Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chua, so called accountant, digging hole for himself

Chua digging a hole for himself

July 11, 2012
MCA's Young Professionals Bureau head should stop the attempts to dig a deeper hole for himself while attempting to cover up his RM1 billion mega-blunder.

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By Tony Pua
Chua Tee Yong must tell us where is Selangor’s RM1 billion land scandal or has it become his RM1 billion mega-blunder?
Chua on July 3 made headlines in all media by accusing the Selangor state government of committing a RM1 billion land scandal, bailing out financially stricken property developer Talam Corporation.
Since then we have showed clearly that there was not only no bailout, Talam was forced to repay its debts to the state government amounting to RM392 million which were accrued during the Barisan Nasional regime.
We proved that Chua not only could not tell the difference between debit and credit columns of a balance sheet, he had the uncanny subtraction ability of “two minus one equals three” (2 – 1 = 3) which resulted in the impossible figure of the RM1 billion mega-blunder.
However, since then, Chua failed to respond or clarify on his mega-billion ringgit blunder.
He only said during his press conference on July 5 that he would reply “once he has gathered further information”.
As of today (July 11), Chua has still not responded to or corrected his mega-blunder and this only proves that there was never a RM1 billion scandal and the Selangor state government never bailed out Talam as accused by Chua and MCA.
Never before in the history of Malaysia has a deputy minister “exposed” a RM1 billion “scandal” which subsequently became a RM1 billion mega-blunder, and Chua would suffer the ignominy of becoming the very first in the country.
Chua can’t read and count
The latest RM57 million “overpayment” alleged by Chua proved not only the fact that he doesn’t do his homework, but that he also cannot read and count
MCA accused the Selangor government of “overpaying” RM57.3 million to Talam Corporation Bhd for 53.74 hectares of land in Danau Putra, Selangor.
Chua had claimed that the land was over-valued, because it was 80% submerged under water.
He asked: “Why is the Selangor government buying land which is 80% submerged underwater and requires more than RM50 million to fill up before they can commence development?”
Referring to the exact same document which Chua was using to demonstrate his knowledge during the press conference, the land valuation report by Chartwell ITAC International indeed highlighted the fact that “the cost of filling is estimated of about RM51,500,000”.
However, Chua seems to have failed to read in the same paragraph of the report that Chartwell has already “made further adjustment to our valuation by excluding the estimated cost of earth filling of the area under water”.
After deducting the above, Chartwell arrived at a professional valuation of RM93.5 million for the land which is even higher than the valuation of RM87.7 million given by state government.
Hence, Chua’s accusation that the state has failed to take into account of the submerged land and overpaid as a result, was another simple case of double-counting.
Chua was basically trying to deduct the cost of filling the land again, even after it has been taken into consideration by the professional valuer.

Chua failed to do his homework again

Chua had asked: “How come [one of the four parels of] land was auctioned off? And why was the aforesaid plot priced at 2.86 times the auction amount and, assuming the price was RM5.20 psf, why did the Selangor government overpay by RM57 million?”
He further added that due to some legal complications, the land was auctioned off on Sept 7 that year. However, Chua admitted that he did not know state the nature of the legal action that led to the property being auctioned.
Chua failed to secure information with regard to the legal “complication” above which might have protected him against making another wild unsubstantiated allegation against the Selangor state government.
A look at the publicly available January 2012 Talam Corporation Bhd Annual Report will immediately disclose the history of the legal complication.
Bangkok Bank Bhd (BBB) had erroneously auctioned the above said property on Sept 7, 2010 despite being aware that the land is part and parcel of properties being disposed to Menteri Besar (Incorporated) (MBI) under a settlement agreement entered into on March 12, 2010.
Talam has taken legal action against the bank to recover the losses from the land, where the bank auction purchaser bought for RM15 million, well below the transacted value with MBI of RM48.7 million.
However, what proves to be a stroke of business savvy and negotiating genius of the Khalid Ibrahim-led MBI was the fact that regardless of the outcome of the legal dispute, the interest of the state in collecting the outstanding debt is not at all compromised.
Talam has disclosed in the annual report that “the disposal of this property would not have any significant impact on the MBI settlement agreement”. The company stated that “if necessary, the company will identify a piece of land to replace the abovementioned to MBI”.
This proves that the state government would not lose a single sen over the above transaction unlike what was alleged by Chua. It would perhaps have been more productive if he starts shifting his focus to how Talam was able to amass such a huge RM392 million debt with the state government, and perhaps he might be able to find some mud against BN then.
We have shown clearly with facts, figures and documents to prove that all the alleged scandals raised during Chua’s press conferences were completely without basis.
Chua has proven to be an incompetent leader of the MCA Young Professionals Bureau, making mistakes after mistakes during press conferences.
Chua should perhaps stop the attempts to dig a deeper hole for himself while attempting to cover up his RM1 billion mega-blunder.
Tony Pua is the DAP information chief and member of parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara.

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