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Mara: Dudley House civil suit nothing to do with us

KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) is not involved in an Australian court case relating to a Melbourne apartment that was allegedly bought at above market value by its former officials.

Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said that two parties unrelated to Mara were engaged in a civil suit on the matter involving Dudley International House which Mara owns.

He did not identify the two parties and said that the case, which was still pending in the court, had nothing to do with Mara.

“We remain the statutory owners of the building and it is operating as normal.

“It (the civil suit) does not create any problem as we are not party to the suit,” he added.

Australian newspaper The Age reported last year that “a group of extremely rich Malaysian officials” overpaid when buying the apartment in 2013.

A top Mara officer, a senior official and a former politician had allegedly paid A$22.5mil (RM74mil) for the apartment – A$4.75mil (RM15.6mil) more than its value of A$17.8mil (RM58.5mil), The Age reported.

The newspaper also reported that the building developer in Australia allegedly issued a false invoice detailing “a consultation service” that was paid to a Malaysian firm.

All three individuals were said to have overbid on the building, with the difference allegedly pocketed as bribes in Malaysia.

Two former senior officers of Mara’s subsidiary, Mara Inc, and another person were remanded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in March last year for investigation and released.

Annuar said the MACC probe was still going on.

“We must send a clear signal that we are not here to do monkey business but to uphold public trust with a high level of integrity,” he said.

On another matter, Annuar said Mara Inc had sold one of its four properties in Australia to pay off its bank loans in that country.

He said Mara Inc made a profit when it sold its 12-storey office building on 51st Queen Street in Melbourne last year for A$23.4mil (RM76.9mil), after paying A$21mil (RM69mil) for it about two years ago.

Mara Inc will hold on to its three remaining properties in Australia which have a combined value of almost RM300mil, he said.

He said the buildings were being rented out to Melbourne University staff and students, as well as others.

mara , annuar musa , dudley house , Mara Inc , MACC