Tony Pua tells Chua Tee Yong to figure out how to present a more credible and air-tight case before jumping into the deep blue sea at the very first instance.
K Kabilan, FMT
With rebuttals coming in thick and fast over his so-called exposé over the PKR-led Selangor government’s Talam deal, MCA’s upcoming leader Chua Tee Yong could learn to be better prepared to present an air-tight case in the future.
This advice comes from DAP’s Tony Pua, the main Pakatan Rakyat leader who had taken it upon himself in challenging Chua to clarify the fine lines of the Talam deal.
Chua had embarked on a series of exposé alleging that the state government had possibly used RM1 billion in public funds to bail out Talam.
Chua, the MCA Young Professionals Bureau chairman and Agriculture and Agro-Based Deputy Minister, also accused the PKR-led state government of overpaying Talam by RM57 million in acquiring 134.34 acres of land at Danau Putra in 2010.
He claimed that the state paid RM87.7 million for it when the land was only worth RM30.4 million. Chua is also the Labis MP and the son of MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Speaking to FMT today, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said Chua should find out what had gone wrong with his billion-ringgit blunder.
“He should now cut his losses and conduct a post-mortem on what went so wrong with his billion- ringgit blunder.
“He should figure out how to present a more credible and air-tight case before jumping into the deep blue sea at the very first instance [if there's a next time],” said Pua.
Below is the excerpt of FMT’s interview with Tony Pua on the Talam issue:
FMT: Is the Talam deal really a scandal as being touted by Chua Tee Yong? What is the issue here?
Tony Pua: The Talam deal is not only not a scandal, but a testament and showcase of good governance, competency and accountability by the Pakatan Rakyat state government led by Khalid Ibrahim.
The fact of the matter is Talam would have escaped from its debt obligations to the state if not for the sharp accounting eyes of the Menteri Besar who discovered the RM392 million discrepancy inherited from the BN government.
And the MB should be applauded for successfully recovering every single sen of the RM392 million in cash and assets. One must remember that Talam was undergoing recovery from its own financial crisis, and the MB would have had to drive a uncompromising hard bargain in order to recover the debts without any haircut. In fact, out of the properties recovered by the state valued at RM676 million, professional independent valuers have valued them at RM685 million. This means that the state actually gained further as part of the debt recovery exercise.
If the Talam deal is a straight-forward debt restructuring deal as stated by the Selangor government, why is MCA trying to paint a different picture now?
I can only hazard a guess that they completely misunderstood the deal and had no one with the right financial skills to decipher how the Selangor government actually collected RM392 million worth of cash and assets from Talam. Either that or worse, they are intentionally misleading the man-on-the-street, believing that the powers of the media they control like The Star will enable them to deceive the people and prevent the truth from correcting the negative perception of the state Pakatan government.
Why do you reckon it is Chua, and not any other senior MCA leader, or MCA’s state level leaders, who is spearheading this ‘Talam bailout’ campaign? Is this a MCA strategy to promote Chua?
It is possibly a strategy for MCA to promote Chua. As one can see, he appears on the front page of The Star for every press conference he has conducted to date. Alternatively, and possibly unfortunately, he could be the best brain they have within the leadership.