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Wednesday July 11, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday May 30, 2013 MYT 12:13:16 AM
by teh eng hock
SHAH ALAM: Five local audit firms of international standing will be appointed by the Selangor state government to review the Talam Corporation debt restructuring exercise.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said Wednesday the process will be headed by retired accountant-general Datuk Mohd Salleh Mahmud to ensure independence.
Khalid was winding up the debate on the Supplementary Supply Bill 2012 when Wong Koon Mun (BN-Kuala Kubu Baru) and Sulaiman Razak (BN-Permatang) pressed him on details of the deal.
He refused to go into detail, saying it was better to leave it to the professionals as it would take a lot of time to "explain it one by one".
He said the auditors would be asked to verify if the exercise was properly conducted, and if the state government had taken any unnecessary risks.
"I do not want to explain it now. I want to explain it professionally. If you have half or a quarter of the information, you won't get a clear picture," he said.
From the findings of the audit firms, Khalid said it would be ascertained if the state managed to recover the debt owed to it, whether the deal was detrimental to the state, and if any misappropriation occurred.
At a press conference later, Khalid said the audit firms could start work as soon as next week.
"These are local audit firms with international affiliations such as Ernst and Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers," he said.
On why the white paper was delayed for two years, Khalid said it could only be tabled when the transaction was completed.
"We said we will do it when the transaction is completed. There were some complications. Today, we are close to completion. A White Paper must be a completed paper, not something in progress.
"Although I did not table (the White Paper), if you look at the Hansard, I spent over 40 minutes explaining the exercise but maybe they (assemblymen) were too tired to listen," he said.
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