Mara chairperson Annuar Musa's denial that the federal agency's funds were used to sponsor the Kelantan football team, The Red Warriors (TRW), is not sufficient to dispel the allegations.
Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla said this is because the Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who first made the allegations yesterday on Facebook, had provided documents as proof.
"From a legal viewpoint, a general denial such as the one issued by Annuar Musa regarding this matter is not enough to dispel the allegation, seeing as there are supporting documents which have been put forth by the relevant parties," Haniff said in a statement today.
As such, he said, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police should waste no time in looking into these allegations.
Annuar should also be called in for police questioning immediately, Haniff, who is former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's lawyer, added.
Tunku Ismail yesterday claimed a ‘tan sri’ had used his positions in Mara as well as in UniKL to channel funds to TRW.
Although he did not mention names, it is believed the crown prince was referring to Annuar as he described the ‘tan sri’ as being the chairperson of Mara.
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Annuar is also the pro-chancellor II of UniKL, which is wholly-owned by Mara.
Tunku Ismail had also attached photographs of documents detailing the purported sponsorships, such as a letter, a cheque and two payment vouchers.
He also took Annuar to task for capitalising on footballer Mohd Faiz Subri's Fifa Puskas award.
"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?" he asked.
Annuar had reportedly claimed he had mentored Faiz, who played for Kelantan in 2013, when the politician chaired the Kelantan Football Association (Kafa).
He also denied Tunku Ismail's allegations claiming Mara has not spent a single sen to sponsor TRW.
"Mara's 50th anniversary logo was emblazoned on the sleeves of TRW jerseys free of charge, though it would usually cost RM250,000. It was a gesture of respect to Mara from TRW," Annuar explained.
He also said UniKL is a private company, and never sponsored or gave scholarships to its students, so the matter of using scholarship funds to sponsor TRW never arose.
"UniKL has long been involved in branding and marketing through sports, especially in hockey and football. This is because they target youths.
“The same goes for other Mara private limited subsidiaries. They have their own budget and procedures. There is no coercion, orders or whatnot.
"Similarly, allegations that Mara scholarships have been reduced are untrue, let alone the monies being used to sponsor football teams," Annuar added.- Mkini