KPMG auditors find S’gor-Talam deal above board
Aidila Razak (MKini)
2:42PM Sep 5, 2012
Independent auditors have found that the Selangor government had made “sound commercial decisions” in its debt recovery exercise from Talam Corporation Bhd.
“It was purely a debt settlement arrangement.
“(Audit firm) KPMG is of the view that Selangor made a sound commercial decision under the circumstances… at that point in time,” KPMG’s report as read out by Selangor MB Abdul Khalid Ibrahim noted.
KPMG also found that based on state records, the assets obtained from Talam “are sufficient for Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI)… to recover Talam debts, with no debt waiver by MBI”.
Also present at the press conference was Chan Siew Mei, executive director of KPMG’s advisory unit.
Chan said the review was conducted over a period of one month and the scope was “strictly to check on transactions and supporting documents”.
“It was not to see if allegations (against the state) were true or not,” she said.
Asked if she had found instances where the value of land assets involved were lower than the debt it was to offset, she said: “The short answer is yes.”
“But the details are answered in the (state prepared and KPMG-vetted) frequently asked questions (FAQ),” she said.
However, the MB added that at no time was the state “shortchanged” as provisions were put in place to ensure that Talam would make up the difference if the land does not match the value of the debt.
‘FAQ to help MCA friends’
In the four-page FAQ, the question on overpriced assets was answered by saying that the audit found that the valuations “supported the gross consideration which was agreed upon by MBI”.
“Hence the records showed no situations of assets being overpriced,” it read.
According to the MB, the FAQ was put together to assist the media and public, “and your MCA friends” to understand the issue better.
He added that the report will be made public and tabled, alongside a white paper on the matter at the November assembly sitting.
“(KPMG’s) conclusion demonstrates that the debt recovery was legal, ethical, done in good faith and has in no way compromised the interest of the state, its subsidiaries or the people of Selangor,” he said.
He said that if MCA, which has asserted that the Selangor government was involved in a RM1 billion fiasco, still needs assistance to understand, they can consult any of the state’s four appointed spokespersons.
They are Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Selayang MP William Leong, Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad and Selangor MB’s political secretary Faekah Husin.
“If they don’t like Pua’s face, they can get a nice explanation from Dzulkefly or a female one by Faekah, or from a friendly lawyer by the name of William Leong,” he quipped.
He added that the state will proceed with legal action if MCA continues to assert that it was involved in a RM1 billion scandal.