More calls for MACC to act on Mara’s Aussie deal

Malaysians are now watching closely whether MACC and AGC will take action on the officials involved in the case

pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

OPPOSITION lawmakers are urging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to take action over reports of bribery over the sale of the Dudley House in Melbourne, Australia.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok called on Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to “walk the talk”, and have MACC to begin probing on the scandal involving Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) purchase of a multimillion-dollar apartment complex in Australia in 2013.

“Malaysians are now watching closely whether the MACC and the Attorney General’s Chambers will take action on the Malaysian officials involved in this corruption case,” Kok said in a statement yesterday.

This comes after Australian authorities charged Teen Boon Lye with bribing a Malaysian official to secure the sale of the Dudley House.

A report by Australian daily Sydney Morning Herald stated that Teen was charged on July 9, some five years after an expose which revealed the price of the property had been inflated by A$4.75 million (RM14.25 million) to provide kickbacks to a group of Malaysian officials.

According to court documents filed at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, it was alleged that the agreed sale price of the property was A$17.85 million but it was later sold for A$22.6 million, with US$4.7 million (RM19.69 million) paid to Malaysian officials.

“The charging of Teen has now put the MACC and Malaysian government in the spotlight.

“The MACC take a cue from Australian investigators who have identified the two middlemen known as Zach Zainal and Erwan Azi, as receiving or being promised to receive, the RM14.25 million as a bribe to influence a Malaysian public official to obtain or retain business in the sale of a residential apartment complex,” she said.

Kok reckoned it would not be hard for the Malaysian authorities to track the duo.

She said former Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa had delivered the relevant documents to the MACC on March 18, 2016. Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who served as rural and regional development minister the following year, also noted that a probe by MACC on the scandal was almost complete.

Meanwhile, Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said the Mara scandal was first raised in the Dewan Rakyat by former Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli (picture) who had highlighted that Mara had bought at least four properties in Melbourne at an inflated price.

Failure to act against those who received the bribes in Malaysia will raise questions on accountability and transparency in the way public funds are managed at Mara.

“The current minister and chairman of Mara should focus their efforts to bring those responsible to justice and get back millions of ringgit worth of funds under Mara,” Akmal Nasrullah said at a press conference in Parliament yesterday.