Both Annuar Musa and MACC should explain whether MARA and MACC have received earlier tip-off about corruption of MARA Inc property purchase in Melbourne, and if so, why no action until The Age expose on Tuesday

The Najib administration continues to tie itself in knots, in one scandal after another.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that MARA officials named in Australian newspaper The Age’s report on the Melbourne property scandal are innocent until proven guilty.

He said no action can be taken against them based on a “trial by media” as they must be thoroughly investigated first.

“No action has been taken against them yet. Investigation must be done to determine whether they broke the law,” Najib told a press conference after chairing Umno’s supreme council meeting.

“We cannot take action based on suspicion or a trial by media or social media. It must be based on the rule of law. You are deemed innocent until proven guilty.”

He said the government would remain transparent over the case and assured that the scandal would be thoroughly investigated.

This is very different from the tenor of the statement made by the MARA Chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday to submit several documents relating to the purchase of properties in Australia by MARA Inc.

Annuar said he wanted the MARA Inc corruption issue to be given priority and expedited.

Asked if the culprit behind the case had been identified, Annuar replied: “More or less”.

If the “culprits” behind the multi-million ringgit property scam of MARA Inc had been “more or less” identified, what is Najib talking about “innocent until proven guilty”?

The MACC investigation director Datuk Mohd Jamidah has announced that MACC has dispatched an officer to Melbourne as part of the agency’s probe into the corruption of MARA Inc property purchase in Melbourne.

MACC should explain whether it is true that it had received information about the corruption of MARA Inc property purchase in Melbourne last year which was the reason why the MACC investigations on this matter was initiated some six months ago, and it should explain why MACC action appeared to be more of a “cover up” instead of a “bust up” to bring the corrupt culprits to book.

In fact, both MACC and the MARA Chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa should explain whether it is true that both MARA and MACC had earlier received tip-off about the corruption of MARA Inc property purchase in Melbourne, and if so, whey they had not acted until the The Age expose on Tuesday.

Would MACC and MARA continue to ignore information about corruption of MARA Inc property purchase in Melbourne if The Age had not exposed the corruption on Tuesday?

Mara’s controversial property buy was highlighted this week by Australian newspaper The Age which reported that a “top” Mara officer, senior official and former politician had allegedly spent millions of government funds to buy an apartment block in Melbourne in a property scam.

The report alleged that “a group of super-rich Malaysian officials” overpaid by A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) for an apartment block in the city in 2013.

The trio had allegedly “overbid” for the building, called Dudley International House, from A$17.8 million to A$22.5 million, with the difference pocketed as bribes back home.

A blog today has even published an account of how the RM13.8 million corruption had been distributed among six persons, with RM5 million to one, RM3 million to another, RM2 million to two persons, RM1 million to one person and RM800,000 to one with the least “largesse”.

Can MARA and MACC confirm this blog report?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah