Posted: 06 Apr 2014 05:43 PM PDT
The ARTICLE by the Star "Khalid Caught off guard" (March 29, 2014) indicated that Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has erred in his call as the deal that the state had entered into with Tropicana Corp Bhd exactly one year ago has returned to bite the back of the state government.
It was reported in several business dailies that under the deal, Tropicana acquired 1,172 acres from the state for RM1.3 billion to be paid over 20 years as the land is being developed. Under payment terms, Tropicana had to fork out RM50 million as deposit and make two advance payments over a period of six months. The remaining is to be paid with interest over various schedules stretching over 18 years. However, since then Tropicana has sold out a portion of the land to Eco World Development Group Bhd for a cash payment of RM470.57 million.
This has now prompted Khalid on behalf of the state government to seek for an accelerated payment of RM844.2 million, as it is the opinion that it is the current value of the land.
However, neither does the agreement restrict Tropicana from disposing a portion of the land to accelerate payment nor does it have to accelerate it payment to the state government as stated by the deal.
With the state government wanting the money back desperately and realising that the sale was a bad move, the Selangor state government, via Menteri Besar Selangor Inc, has made a fresh offer to Tropicana for the sale of the 1,297 acres of "Canal City" land on Friday.
This offer whereby Tropicana only needs to pay the net present value of RM844.3 million this time around compared with RM1.3 billion previously, which was supposed to be payable within 20 years.
Given the terms of the new deal which in my opinion heavily favours Tropicana and gives the perception that Selangor government could potentially lose millions of ringgit, the issue in contention would be how was the deal allowed to go through in the first place? How could the Menteri Besar allow any deal involving the state government to be signed with any party during the time when the state had a caretaker government in administration? Who had signed the deal if it was not Khalid?
The state government should look into the matter seriously as it involves the rakyat's money. The Pakatan-Rakyat government has always been a proponent of competency, accountability and transparency since it was elected to power since 2008. If necessary a Selcat hearing should be held in the nearest time soon to identify those responsible for the agreement.
YB DR. XAVIER JAYAKUMAR
Selangor State Assemblyman
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