Talam Corp Was Paid RM42m More
OVERPAID: Selangor govt bought land at a price above market value, says deputy minister
GEORGE TOWN: AN MCA leader yesterday alleged that the Selangor government had overpaid Talam Corporation for a piece of land, the latest development in the “RM1 billion deal” issue implicating the State government.
MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong who, on Monday exposed the alleged fiasco, yesterday said the Selangor government had overpaid the debt-ridden Talam by RM42 million in one of the questionable land purchases.
Chua, who is also deputy agriculture and agro-based industry minister, claimed the Selangor government had bought from Talam a 2,263-acre land, located in Bestari Jaya, Selangor, for RM181 million.
“However, according to a valuation report, the land was valued at only RM139 million, provided it was free from encumbrance,” said Chua during a press conference at Wisma MCA here yesterday.
“How did they (Talam) manage to sell the land at a price above market value, considering the fact that it was encumbered and is still charged to financial entities?”
Chua was citing an October 2010 land valuation report by Mitra Valuers and Property Consultants Sdn Bhd which said that the 438 acres of the land was underwater.
“The state government would have to spend between RM50 million and RM100 million to reclaim the submerged area before it could be developed.”
The Labis member of parliament also said 573 acres of the land were forest and ecology reserves which had little commercial value.
Chua said he hoped Talam could disclose negotiations on how it managed to convince the state government to purchase the land.
When asked if the alleged RM181 million price tag for the land was accurate, Chua said it was up to the state government to confirm the figure.
The land purchase is allegedly one of several assets purchased by the state government between March 12 and April 9, 2010, according to Talam’s annual report.
On Tuesday, Chua alleged that the Selangor government had bought over Talam Corp’s assets worth RM676 million to clear the financially-troubled firm’s outstanding debts.
The Selangor government on Wednesday said it would sue MCA and anyone who had questioned the deal, which Chua described as a “bailout by the state government using the people’s money”. –NST