He said the state government acquired the plots in Sepang from Talam Corp Bhd at RM87.7mil in March 2010 as part of a debt recovery exercise.
However, one of the plots acquired at RM43.3mil (at the price of RM15 per sq ft) was auctioned off five months later at only RM15mil (at a price of RM5.20 per sq ft).
Based on this difference, Chua said the state government must explain why it had acquired that particular plot which is covered in water at a higher price of RM28mil.
He said the Selangor government had initially stated that it did not require external consultants when it initiated the debt-recovery exercise, adding that it now wanted to do so.