Thursday, March 04, 2010

Selangor MB silences critics with RM50 million debt recovery

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim proved his naysayers wrong by successfully collecting more than RM50 million in cash and assets from developer Talam Corp Bhd after acquiring its debts from state firms.

The Selangor mentri came under fire last November for getting the state to buy up RM392 million in debts which Talam owed to three state companies, all accumulated during Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo’s administration.

“We have so far collected more than RM50 million and we hope to collect the rest within the year,” Khalid told The Malaysian Insider last night.

His action was initially criticised by the Barisan Nasional (BN) opposition and also by former PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim, who has since left the party.

In an internal party email to Selangor PKR lawmakers last year, which was also leaked to the press, Salehuddin lashed out at Khalid for acquiring Talam’s debts without first briefing the party.

He had also demanded an explanation because the party was “kept in the dark”. There were also allegations the debt buy-out would incur additional cost including consultancy charges which would profit some quarters.

Khalid explained that “moral suasion” or persuasion tactics was used to compel Talam to settle what it owed in a “gentlemanly” manner.

He said anyone who wants to do business (property development) in Selangor must partner the state in a positive manner or face administrative difficulties.

The state holds considerable power when approving developments in the state and this was brought to bear on the company — to fulfil its debt obligations.

The Selangor state assembly last year approved a supplementary budget of RM392 million to Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI) in order to take over the debts from state subsidiaries before any move could be made to collect from Talam.

Khalid had explained Talam’s debts were from several real-estate development joint ventures with state subsidiaries over the past 10 years.

The debts collected by MBI will be injected into the state government’s consolidated fund.

Previously, the debts were neither recognised or recorded in the accounts of the state firms as the creditor.

Khalid had pointed out the state risked writing off the debts in the state firms if no proper action was taken.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

No comments: