Suspension was done according to procedure: Ismail Sabri

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix) has said the decision by the Mara council to suspend its chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa was done according to procedure as the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission announced it had opened a file on Annuar.

The Rural and Regional Development Minister said he had been informed by Mara's legal advisor that its council has the authority to suspend Annuar pending the outcome of an internal audit investigation, which had been recently launched.

"This is because this does not involve the appointment and removal of the chairman which lies under the Minister and approved by the Prime Minister," Ismail said in a statement, today after questions were raised if the council had the authority to suspend its chairman.

Ismail, who oversees Mara, said the suspension was needed as Annuar is currently being investigated by Mara's audit committee,

"(If Annuar continued) in his capacity as chairman, there will be concerns that he would influence the ongoing investigations," he said, adding that he hoped the audit will be completed quickly.

His response came after the Mara board unanimously decided to suspend Annuar from his posts as Mara and Pelaburan Mara Bhd (PMB) chairman following an emergency meeting at Mara's headquarters, this morning.

In a statement, the MACC said the probe will only involve Annuar's alleged involvement in sponsoring the Kelantan Football Association (Kafa) while an investigation on his alleged mismanagement of the council will be conducted by Mara's internal audit department.

The MACC said it will work with Mara's internal audit department in the course of the investigations.

Annuar was serving his second two-year term as Mara and PMB chairman, which began on Aug 12 last year. He was first appointed to the post in July 19, 2013.

The meeting also decided that council member Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob would assume all positions held by Annuar.

Annuar, who is Umno Information chief, is currently on a Mara working visit to New Zealand and said he will be returning to the country on Thursday.