KUALA LUMPUR: Mara chairman Annuar Musa wants Mara Inc to generate profits.
He said Mara Inc should not think that it could sleep on the job just because it was a subsidiary of Mara.
“Although Mara is an agency that engages in a lot of non-commercial activities, it has many commercial subsidiaries and I want them all to be doing well,” he said at a press conference at the Mara headquarters here today.
He said Mara could not rely completely on government funding and, thus, generating profits from its subsidiaries was all the more important.
“For example, in one instance, the government could only provide Mara with an allocation of RM3.7 billion, but with revenue from Mara’s subsidiaries, that total amount reached up to RM5.2 billion.”
Annuar said this was the rationale behind selling one of its properties in Melbourne, Australia.
“I want Mara Inc to operate with a capacity to generate profits, without needing any injection of funds from Mara and without being indebted to foreign banks.
“In the end, those profits will return as dividends to Mara, which can then use the money to carry out its non-commercial activities, including holding educational programmes.”
Yesterday, it was reported that Mara Inc had sold one of its four properties in Australia to settle its debts with two banks there.
Annuar said Mara had decided to sell that property through open tender a few months ago, adding that the sale was managed by an international firm.
According to Annuar, the loans in Australia were short-term ones which needed to be settled within two to three years and had put Mara Inc under a lot of pressure.
He said one of the properties was completely free of debt, while Mara Inc still owed more than RM80,000 for the other two buildings to a local bank for a loan period of three to four years.
He was confident that the annual revenue obtained by the two buildings was enough to pay off the loan as well as generate profits for Mara Inc.
Two years ago, Mara Inc was involved in a controversy after Australian newspaper The Age claimed it had purchased a five-storey apartment block at Dudley International House in Melbourne at a price which was above the market price.
The newspaper claimed that “a group of very rich Malaysian officers” had overpaid A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) for the apartment block in 2013.