Annuar gives Mara Inc. 7 days to explain property deals in Australia

25 Jun 2015 / 12:03 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) has given its subsidiary, Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd, seven days to provide a detailed written explanation on all matters pertaining to various property deals in Australia.
Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa not only wants an account of the purchase of the Dudley Street Building in Melbourne raised by both theSun and The Age (Australia) newspaper, but also a report on the various transactions in Australia.
“Mara Inc CEO Datuk Abdul Halim Rahim came to see me yesterday (Monday), but I told him that I want a written report,” said Annuar.
He said a special meeting will be held within the next two weeks to probe this matter and discuss further action, based on the report to be provided to the council by Mara Inc.
Annuar said Mara will not deny the claims and allegations in the reports and is treating media reports as “information” to facilitate investigations.
On Tuesday, both theSun and The Age reported on questionable deals in the purchase of property by Mara Inc in Melbourne.
The report said a group of Malaysian officials had spent funds from a government agency to purchase the Dudley House apartment block, valued at A$17.8 million (RM51.7 million), at an “inflated” price of A$22.5 million (RM65.4 milion). The Malaysians had allegedly demanded a A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) bribe for the purchase.
Annuar said he was not aware that the value of the property had been inflated until he read the reports, but said there had been on-going audits of all its subsidiaries.
The reports said that Mara Inc officials had colluded with businessmen with connections, to buy property at inflated prices through shelf companies, based in tax havens Singapore and the British Virgin Islands.
The reports also claimed that there had been occurrences of fraud, corruption and money-laundering in these deals.
On another note, Annuar said proper procedures had been followed in the purchase of the property.
After approval by the Mara council, the green light has to be obtained from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry which then submits it to the Finance Ministry or the Economic Council for final
approval, he said.
On the alleged malpractices, Annuar said: “We will take action if it is within our scope. Otherwise, there will be another authority to take action.
“We will cooperate with the authorities investigating the case and will leave no stone unturned. We are very serious and will not condone wrongdoing. Those responsible will have to pay the price. We
are not protecting anybody.”
Annuar said Mara Inc has assets in Australia and in the United Kingdom worth more than RM600 million.
“At the moment, we are doing well as the yield is beyond our target. Revenue and income projections are on the right track,” he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said action will be taken against those found cheating or trying to deceive the members of the Economic Council by providing incorrect or inaccurate details.
He also said that some media organisations had twisted statements made by Annuar.
“I am upset that statements by Annuar had been twisted,” he tweeted. (This is in reference to a quote attributed to Annuar that Najib had given approval to the purchase of the property in Australia.)

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