Mara officials took the bribe, insists The Age

“We have the signed affidavits and ‘false’ invoices to back our stand”.

MELBOURNE: While Malaysian politicians and government officials were scrambling to douse the fires that flared up following the Dudley International House purchase that reeked of corruption, The Age newspaper stood by its expose.

The Age which broke the story earlier this month had reported that Mara Inc, a subsidiary of Malaysian public agency Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) which had been set up to help the rural poor, bought the apartment block for an inflated RM65 million at that time of purchase.

The extra RM13.8 million that Mara paid was for “commission” and for “services rendered” to senior Mara officials, said the Melbourne newspaper.

The sale of Dudley House raised questions during a liquidation proceeding in the Victorian Supreme Court last year.

The people who brokered the deal have since admitted in a sworn testimony that they inflated the price of the property.

Investigations into the dodgy deal began last year when a disgruntled builder contracted to refurbish the apartment block claimed he was not paid by the new Malaysian owner and he approached the newspaper.

Mara chairman Annuar Musa had at first claimed the money paid for apartment block was the market value at the time of purchase, and that Prime Minister Najib Razak had approved the purchase.

The Prime Minister had since denied Anuar’s claim.

The chairman subsequently asserted in a interview “Mara did not lose any money as the market value was higher than the purchase price”.

The assertion that the property price wasn’t inflated is false, said Nick McKenzie who was one of the reporters in the Fairfax Media team investigating the deal. The Age comes under Fairfax Media.

“We have the ‘false invoices’ to prove that a bribe was indeed paid.”

Mara is now said to be conducting an internal investigation.

Mara officials took the bribe, insists The Age
June 29, 2015 – FMT


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