1MDB audit tampering: PAC to call up Arul Kanda, Ali Hamsa and ex-MACC chief, not ruling out Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will call up several people to assist its inquiry into the possible tampering of 1MDB’s final audit report in 2016, after obtaining new information from former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang today.

This would include top guns in the previous Federal government and in 1MDB itself, PAC chairman Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee said today.

“A lot of information has been provided from Tan Sri Ambrin’s perspective as the Auditor-General,” said Kiandee.

When asked about the others who would be called to give their testimony, Kiandee said former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa will be called some time after December.

Also in the list, said Kiandee, is “Tan Sri Dzul” of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

It was reported on May 15 that former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad reported for duty at the AGC a day after resigning from the anti-graft agency — although his role was not disclosed at the time.

Kiandee also did not rule out the possibility of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak being called up.

On Nov 24, Auditor-General Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad said in a statement that the original audit report on 1MDB issued in 2016 by the National Audit Department had been altered.

Her statement alleged that orders to tamper with the report first came from Najib, who was Prime Minister, Finance Minister and 1MDB chairman at that time.

The audit report was allegedly edited several times prior to it being presented to the PAC on March 4, 2016 — once under the instruction of Najib’s then-principal private secretary Tan Sri Shukry Salleh, and another time under the purview of then-Chief Secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa.

The key amendments, according to Madinah, included the removal of a paragraph mentioning Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) as attending a meeting of the 1MDB board of directors, as well as the removal of a paragraph on 1MDB's financial statement for the year ended 2014.

On Oct 30, Ambrin, who was the A-G in 2016, denied that the audit report had been tampered with, according to news reports.

Kiandee was tight-lipped today when asked whether Ambrin admitted that the report was indeed tempered with as alleged by Madinah. “There are many more questions that need answers,” he said.

“Based on this information, PAC is of the opinion that Tan Sri [Ambrin] will need to be called up again alongside the audit team that audited 1MDB in 2014,” he said.

“I cannot reveal the names [of the auditors], but there are five to six individuals who were named by [Ambrin],” he added.

When contacted later, Kiandee confirmed that he was referring to the National Audit Department audit team that worked with Ambrin on 1MDB’s final audit report in 2016.

Kiandee hopes the PAC inquiry can be completed before the next Parliamentary sitting in March 2019, when the report of the inquiry is expected to be tabled.

Madinah is expected to testify at the PAC inquiry at 11am tomorrow, followed by former Government Sector Audit Director Saadatul Nafisah on Thursday morning.

Separately on the second series of the 2017 Auditor-General’s Report which highlighted discrepancies at the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2017, Kiandee said PAC is currently studying the details on the matter.

“Definitely the several Ministries highlighted by the Auditor-General in the report will be investigated,” he said.