KUALA LUMPUR: DAP lawmaker Tony Pua has conceded that Selangor overpaid RM42mil for a piece of leasehold land in Bestari Jaya from Talam Corporation Bhd during a debt recovery exercise in 2010.
This confirmed the allegation by MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong, who had pointed out the questionable deal since the land was partly submerged in water while another portion was listed as forest and ecology reserves.
Despite this however, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said the state had ultimately “underpaid” by RM9.1mil for the overall transactions involving 13 types of assets, including land, building and golf club shares.
Pua said the government had valued Bestari Jaya land at RM181mil while an independent professional had valued it at RM139mil.
“But most of the other properties were disposed at a price lower than the professional valuation. If the state government had followed the independent valuation, the assets would be disposed at a higher value of RM685.23mil. But in actual fact the properties were disposed to the state at only RM676.09mil,” he told reporters here Saturday.
Details of the transactions included disposal of five plots of leasehold land, five plots of freehold land, commercial properties, and 60% of ordinary shares in Ulu Yam Golf and Country Club Sdn Bhd.
“Chua should in fact praise the state government for being able to recover the debts while gaining additional assets at a lower value,” he said, urging the Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister to “apologise”.
The controversy started when Chua challenged the Selangor government to explain how its exercise to recover a RM392mil debt from Talam ended in questionable deals worth over RM1bil.
The state government is said to have obtained a grant of RM392mil and acquired assets worth RM676mil.
Pua also gave reporters a copy of a circular by Talam, now known as Trinity Corporation Bhd, to its shareholders in March 2011, which stated that the Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI) would also assume the RM266.264mil liability on eight pieces of land disposed to the state government, which were still charged to lenders.
When pointed out that state entities namely Unisel, SAP Holdings (a subsidiary of Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor) and Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd had yet to receive any repayment despite the successful debt recovery exercise, Pua said this was for the Selangor government to answer.
“It is between the state government and their entities. I have no access to MBI or the state agencies. The money is with the state government. How the state want to allocate it to its subsidiaries is its problem,” he said.