Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lau: No money loss for Talam deal


TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012 - 22:17
by Ram Anand (Malay Mail)

Location: PETALING JAYA

THE Selangor government does not risk losing any money owed to it by Talam Corporations Bhd (now known as Trinity Corporation) even if the land valuation prices does not match the prices for which the lands were acquired from Talam, a state assemblyman said yesterday.

Kg Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San said that since all the deals are underwritten between Talam and the state, Talam would still need to find extra parcels of land to dispose off to Selangor if the state could not retain RM392 million worth of lands from the exercise.

"The question about land valuation (and overpayment) is of secondary consideration. This is because there is an undertaking that Talam still needs to find more land so that the state recovers the full sum of RM392 million that is owed to state by Talam," he said during a press conference here yesterday.

Lau made available copies of hansard dating back to July and November 2010, saying that Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had already answered many of MCA Young Professionals Bureau Chairman Datuk Chua Tee Yong's questions during the state legislative assembly almost two years ago.

The hansard shows Abdul Khalid as saying that the state plans to increase value on the lands it had acquired from Talam by zoning the land as commercial before selling them off based on gross development value.

"What Chua has done is that he had basically subtracted the difference the professional valuation for the price of lands and the gross development value. That's the difference," Lau said, referring to a Talam circular to its shareholders dated March 15, 2011.

However, the assemblyman was unsure of who made the gross development valuation and on what basis the state had acquired the lands based on the gross development value rather than professional valuation.

Chua had earlier alleged that the state had overpaid (overvalued) by RM 57.3 million to Talam for a piece of land in Danau Putra and RM42 million for another piece of land in Bestari Jaya.

"For that (clarification) we need to wait for the white paper," Lau said.

However, Lau alleged that Chua had been "selectively reading" from the hansard when the latter criticised the state government for not producing a white paper on the deals that it supposedly promised by the end of 2010.

"The hansard record clearly states that (Abdul Khalid) will produce the white paper provided all the agreements are finalised and all transactions included. But, if the Talam circular to its shareholders was only sent in March 2011, the state couldn't possibly produce a white paper before that," he said.

The Talam circular was the company's seeking of its shareholders' consent to go ahead with the deal to offset its debts with the state.

Lau also rebutted Chua's claims that lands submerged in water has less value, pointing out the Sunway Lagoon theme park and The Mines shopping mall were both built on excavated mining ponds.
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