MARA in Australia: the Dudley House purchase
25 June 2015
#Mara boss @AnnuarMusa must be sacked, @scheekeong & @zairilkj said http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/303006
DAP took Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairman Annuar Musa to task for the Dudley House apartments scandal and other cases of mismanagement, and called for his sacking.
The current controversy on the apartment purchase involves alleged kickbacks to Malaysian officials.
Previous property transactions have also been controversial, including the acquisition of three properties in London, namely the Ashley Hotel near Paddington Station, student hostel Beaumont House and service apartment Atelier EC1, the DAP said in a statement today.
On top of these, three other buildings in Melbourne’s CBD worth about A$63.5 million (RM183 million), were reportedly purchased through offshore shelf companies, the DAP said.
“Meanwhile, the 2013 Auditor-General’s Report highlighted discrepancies amounting to RM124.55 million in Mara’s procurement processes.
“In the same year, two senior Mara officials, Mara Education Foundation CEO Abdul Shariff Hamid, who was also a former Overseas Umno Club secretary, and programme manager Zainal Rashid Zakaria, were convicted of forgery pertaining to claims amounting to RM304,650.
“This year, four Mara officials were charged in the High Court in Kuala Lumour for false travel claims amounting to tens of thousands of ringgit,” DAP said in the statement.
24 June 2015
Did the media twist the words of Annuar Musa, MARA boss?
An excerpt of the transcript of the interview with Annuar Musa, MARA chairman
Journalist: Tan Sri, you said the purchase had to go through the economic council chaired by the prime minister, right?
Journalist: So the prime minister had to approve this purchase before it was purchased?
Journalist: Did the prime minister have to approve the deal before the purchase went through?
Annuar: Yes, it is part of the procedure.
Jun 24, 2015
PM claims media twisted Mara boss’ remarks
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has claimed that certain media organisations had purportedly twisted the remarks of Mara chairperson Annuar Musa.
This is with regard to a quote attributed to Annuar that Najib had approved the purchase of a property in Australia, which has become the subject of scrutiny.
“The decision is made based on consensus by the economic council,” tweeted Najib, who is also finance minister.
Earlier, Malaysiakini reported Annuar as saying that any investment made by Mara had to be approved by the Finance Ministry or the government economic council chaired by Najib.
“It is part of the procedure. It is brought to the Mara council and then to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry before it goes to the Finance Ministry or the economic council,” he said.
When Malaysiakini specifically asked the Mara chairperson if the prime minister had to approve the deal before the purchase was made, Annuar replied: “Yes, that is part of the procedure.
Click on this link for a recording of the interview: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/302967
COULD SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS?
If Mara Inc had probed the purchase of Dudley House in Melbourne 2 months ago, and found everything according to procedure, what kind of a probe was it?
Mara Inc probe started two months ago, says Annuar Musa: http://bit.ly/1LlgtXI
Wednesday June 24, 2015 MYT 11:59:27 AM
Mara Inc probe started two months ago, says Annuar Musa
KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) had conducted an internal probe on Mara Inc, about two months before Australian paper The Age reported on its controversial investment in Melbourne.
Annuar said the purchase of Dudley House in Melbourne was according to procedure and the National Economic Council was aware of it. He said they were not aware of claims that the value of the property had been inflated or claims that officials had received kickbacks.
“Mara Inc officials have been given seven days to response to the allegations in writing,” he said.
Najib gave final okay for purchase of Melbourne property, says Mara chairman
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in approving Mara’s purchase of the Melbourne property that was alleged to have been bought in a scam, highlighted by The Age newspaper yesterday.
Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said that the purchase of any property by the council had to go through procedures, including a final approval by the Finance Ministry or the Economic Council (EC) Najib is finance minister and chair of the EC.”It is part of the procedure for the prime minister to approve.
“After the purchase is approved by Mara, it goes to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, and after that, it is approved by MoF or the Economic Council,” Annuar said in a press conference at the Mara headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Cops jump into
@maragov scandal after PM’s concern @NajibRazak http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/302890 @PDRMsia @KBAB51
Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar told Malaysiakini that police are determining if there are elements of CBT (criminal breach of trust). “Otherwise the matter will be pursued by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC),” he said.
Khalid said if the police initiate an investigation, then all those connected to the matter would be quizzed. Responding to a question, he said this included recording a statement from Mara chairperson Annuar Musa.
23 June 2015
Mara accused of involvement in Aussie property scam.
Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, 24 June to address allegations of corruption with regard to a property deal in Melbourne, Australia.
PAC to call up Mara on overpriced property deals
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1469528?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed — This building is at the centre of the allegations of money laundering and bribes. The student hostel apartment bought by Mara was called the Dudley International House apartment block, located at the suburb of Caulfield. In May last year, Bernama reported that several Mara board directors and executives, headed by its chairperson Annuar Musa were in Melbourne to inspect two properties Mara had acquired, at a cost of about A$60 million, to house its students. The 12-storey building at 746, Swanston Street, minutes away from the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, has 281 apartments, while the five-storey Dudley International House in the suburb of Caulfield, will accommodate 113 Mara students attending Monash University. The Swanston Street building was formerly a hostel for nurses. Spokesman for the Mara group, Zainal Zol said Mara had more than 1,000 students in Australia with 309 based in melbourne and more than 500 in Sydney. He said the visiting Mara leaders were pleased with the agency’s property acquisitions here. http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/302755 —
Mara to address Melbourne property deal allegations tomorrow http://dlvr.it/BJ5Kxs
Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) will hold a press conference on Wednesday to address allegations of corruption with regard to a property deal in Melbourne, Australia. … Meanwhile, sources have declined to comment on the issue raised in Australian daily The Age, saying that it was currently under investigation and that Mara would be making an official statement on the matter. http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/06/23/Mara-Melbourne-property-deal-PC/ — The Age
Corrupt overseas buyers ramp up property price, burn locals
Fairfax Media can reveal that a group of super-rich Malaysian officials, spending their own government’s investment funds, have bid up the price of a Melbourne apartment block from $17.8 million to $22.5 million. The extra $4.75 million was then laundered out of Australia and allegedly paid as bribes in Malaysia. … About $80 million worth of Australian property, including office or apartment blocks in Swanston, Queen and Exhibition streets in Melbourne’s CBD, are implicated in dealings by the same group of high-ranking Malaysians. … … Fairfax Media uncovered the alleged criminal scheme by tracing the purchase of tens of millions of dollars of Australian properties via tax haven shelf companies in the British Virgin Islands and Singapore. The Dudley House apartment block in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield is at the centre of the transactions. It was bought in 2013 by a Malaysian government agency called MARA. Those allegedly involved include top Malaysian government officials and Chinese-Malay businessmen. According to property records and confidential emails, the Malaysian figures demanded a $4.75 million bribe in return for guaranteeing that the funds would flow from the Malaysian government to buy the building. Read the rest of the report: http://www.theage.com.au/national/corrupt-overseas-buyers-ramp-up-property-price-burn-locals-20150622-ghu5pn.html —
Mara, top officials fingered in Aussie property scam http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/302755 | https://twibble.io
Top Malaysian government officials and a former politician were alleged to spend RM65 million of public funds to purchase an apartment block in Melbourne, Australia, overpaying by RM13.7 million to allow for kickbacks back home. … “The Malaysian firms that received the alleged kickbacks are closely linked to a senior figure at the Malaysian government investment agency, Mara. “Another figure involved is a senior Malaysian official and former politician with close links to a Malaysian cabinet minister,” said the report. Malaysiakini has e-mailed Rural and Regional Development Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal under whose watch Mara falls, Mara’s director-general Ibrahim Ahmad and its deputy director-general Salmah Hayati Ghazali for their responses to the corruption allegations. — Malay Mail Online Aussie paper links MARA officials, Malaysian ‘elites’ to A$4.75m inflated buy of Melbourne property KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 ― In a damning news report published today, Australian daily The Age incriminated top officials of Malaysia’s Bumiputera empowerment agency and two “elite” Malay businessmen to the purchase of a questionable Melbourne property said to be inflated by A$4.75 million (RM13.7 million). The Age said an eight-month-long investigation by Fairfax Media ― its parent publishing house ― uncovered a massive trail of documents across three continents to find out the real deal behind the A$22.5 million price tag (RM65.03 million) “for a building designed like an IKEA cupboard [that] seemed well above the odds”. “Fairfax Media can reveal that a group of super-rich Malaysian officials, spending their own government’s investment funds, have bid up the price of a Melbourne apartment block from US$17.8 million to US$22.5 million. The extra US$4.75 million was then laundered out of Australia and allegedly paid as bribes in Malaysia,” the newspaper said. – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/aussie-paper-links-mara-officials-malaysian-elites-to-a4.75m-inflated-buy-o?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed#sthash.pbQuWR7f.dpuf —–
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