Mara Corp crisis far from over

Officials detect an internal issue involving the signatories of the document related to the misuse of the firm’s corporate credit card

by AZREEN HANI / pic by TMR FILE

THE controversy surrounding Mara Corp Sdn Bhd remains far from over as five of its senior officers accused of having integrity issues and power abuses lodged a police report yesterday.

In the police reports sighted by The Malaysian Reserve, these officers denied all allegations as stated in a letter to the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairman Datuk Seri Azizah Mohd Dun dated Jan 30.

The letter was made viral following exposure in a Twitter account last week.

In the police report, one of the officers claimed that the individual who signed the document was trying to divert the issue of power abuse that he had allegedly committed from the chairman.

The report stated that Mara Corp officials had detected an internal issue involving the signatories of the document related to the misuse of the company’s corporate credit card.

He said the investigation carried out since the beginning of last year found that the signatory of the letter violated the policy on the use of the facility by using the credit card for his political and personal activities.

The five officers are also expected to lodge another report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on this matter.

Last Friday, Mara had said that it views the issue of the dissemination of the internal administrative document to the public seriously, as it created a negative perception towards the organisation and its subsidiary.

According to Azizah, a probe into Mara Corp has already begun by reviewing relevant internal documents to ensure the company is always well managed.

“Mara always prioritises integrity practices in our organisation,” she said in a statement last Friday, adding that if there is any misconduct in the administration of its subsidiary, Mara will not compromise or protect any individual involved.

Separately, MACC also confirmed that it has received a report on alleged integrity issues involving several senior officers of Mara who are being investigated internally by the agency.

MACC in a statement over the weekend stressed that it takes the allegation seriously and that investigation will start today by taking the testimony of several witnesses from MARA Corp.

“Investigations will be conducted under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act 2009 relating to the offence of any public body officer who uses his/her position or position to obtain bribes,” the statement read.

This is not the first time that Mara’s subsidiary has been embroiled with a leadership crisis as last year, the agency dismissed its 20 top executives, including CEO, Datuk Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, who were put in charge of all commercial undertakings of Mara.

It is learned that at least half of these executives had also filed a lawsuit against Mara Corp for unlawful dismissal without proper notice.

The trial is set for August, though a source close to the matter said there is still room for an out-of-court settlement as it could dent the firm’s reputation further.

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.