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Friday December 7, 2012

Chua: Khalid unaware of what’s happening in Talam issue

New and improved: Chua signing on a plaque to mark the opening of a revamped sundry shop under the Tukar programme
in Pasir Puteh near Ipoh. New and improved: Chua signing on a plaque to mark the opening of a revamped sundry shop under the Tukar programme in Pasir Puteh near Ipoh.

IPOH: Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is unaware of what is happening in the Talam debt recovery exercise, said MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong.

“Khalid does not even dare to say there is a problem and neither has he denied the fact that Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB) has appointed an auditor to further investigate the matter.

“It is surprising that after two years there is still a need for further investigation, even with the White Paper on Talam and KPMG's audit report where all the answers are clearly stated,” Chua said after opening a new Retail Shop Transformation Programme (Tukar) sundry shop here yesterday.

Khalid had reportedly called on Chua to go to the Securities Commission if the latter felt that debts owed by Talam Corp Bhd had been shrunk.

However, in a media report yesterday, Khalid deflected questions by reporters on whether the revelation by Chua was true, saying KHSB would make the necessary announcement on the matter.

Chua had recently cited a report from the Bursa Malaysia, revealing that Talam's debt and penalty interest amounting to RM236mil owed to KHSB had been reduced to RM115mil.

In the Nov 28 announcement, KHSB auditor AKN Arif said further investigations needed to be carried out to find out if proper procedures had been followed, including compliance with the Main Market Listing Requirements.

On July 3, Chua questioned how an exercise to recover RM392mil from Talam ended up in questionable deals worth more than RM1bil.

The deals included Talam assets accepted at RM676mil and a RM392mil grant obtained by the Mentri Besar Incorporated to facilitate the debt recovery exercise.

On the Tukar programme, Chua said 1,020 sundry shops nationwide have undergone transformation under the programme since its inception last year.

From the figure, 72% sundry shops were owned by the Malays, with the rest belonging to other races.

Chua said more non-Malays were encouraged to participate in Tukar with the relaxation on its rules, which included the flexibility on the types of products to be sold (non-halal) and the arrangement requirements.

Under Tukar, traditional sundry shops are offered the option to upgrade and undergo a facelift.

Chua said MCA had been encouraging the Chinese to take part in the programme through Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia (Kojadi) with the cooperation from the Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants.

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