KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 ― Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) has sold off one of its four properties in Australia to settle loans used to purchase the assets.
Its chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the sale was carried out through an open tender which was managed by an international firm.
“With money from the sale, we will pay back loans borrowed from two banks in Australia,” he told reporters after attending the Corporate Discourse: Ideas on Upholding Amanah Rakyat here today.
However, Annuar did not disclose the property sale price.
The issue over property purchase by MARA was raised when the Australian newspaper, The Age, reported “a group of extremely rich Malaysian officials” overpaid by A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) to buy an apartment in Melbourne in 2013.
The officials among them, a top MARA officer, a senior official and a former politician allegedly used government funds worth millions of ringgit to purchase an apartment block at Dudley International House offering nearly A$5 million higher than the original A$17.8 million price.
The newspaper also claimed that the building developer in Australia issued a false invoice detailing “consultation service” paid to a Malaysian firm.
All three officers were said to have “overbid” for the building called “Dudley International House”, from A$17.8 million to A$22.5 million with the difference allegedly pocketed as bribes back in Malaysia.
Dudley International House is a student dormitory, bought by MARA which provides scholarships to Malaysian students to study abroad.
The five-storey Dudley International House building located in East Caulfield suburb houses 115 Monash University students. ― Bernama