PM claims media twisted Mara boss' remarks

Modified 24 Jun 2015, 9:39 pm

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has claimed that certain media organisations had purportedly twisted the remarks of Mara chairperson Annuar Musa.

This is with regard to a quote attributed to Annuar that Najib had approved the purchase of a property in Australia, which has become the subject of scrutiny.

"The decision is made based on consensus by the economic council," tweeted Najib, who is also finance minister.

Earlier, Malaysiakini reported Annuar as saying that any investment made by Mara had to be approved by the Finance Ministry or the government economic council chaired by Najib.

"It is part of the procedure. It is brought to the Mara council and then to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry before it goes to the Finance Ministry or the economic council," he said.

When Malaysiakini specifically asked the Mara chairperson if the prime minister had to approve the deal before the purchase was made, Annuar replied: "Yes, that is part of the procedure."

Below is a recording from Annuar's press conference.

An excerpt of the transcript follows:

Journalist: Tan Sri, you said the purchase had to go through the economic council chaired by the prime minister, right?

Annuar: Yes.

Journalist: So the prime minister had to approve this purchase before it was purchased?

Annuar: Again?

Journalist: Did the prime minister have to approve the deal before the purchase went through?

Annuar: Yes, it is part of the procedure.

Meanwhile, Najib also reiterated that a probe would be conducted into the alleged scam, which was highlighted by the Australian media.

"If any quarters are found to have lied or misled the economic council, then action will be taken under the law," he added.

In a Facebook posting earlier, Annuar also complained about news reports that zoomed in on Najib's role in the deal.

"What is the motive of Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider for choosing a headline 'Najib luluskan' (Najib approved) when I clearly said the approval was by the economic council.

"This is the procedure that has been set by the government and must be followed. The issue of any individual's approval, including that of Najib's does not arise," he wrote.