Articles, Opinions & Views: The House at the heart of Mara scandal - R Nadeswaran
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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

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He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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The House at the heart of Mara scandal - R Nadeswaran
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | He was a former suburban footballer who had helped manage a jail for young offenders before starting his own window and door company in Melbourne. Like all fathers, he doted on his son, Cooper. During the summer break, the young man asked the father for some money to travel for an inter-state football carnival. John Bond had nothing to give – he was broke.
R Nadeswaran
All his money had been used to supply and install windows and doors in a downtown building in Melbourne in 2013. Having worked on the development to almost completion, his company, Trubuilt Properties, did not get paid. Neither did his workers and dozens of other contractors. They were left in the lurch and the owners of the building slipped away to Malaysia.
Bond, having to borrow from his parents to send Cooper for the carnival in Darwin, was a bitter man after his whole business collapsed. With other creditors, he went to the Victorian Supreme Court, and sought the appointment of Andrew Yeo, a senior partner in Pitcher Partners, who assigned the case to a bright young man, Odie Henzel. Infuriated at Bond’s treatment, Henzel joined the mission to unearth the secrets of the property – Dudley House, which is now become one of the three buildings in what is now known as the “Mara Scandal.”
Three Malaysians –Azizi Yom Ahmad, Abdul Ghani Yusof and Dennis Teen together with Australians, Peter Mills and Chris Dimitriou, had set up a company – Wanissa Properties – to sell Dudley House to Mara for A$17.8 million but inflate the price to A$22.5 million. Court records show that Henzel discovered an email dated March 2013 in which Mara agreed to buy Dudley House – to be used as a hostel for Malaysian students – and a payment of “AUS$4,785,000 in the form of introduction and consultancy fees” would be wired to a mysterious Singapore shelf company.
Nick McKenzie is an award-winning investigative journalist working for The Age and produces the Four Corners documentary programme for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He caught the whiff as he had already been working on stories of foreign buyers and “dirty money” being used to push up property prices in the state of Victoria where Melbourne is located. McKenzie started his own investigations only to discover a trail of “dirty dealings” by Malaysian parties.
He roped me in and we worked on the scandal, unearthing a trail of deceit, money laundering and fraud. On June 22 last year, The Age and The Sun broke the story simultaneously. This was followed by raids carried out in both countries but to date, no one has been prosecuted. In April, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki said 24 witnesses had been called up and officers visited seven premises, including a law firm, the offices of both Mara Inc and an appraiser and their associates.
“We need more time to complete this case as it involves another country. We have put in a request for mutual legal assistance with the Australian Attorney-General’s office but have yet to receive any response,” he was quoted as saying.
Scam invoices
While the criminal aspect of the case may have ground to a halt, the case has not ended up in the back burner. In December, Pitcher Partners as liquidators of Trubuilt filed a civil suit against Azizi and Abdul Ghani. (The liquidator had previously sued Teen, a Malaysian with Australian permanent resident status. The case was settled out of court with undisclosed sums being paid. Records show that Teen was engaged by the Azizi and Yusuf to act as their agent.)
They are seeking about A$3 million from the duo for payments due for the renovation work carried out on the building. Yeo alleges that the “two Datos” (as they are referred to in court papers) were involved in the renovation and sale of the property to Thrushcross Land Holdings Limited – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mara for A$22.5 million. It is learnt that attempts are being made to serve the court papers on Azizi and Abdul Ghani.
The writ filed at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne further claims that notwithstanding the contract (sale) price, a sum of A$4.7 million was paid out of the proceeds to three Malaysian companies – Leuven Capital Sdn Bhd, Optimus Capital Group of Companies Sdn Bhd and TRR Heritage Sdn Bhd.
These three Malaysian companies, Yeo avers, are directly or indirectly associated with the interests of Yusof and Azizi and the former Mara CEO Ahmad Nazim Abdul Rahman and/or other current or former employees of Mara, Mazrul Haizad Marof and Izaddeen Daud.
It had been previously reported that on Jan 17, 2013, TRR Heritage had billed Wanissa for A$725,000 for “Marketing and Professional Advise (sic)”. Two weeks later, Optimus Capital submitted an invoice for A$675,000 as “advertising and promotion fee” totalling A$675,000. On March 31, 2013, Leuven Capital submitted an invoice for A$2 million for “consultation and advisory fee”. At the end of April, it submitted yet another invoice for “sales commission” for A$1.35 million.
Australian authorities believe the money paid to the three Malaysian identities were on the basis of scam invoices. Their investigations showed that no such fees were payable to Malaysian companies as Wanissa had made a direct sale to Mara Inc. It was a private sale and there were no commissions, promotions and advertising fees to be paid for.
Investigations by the police and tax authorities are ongoing in Melbourne.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 7:15 AM  
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