Mara to sell Ashley House in Britain to repay loans, says ex-chairman

KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) is selling the Ashley House in Britain to repay loans used to purchase four controversial properties in Melbourne, Australia.

Its former chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa, whose term ended last Friday, said Mara wanted to pay back 70% of the loans taken from Australia’s Westpac Bank and Abu Dhabi bank.

“If we get good offers (for other overseas properties), Mara is prepared to sell,” Annuar said at the Parliament Hari Raya open house yesterday.

He added that Mara had also decided to stop investing in properties outside of Malaysia.

On the controversial properties in Australia, Annuar said those properties would not be sold until Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­mission (MACC) investigations were completed.

He also confirmed that Dudley International House in Melbourne was a Mara-owned property.

Australian daily The Age claimed that Mara overpaid for the student housing facility by A$4.75mil (RM13.8mil). He denied the money trail that was painted as being linked to senior Mara officials.

“Dudley House’s developer is a Malaysian. The trail doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Mara,” Annuar said.

Annuar also said Mara’s director-general had received a notification to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

A number of Mara officials have been called up by the MACC over the Dudley House purchase, but only the board chairman Datuk Mohammad Lan Allani and CEO of Mara’s subsidiary company Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Rahim have been suspended.

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