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By Zurairi AR
The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR | Nov 20, 2012

The Selangor government wants to close the book on the Talam issue and will not debate the matter in the state assembly, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today.

“He can do whatever … but he has to be very clear on the issue,” Khalid told reporters today when asked what would happen should Datuk Chua Tee Yong continue to attack the state on the issue.

Earlier today, the Selangor government had denied that the Talam debt-recovering exercise was a bailout, and reiterated that no public funds were transferred to the company.

In a white paper tabled at a state assembly sitting here, Selangor stressed that only RM420,000 was spent on the exercise, mostly for legal fees and bank interests.

Khalid (picture) also acknowledged that the current state government had so far been more transparent than the previous administration in matters of state policies.

“What is good about this white paper is it also shows that decision-making cannot be done in isolation. It should be looked at in totality,” he added.

MCA Young Professionals Bureau chairman Datuk Chua Tee Yong had recently alleged abuse of funds by the Selangor government, claiming that Khalid’s administration had bought over Talam Corp’s RM676 million assets to clear the firm’s outstanding debts of RM392 million to three state subsidiaries.

He further claimed that the RM392 million in the supplementary budget approved by the state assembly in November 2010 to MBI was used by the state government for the alleged bailout.

But in retaliation, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers have denied this and called out Chua for his allegedly “stupid blunder”, claiming that instead of bailing out Talam Corp, the state government had only restructured the firm’s debts to ensure the monies were reclaimed in full.

In the state government’s previous replies on the issue, it was explained that Talam Corp’s RM392 million debt to three state subsidiaries had originally been incurred during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) reign in the state and was considered a “hidden debt” as it was never recorded in the three firms’ books.

Talam Corp, now known as Trinity Corporation Berhad, had then owed Universiti Selangor (Unisel) and Permodalan Nasional Selangor Berhad (PNSB) RM277 million as well as SAP Holdings — a subsidiary of listed company Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Berhad (KHSB) — RM115 million, for a total of RM392 million.

But after the state government fell to PR in Election 2008, the “hidden debts” were later “uncovered” and the state moved immediately to recover the monies owed by Talam Corp, instead of bailing out the firm as claimed by Chua.

The state government, through the state assembly, had in November 2010 appointed MBI to handle the collection of the RM392 million owed by the troubled property developer.

This ultimately made the MBI the point man to chase Talam Corp for the debts.

After months of negotiations, Talam Corp finally agreed to a full repayment of the RM392 million to MBI in the form of cash and assets in two tranches — one on March 12, 2010 and the second, a month later on April 9.

According to state lawmakers, all settlement deals were fully disclosed to Bursa Malaysia and made publicly available on the bourse’s website.

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