MP wants MACC to act on Mara building scandal in Australia

Dudley House was bought by Mara for use as a student hostel in 2013. It was sold in 2017.

PETALING JAYA: An MP has called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to act on a scandal involving Mara’s purchase of a multi-million dollar apartment complex in Australia in 2013.

This comes after Australian authorities charged a man, Teen Boon Lye, with bribing a Malaysian official to secure the sale of the building called Dudley House in Melbourne.

According to a report by Sydney Morning Herald, Teen was charged on July 9, some five years after an expose which revealed the price of the property had been inflated by A$4.75 million to provide kickbacks to a group of Malaysian officials.

The original price for the property was A$17.85 million but it was later sold for A$22.6 million, with the A$4.75 million paid or promised to people, including individuals allegedly named Zach Zainal and Erwan Azizi, with the intention of influencing a Malaysian public official to secure the sale of the property.

In a statement, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said the charging of Teen has put the MACC and Putrajaya under the spotlight.

Teresa Kok

“Malaysians are now watching closely whether the MACC and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) will take action on the Malaysian officials involved in this corruption case,” she said.

Kok said MACC should take the cue from Australian authorities and track Zach and Erwan down.

“It will not be hard for the Malaysian authorities to track these two middlemen,” she said.

She said that on March 18, 2016, it was reported that then Mara chairman Annuar Musa had delivered relevant documents to the MACC, and the following year, then rural and regional development minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said MACC had almost completed its probe on the scandal.

“However, four years later, MACC has not taken any action on the Malaysian officials named in the transaction of the said property in Australia.

“The action taken by the Australian police on Teen will certainly raise eyebrows here on whether the MACC and AGC Malaysia will take similar action on the Malaysian officials who were involved in the case.”

Kok said the Perikatan Nasional-led government should “walk the talk” on eradicating corruption by taking action against Malaysian officials involved in the scandal.

“It will be a shame to the government and the people if it is not seen to be doing anything on this case,” she said.