Actions on Mara will be taken after investigations complete

MACC have taken statements from all relevant officials


NECESSARY actions will be taken on Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) once the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) completes its probe on the entity.

Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (picture) said he refused to interfere on any matter surrounding Mara over its leadership crisis as investigations are still ongoing.

“I do not want to interfere because MACC is still investigating the matter.

“We will let it complete before deciding on what needs to be done,” he said in a press briefing during the launch of the eDesa application in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He was responding to a question on the need for the entity to be restructured following the scandal with regards to integrity issues implicating its senior officers.

The anti-graft agency had taken statements from five Mara officials linked to the scandal involving its investment holding company, Mara Corp Bhd, on Feb 11.

The five officers had also lodged a police report denying all allegations as stated in a letter to Mara chairman Datuk Seri Azizah Mohd Dun dated Jan 30.

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

Separately, Mahdzir launched an application which focuses on promoting products made by small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) from rural areas nationwide.

eDesa is expected to gain 20,000 registered vendors by year-end to enable entrepreneurs from the outskirts to gain additional income through the platform.

“Among the methods required to improve the sector today is via e-commerce. eDesa offers local products made from those in the rural area and enables them to promote their businesses,” he said yesterday.

eDesa is also expected to pick up traction during the fasting month and is targeting 1,000 registered vendors during the period.

To date, the platform has 500 registered vendors.

eDesa MD Saiful Zaharin Zakariya said the platform was first introduced in 2020 specifically for Ramadhan bazaars in Padang Terap, Kedah. It had 40 registered vendors and 30 runners on the platform.

“When the fasting month ended, our friends requested for us to expand the platform to other states but at the time, the existing platform was not able to accommodate the nationwide demands.

“We then developed an application that only focuses on locally made products,” he said in his opening speech yesterday.

From June 2020 until June 2021, eDesa was expanded to the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia and had 250 vendors.

In January 2022, eDesa was expanded to nationwide and now aims to get 1,000 vendors. He added that only products from the rural area are allowed to be sold on the platform and no registration fees will be charged for vendors.

There will only be a service charge of 3%, which will be calculated based on the number of products sold.

The platform was developed by DZ Media, which is an SME and the concept as well as model for the platform was based on the current issues surrounding local SMEs.