PUTRAJAYA (July 19): MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong has hit out at Tony Pua, saying the DAP national publicity secretary "is not fit to debate (with) me because it would be unfair as I am a qualified accountant with both internal and external qualifications".
In his blog Philosophy Politics Economics, Pua, who is Petaling Jaya Utara MP, had challenged the Labis MP to a debate "to end his (Chua's) misery once and for all" over the Talam debt recovery exercise which Chua claimed was a RM1 billion bailout of the company.
The DAP and MCA MPs had been engaged in a war of words over the Talam debt recovery exercise with Chua making a series of allegations against the Selangor state government and Pua countering his claims.
Chua told a press conference in Putrajaya on Thursday that Pua had misled the public on the figures for Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd's (PNSB) total assets when the DAP MP said PNSB thrived under the Pakatan Rakyat government.
He said Pua had "forgotten" to mention PNSB's accumulated profit of RM250 million in 2007. "This shows that PNSB was profit making during its years under Barisan Nasional. I'm surprised that being a DAP spokesman for economy, Tony Pua doesn't know how to read a simple balance sheet."
In a statement on Tuesday, Pua said PNSB had seen a "massive increase" in cash reserves last year despite a RM230 million loan to acquire land from the Selangor government in 2010.
This followed Chua's allegation last Thursday that the state agency, which is a property developer, was saddled with a RM316 million debt carrying an interest of RM89 million as part of the state government's debt recovery exercise with Talam Corporation Bhd (now Trinity Corporation Bhd).
Chua, who is the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, said Pua had calculated only PNSB's current assets and failed to include its non-current assets and total liabilities.
"The actual total assets for 2008 were RM301 million, not RM111 million (as Pua said)," he said. "Pua also forgot to mention that when total assets increase so do total liabilities."
"PNSB's total liabilities shot up after the debt recovery exercise to RM27 million and RM497 million in 2009 and 2011 respectively."
On a separate matter, Chua said that his ministry was seeking to table the proposed Animal Welfare Bill in Parliament by 2013.
The draft bill had received over 5,000 views and 2,000 comments when it was displayed online for public viewing between June 19 and July 6, 2012, he said, adding that 90.9% of the viewers, the majority of whom were pet owners, agreed to the ministry's recommendations.
He added that the section on transportation of animals received the most support (99.58%) while the exception clause received the least (79.66%).
"I have asked the ministry to provide a more detailed explanation on the exception clause during the second round of public feedback," Chua said.
"Many pet owners were against dogs or cats being killed but we are talking about emergency cases involving livestock like bird flu or mad cow disease. There must be an effective way to cull livestock to ensure human safety and we must have this clause as a safeguard that."
Chua also highlighted a new provision in the bill on preventive offences whereby a repeated offender can be barred from owning pets or operating his business for a set period of time.
This inclusion, he said, would be more effective than merely apprehending an offender and imposing a fine.
"There is also a regulation whereby the public and NGOs can undergo our training to be our eyes and ears," Chua added. "At least they will know what steps are required to ensure that a case has enough evidence for the offender to be charged in court."
The second round of online public viewing will take place next month.