Mara alleged to have overpaid for three properties in Melbourne

Akmal Nasir

KUALA LUMPUR: Mara Inc. are alleged to have overpaid about A$19.1mil (RM66.2 mil) for three properties purchased in Melbourne.

After exposing two controversial purchases, National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW)
executive director Akmal Nasir (pic) on Wednesday revealed that Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) had overpaid about A$5.35mil (RM18 mil) for a third property - at 51 Queen Street - in March 2013.

On Tuesday, NOW had claimed that Mara Inc. had bought a 333 Exhibition Street for A$31mil (RM89mil), although its market value was only A$22mil (RM63mil) six months earlier.

Last week, Australian daily The Age reported that top Mara officials overpaid A$4.75mil (RM17.6mil) for Dudley International House ain 2013.

"The purchase of the properties was made using the same method as the purchase of the Dudley House where the price paid by Mara Inc was far higher than the market value," said Akmal at a press conference Wednesday.

He also questioned if a fourth property - 746 Swanston Street - which was purchased for A$41.8mil (RM138.6mil) was also overpaid.

"It was impossible for the price of properties to increase to such an amount within three months for 51 Queen Street and six months for 333 Exhibition Street," he said.

He also alleged that the buildings were sold by Quintessential Group of Companies to an unnamed buyer before it was then sold to Mara.

"Tan Sri Annuar Musa (Mara chairman) should immediately release information about the unnamed buyer. Who they are? The public wants to know," he said.

He also urged the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the matter.

Annuar was reported as saying on Tuesday that the revelations were nothing new and suggested that it was better for NOW to report the matter to the MACC instead of going to the press.

"Those who want publicity will go to the press, those who are interested in action and justice to be taken will go to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission," he said.

NOW , Mara , Melbourne land purchase


Across The Star Online