‘S’gor underpaid RM9.1m for Talam’s debts’

According to the DAP, MCA’s Chua Tee Yong had failed to focus on the whole picture.

(FMT) – DAP’s Tony Pua today launched a second salvo against MCA, highlighting an apparent oversight in the latter’s accusations against the Selangor state government.

Previously, MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Chua Tee Yong claimed that the opposition-run Selangor had overpaid RM42 million for a piece of land owned by Talam Corporation Bhd.

In his haste to expose Selangor’s purported excesses, Pua said that Chua failed to focus on the whole picture – the RM392 million debt settlement between Selangor and Talam.

Chua recently said that Selangor had paid RM181 million for 2,263.53 acres of Bestari Jaya land, when Mitra Valuers (the third party) priced it at RM139 million.

(At the same time, Talam valued this land at RM215.1 million.)

Not disputing this, Pua said that the Bestari Jaya land was only one part of the whole debt settlement.

In fact, he said that Selangor through Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) had taken over RM676 million of Talam’s assets, which had been valued as such by the state’s own valuers.

At the same time, these total assets were valued by Talam’s own and independent advisers at RM690.2 million and RM685.2 million.

He said that in comparison, Selangor had even “underpaid” RM9.1 million for Talam’s assets.

“My guess is that some little bird passed him [Chua] this incomplete picture, and he found the one with the most extreme difference, so he just tembak [accused] only,” Pua told reporters at DAP’s headquarters here today.

He said this while holding a copy (publicly available) of a Talam circular addressed to its shareholders, which detailed assets that were to be handed over to Selangor.

Pua pointed out that in some cases, Mitra had even valued some land to be higher than the state’s estimates.

“…[For the] 686.93 acres of Bukit Beruntung freehold land, [it was] valued at RM179.5 million by the state, but was valued by Mitra to be much higher at RM198.9 million.

“That’s a ‘gain’ of RM19.4 million by the state,” he said.

Asked why Selangor chose to value the Bestari Jaya land at a much higher price than Mitra’s, Pua said that valuation was an art, and differed between various experts.