PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not approve the purchase of an apartment block by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) in Australia, said Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Annuar said Najib, in a letter dated May 10, had opposed the purchase, and Mara duly appealed the decision, which was eventually approved by the Maraâ€™s Economic Council.
Annuarâ€™s statement came after he was reported saying at a press conference two days ago that the purchase was sanctioned by Najib.
â€œDuring the recent question-and-answer session, somebody claimed I said â€˜yesâ€™, that the PM had approved the purchase.
â€œActually, after the proposed purchase was presented to the Finance Ministry, it did not get the approval of the PM. The Finance Ministry gave us a letter dated May 10 to inform that the purchase is not approved by the PM.
â€œFollowing that, the Rural and Regional Development Ministry and Mara appealed the decision with the economic council.
â€œIn the presence of Bank Negara and ministers, the council discussed the purchase more broadly, as it involved overseas loans. It was within the council that the purchase was approved.
â€œThe council also only approved 30% of Maraâ€™s funds to purchase the property. The remainder had to be borrowed from banks,â€ Annuar told reporters here after submitting documents relating to the purchase at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Annuar said Mara would cooperate with MACC in their investigations into the matter and appoint an external auditor to conduct a more â€œcredibleâ€ audit on the council.
â€œWe decided that the internal audit is not enough, so we will be appointing an international auditor so it is more credible,â€ he said.
It was reported in Australia that Malaysians linked to Mara overpaid developers for the five-storey apartment Dudley House by A$4.75mil (RM13.8mil) in 2013.