Talam denies Tee Yong’s claims of Selangor bailout
KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 – The company at the centre of the allegations by MCA that it was bailed out by the state government using questionable means issued a rebuttal today saying that all dealings were above board and accounted for.
This comes after Chua Tee Yong, the son of MCA president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, raised questions over a series of transactions between Talam Corporation and Selangor, which he alleged was a clear-cut case of a bailout where the Selangor government used public money to help a listed company by buying its assets.
Trinity Corporation, which is the new name for Talam, said in a statement to the media that Chua (picture) was misinformed in his allegations and that it had paid off its debt to the state via land and asset disposals that were scrutinised by the Securities Commission Assets Valuation Department and by Bursa Securities.
It said it had disposed of lands worth RM676 million in order to clear its RM392 million debt to the state as well as encumbrances attached to the land.
Trinity also said that the transaction was disclosed in an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to shareholders.
The property developer also disputed Chua’s assertions that “before the deal with the Pakatan Selangor government, Talam was still under PN17 with lots of debts.”
The company said that it came out of PN17 status without any assistance from the state government and had its financial regularisation plan approved in April 2008 before it got to know the present state administration.
A PN17 status typically indicates that the company is deemed to be financially troubled by Bursa Malaysia.
Trinity said that the regularisation plan also made no mention of settling debts to Selangor via disposal of land.
“Hence it is wholly untrue to allege that there was a bail out of Talam by the state using rakyat’s money,” said Trinity.
Chua had also claimed that Talam shares could not be traded before the bail out by Selangor, which Trinity disputed saying that its shares were never suspended in the first place.
Trinity also denied that it owed RM115 million to Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Berhad.
“We must state for clarity that Trinity Corporation did not benefit from the transaction in any other manner except to have its debts paid off," said the statement. "The benefit is certainly to the state as these lands possessed by the state have now appreciated in value and it is certainly for the benefit of the rakyat as opposed to the detriment of the rakyat.”
Trinity also maintained that it was apolitical and its statement was based on facts and free of ulterior motives.
Chua had yesterday told a press conference that the Selangor state government had expended RM1 billion to recover RM392 million in debts from Talam.
The Selangor state government responded today that it will sue MCA and any parties that have accused the state government of misusing RM1 billion in public funds in its dealings with Talam.