MACC seeks prosecution in Mara’s 2015 Australian property scandal

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki speaks to members of the media during a Transparency International forum at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur September 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki speaks to members of the media during a Transparency International forum at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur September 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is discussing with the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to see if charges can be brought against several individuals in Malaysia in connection with the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) property scandal in Australia.

Its chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said MACC’s investigation into the scandal has been completed for some time.

“Currently there is a hiccup as we are cooperating with the Australian Federal Police on this, so space should be given for them to complete their probe,” he told reporters after attending a Transparency International forum on corporate liability here today.

Azam said the possible charges against individuals in Malaysia will be based on evidence provided to the MACC by the AGC.

“If the DPP agrees to it, then we will do the needful to bring the charges against them,” he said, referring to the deputy public prosecutor.

The scandal first came to light in 2015, after eight months of extensive investigations by Australian media outlets The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

It revealed that the Dudley International House in Melbourne was originally valued at A$17.85 million (RM53.9 million) but was subsequently sold for A$22.6 million (RM68.3 million)

The additional A$4.75 million (RM14.3 million) was supposedly paid or promised to be paid to several individuals with the aim of influencing a Malaysian public official to secure the property’s sale.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a Malaysian residing in Australia, Dennis Teen Boon Lye, 68, was charged on July 9 with bribing a foreign official and falsifying accounts related to the 2013 sale of Dudley House, a block of student housing, to Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd.

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