Auditor-General’s preliminary report clears 1MDB, no US$700 million transfer, says Husni

Ahmad-Husni_second-finance-minister-theedgemarkets

-A +A

(July 14): Calling it reckless allegations, Malaysia's Finance Ministry today said the auditor-general's (A-G) preliminary report has found no evidence of wrongdoing by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) or proof that US$700 million went to a "certain individual".

The report was submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last Thursday but the parliamentary panel said 1MDB had yet to submit more documents for the government audit.

"The reckless allegations by some parties, including the disappearance of RM42 billion and transfer of USD700 million to certain individual does not arise," Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said in a statement released in capital city Kuala Lumpur today.

"It is my hope that all baseless allegations will be put to rest.  We have to remain patient and look forward to the final report by the A-G and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)," he said.

He added that the focus now was on the rationalisation plan, where Putrajaya was committed to resolving issues concerning 1MDB’s debts.

"The definitive aim of the rationalisation plan is to rebalance 1MDB’s asset and debt in order to support its financial structure that will ensure its sustainability going forward, " Husni said in the statement.

The audit on 1MDB was ordered by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak earlier this year, as the government-owned firm had incurred RM42 billion in debts in just 6 years.

1MDB is also mired in controversial deals, such as overpaying for power asset purchases and for buying land cheaply from the federal government.

More recently, it has been linked to an election funding scandal, where other companies linked to it had allegedly funnelled billions of ringgit into Najib's personal bank accounts.

The audit was started in March and completed by end-June before being presented today.

PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed had said that 1MDB had yet to submit bank statements and signed agreements to the auditor-general despite requests from the department.

"The A-G has told us that they are still facing hindrance as some documents have not been submitted," he said last Thursday

1MDB previously claimed that it had been giving full cooperation to authorities scrutinising its accounts.

Nur Jazlan had said it was too early to draw conclusions based on the report, adding that there would be more follow-up questions for 1MDB's former and current bosses.

The audit also examined the controversial joint venture with PetroSaudi International and the process of 1MDB's formation as a company.

The final audit, which will include examinations on 1MDB's real estate and energy arms, is due end of the year.

1MDB, Najib's brainchild, was formed in 2009 to drive up federal investments. It ventured into real estate, energy and various other investments overseas. – The Malaysian Insider