Selangor Government did not buy over Talam debts, Exco Liu says

By Sungaya Lingan, Free Malaysia Today

Selangor Executive Councillor Ronnie Liu said today that the state government did not buy over Talam Corporation’s debts of RM391 million, as speculated by many quarters and well reported by media the past week.

“The over-simplification of the Selangor government’s action would be that it would recover RM 391 million worth of land from Talam to settle its debts to the state government. The actual process is more complicated but that is the simple explanation to the issue,” said Liu, who is in charge of Local Government and Research Development.

When asked about the “delay” in the Government coming forth with an explanation over the Talam controversy, Liu said this was due to the need to maintain “confidentiality” in finalizing the deal.

Liu explained that Talam was a very active development corporation before its decline. The corporation was involved in many joint ventures with Selangor such as with University Selangor (Unisel), Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB), and Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB). Although Talam is listed under the PN17 category ( listed companies in financial distress), it owns assets worth about RM1 billion, therefore it is able to pay its debt, but not necessarily in cash, Liu clarified.

Liu claimed that it took the State government about one year to establish the amount that Talam owes the state government and then to have papers signed by both parties acknowledging the true status. The state government then appointed Menetri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to oversee the whole process. He was chosen because of his corporate knowledge and also because the hiring of external consultants will cost about RM1.5 million.