Saturday, August 04, 2012

Will Chua Tee Yong Ensure NFC's RM250 Million Is Recovered?

I concede that Deputy Agriculture Minister, Datuk Chua Tee Yong has been most exasperating in his crusade against the Selangor state government over the RM392 million debt recovery exercise from Talam Corporation Bhd.

Datuk Chua Tee Yong has made the serious allegation of the Selangor government under Pakatan Rakyat bailing out Talam to the tune of RM1 billion.  According to Datuk Chua Tee Yong, the Selangor state has not only “paid” Talam RM392 million, we had help them settle nearly RM300 million in debt in order to rescue Talam from financial distress.  It was because of the Selangor RM1 billion bailout, Talam was able to regularise its accounts and get out of its Practice Note 17 (PN17) status on Bursa Malaysia.

It has since been proven beyond doubt that Datuk Chua Tee Yong got his facts completely wrong, and made highly laughable accounting assumptions to come up with the above allegations.  Instead of a bailout, the Selangor government was able to collect back from Talam the full amount of RM392 million from Talam in the form of cash and assets.  The RM392 million was legacy debt from the Barisan Nasional administration since the 1990s which were never properly accounted for nor were they collected.

In fact, Talam shareholders must be rueing the day Pakatan Rakyat took over the Selangor government in 2008 because they had to pay up their debts within 2 years, as opposed to under the BN administration which did not make any serious attempts to collect these debts for more than a decade.

What is appalling is the fact that Datuk Chua Tee Yong continued his tirade against the Selangor state government, particularly over the valuation of the assets taken over from Talam with near daily press conferences.  Despite continued embarrassment for getting his facts wrong or incomplete, the Deputy Agriculture Minister is happily touring Selangor visiting lakes and mountains to make all sorts of claims over the valuation of these properties.

Datuk Chua Tee Yong must surely not be so incompetent as not to know that these properties were valued not only by professional certified valuers but also by Jabatan Perkhidmatan dan Penilaian Hartanah (JPPH) (Property Valuation & Services Department), which is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government’s Ministry of Finance.  If both the professional valuers and JPPH were able to arrive at an agreeable valuation on the pieces of land – regardless of whether there’s a lake or mountain on it – then who is Datuk Chua Tee Yong to give these pieces of land a different value?

Has Datuk Chua decided that he will make a better property valuer than he will as an accountant?

If Datuk Chua spends as much effort as he does visiting all parts of Selangor to carry out the responsibilities of his Ministry, then perhaps the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal would not have reached the ugly state it is suffering from today.

Let me ask Datuk Chua Tee Yong to state how many times has he visited the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) in the past year to resolve the NFCorp scandal?  Did he even visit the NFC a single time to perhaps count the number of cows being bred in the farm instead of making multiple fishing trips to the scenic Bestari Jaya lakes?

Has Datuk Chua Tee Yong delivered his ministerial responsibilities by finding out why a RM250 million soft loan was extended to NFCorp owned by UMNO Wanita Chief Datuk Shahrizat Jalil’s family in 2008, 2 years before a project implementation agreement was even signed between Ministry of Agriculture and NFCorp?

In fact, has Datuk Chua ever took the trouble to find out why NFCorp has not paid a single sen back to the Government despite the RM250 million loan being due for its first repayment installment since January 2012?  Can Datuk Chua provide an assurance to all Malaysians that every sen of the RM250 million will be collected back, whether in the form of cash or assets just as the Selangor government has managed to successfully collect back the RM392 million Talam debts?

If not, then perhaps Datuk Chua could give Malaysians a reason why he is fit to be the Deputy Minister of Agriculture other than to be the errand boy for the Selangor Umno warlord and Minister, Datuk Noh Omar.
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