PM urged to review Mara Corp dismissal case

The group is open for discussions with govt

by AZREEN HANI / Pic by BERNAMA

PRIME Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob should review the dismissal of 20 Mara Corp Sdn Bhd’s top executives, as the revival of the firm remains vital for the national agenda, sources say.

Last May, at least half of these sacked execs were claiming unjust dismissal without proper notice, sources said.

With the appointment of Ismail Sabri as Malaysia’s ninth PM, the group sees a glimmer of hope, at least a room of discussion, considering that Mara Corp itself was the PM’s brainchild.

“Hopefully, the PM will look into this case because we were brought in to do exactly what he wanted when he established Mara Corp in 2016 — to manage and revive Mara (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) companies and its assets,” one of the sources told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

“And that was what we were doing, most of us took pay cuts to help Mara Corp because we believe in the revival and the national agenda,” the source added.

The net worth of Mara companies is said to be up to RM1.4 billion. Mara Corp — aimed to be the investment holding company — is tasked to ensure the proper, strategic business direction for these firms to ensure profitable returns and dividends for the government and ultimately, the people.

“We hope the PM will look into what we have planned and this is the opportune time for Mara’s revival.

“What we wanted to do was cut short, and we hope this issue and the plan will be reviewed because it is in line with the national agenda as well,” the source said.

The 20 top professionals, including former CEO Datuk Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, were recruited in December 2020 from outside the agency to form a subsidiary that was put in charge of all commercial undertakings of Mara, an agency under the Rural Development Ministry.

However, internal disagreement and resistance to the outsiders contributed to their termination, less than three months on the job. They were then sent for garden leave from November last year.

In February, TMR sighted the termination notice sent to some of the individuals. It was also believed that Badlisyah was also served the same notice.

According to the source, the Industrial Court has set a mention date for the case in October, but the group said it is open for discussion, and not ruling out the out-of-court settlement.

“We are confident of our case, but of course it would be nicer to resolve it out of court.

“At the end of the day, we are professionals, we just want to do our job the best we can for the nation, it is better to have it resolved peacefully,” the sources said.