Tuesday July 17, 2012
More calls for Selangor govt to tell all on Talam
By SIRA HABIBU and TEH ENG HOCK
PETALING JAYA: Calls for the Selangor government to reveal everything on the Talam debt recovery exercise to allay public concerns over questionable deals amounting to more than RM1bil are getting louder.
Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan president Tan Jo Hann said the state should be transparent, as the public wanted to know the truth.
“We hope the findings of the investigations will not be kept secret.
“There should be a channel for an independent body to look into the documents if the need arises,” he said, adding that the independent body should comprise citizen groups such as Transparency International.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim last week said that he would appoint five local-based accountancy firms to look into the debt recovery exercise.
He made the announcement following queries by MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong as to how the state's exercise to recover a RM392mil debt from Talam ended up with questionable deals amounting to more than RM1bil.
Former Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said external auditors should not be politically appointed.
“If auditors lack credibility, then their report will also lack the necessary standards of objectivity and integrity.
“Therefore, the external auditors should be appointed upon the advice of the state auditors. That is what the civil servants are there for,” said Ramon, who is also Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman.
In Shah Alam, Khalid said the state was monitoring news reports on the allegations of misappropriation and graft.
“We will wait first. We encourage MCA to make a more detailed statement,” he said, adding that the state government had yet to decide when to file a suit against the MCA for making the allegations.
On Ramon's proposal to hold an independent public inquiry or a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the matter, Khalid said it would be better to wait for the findings of the five audit firms.
It was reported that Chua had questioned if the Selangor government had “overpaid” by RM57mil for four plots of land in Danau Putra, of which 80% is submerged.
He said the state government acquired the plots of land in Sepang from Talam Corporation Bhd at RM87.7mil in March 2010 as part of the debt recovery exercise.
However, one of the plots acquired at RM43.3mil (at RM15 per sq ft) was auctioned off five months later for only RM15mil (RM5.20 per sq ft).