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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mara boss gets royal jab over 'forced sponsorship' for football team

Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has fired another salvo at Mara chairperson Annuar Musa, this time accusing Annuar of using his positions in Mara and in a university to channel funds for the Kelantan football team, The Red Warriors (TRW).
In a posting in the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, Tunku Ismail also appeared to criticise the Umno information chief for allegedly exploiting the Fifa Puskas award to Penang footballer Mohd Faiz Subri.
"I predicted much earlier that Faiz's victory would definitely grab the attention of (certain) individuals, especially politicians who want to restore their dwindling reputations.
"Before using Faiz's success for your popularity, why doesn't Tan Sri come forward to give an explanation about sponsorship money from Mara investments and UniKL, which were forced to sponsor the Red Warriors team?" the crown prince asked in his posting.
Although Tunku Ismail did not mention names, it is believed the crown prince was referring to Annuar, who reportedly described Faiz as a mentee when the politician helmed the Kelantan Football Association (Kafa).
Faiz played for Kelantan back in 2013.
Annuar is also the pro-chancellor II of UniKL, which is wholly owned by Mara.
"When the nation's economy is weak and when there are fiscal cuts here and there, you still proceeded to use the funds meant for Malaysians to fund The Red Warriors as the chairman of Mara.
"Having already used funds from Pelaburan Mara, this didn't stop you from tapping reserves in UniKl. Given the weak economy, in 2016, UniKl was forced to reduce the allocation for scholarships of Malaysian students from RM2 billion to RM1.3 billion," Tunku Ismail said.
"Having said this, you still strong-armed UniKl to sponsor TRW in that same year. Tan Sri, please explain the direction of Pelaburan Mara and UniKl as they belong to all Malaysians," he added.
The post was accompanied with letters and receipts that purportedly showed the details of sponsorship for The Red Warriors from Mara and UniKL.
This is not the first time the crown prince and Annuar have crossed swords.
Their most recent spat saw Tunku Ismail telling Annuar to mind his own business and not pass remarks about other football teams or clubs.
Tunku Ismail was responding to Annuar's allegation that Johor Darul Ta'zim FC (JDT), which the crown prince owns, was destroying the local football scene by overpaying its players.
Annuar had also reportedly questioned the use of state facilities by JDT, which is a private club.
Malaysiakini has contacted Annuar for comment.- Mkini

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