MACC may file charges over Mara’s Melbourne property scandal

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is looking at the possibility of charging certain individuals in the country over the acquisition of a student housing facility in Melbourne by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) seven years ago, in the wake of the latest move on the case by Australian authorities.

Previous reports claimed that the Malaysian government agency had overpaid by A$4.75mil for the Dudley International House.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said the probe into the case had been completed at the domestic level but investigators faced a “slight hiccup” as they had to give some leeway to other authorities, including the Australian Federal Police (AFP), to complete their case before it was concluded recently.

“With that, we have already communicated with AFP and there is progress where evidence that we need will be given to us soonest.

“Therefore, we are discussing with the deputy public prosecutor to see if there are possible charges against certain people in the country based on the evidence provided by AFP,” he told reporters at the “Corporate Liability – Are You At Risk?” forum here yesterday.

Azam was asked to comment on the latest report on the Mara property scandal as Australian authorities seized properties and cash totalling A$1.6mil from a man said to be a Malaysian living in Australia who is accused of bribing a Malaysian official to secure Mara’s purchase of the multimillion-dollar apartment complex in Melbourne in 2013.

The Dudley property scandal was first highlighted by the Australian media, which led to a revelation of other properties said to have also been bought at inflated prices.

“If the law allows us to, we will charge certain people over the Mara case,” said Azam.

Asked if MACC would meet with the individuals involved, Azam said he would not comment on it.

Meanwhile, the MACC chief commissioner confirmed that investigation papers were opened by the Pahang MACC into the issue of alleged encroachment in Raub for the cultivation of Musang King durian.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail recently said

the state government had never intended to oppress durian farmers, who cultivated the crop illegally in Raub district.

He also stressed that action taken by the state government was based on the provisions allowed under the law.

On Aug 28, Kuantan High Court judge Justice Zainal Azman Ab Aziz allowed the farmers’ application to obtain a temporary suspension order against the eviction notice issued by the Raub District and Land Office and the Pahang Forestry Department.

The application was made after the state government began taking action against farmers who allegedly cultivated durian plantations around Raub illegally in early August and caused losses to the state government as well as water pollution issues.

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