Will 1MDB testify before PAC, asks DAP

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 27): An opposition lawmaker is doubting 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) willingness to testify before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as the state investment vehicle has yet to follow up on the matter.

DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua in a statement today said he supported committee chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed's call in welcoming 1MDB president and group executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy to testify voluntarily before the PAC.

Pua said Arul had offered to engage with him over criticism which the DAP leader had highlighted, especially 1MDB’s RM42 billion debt.

"Unfortunately, since my statement on January 17 welcoming his offer to dialogue with me, or preferably with the PAC, I have not heard or received anything further from Arul or 1MDB.

"I would like to ask when will 1MDB testify to the PAC?  Or has Arul decided that, perhaps, public scrutiny is not such a good thing for 1MDB after all?" Pua said.

Pua said he had disagreed with Nur Jazlan and the Auditor-General that summoning 1MDB to testify was unnecessary as it was audited by a “Big Four” audit firm.

He said this was because he felt that an audit by the PAC and A-G should be different from an audit by an accounting firm.

He added that he was grateful the PAC's latest statement indicated that the committee was willing to listen and allow 1MDB to clarify and refute the mountain of criticism.

"Therefore, the onus is now with Arul to come to the PAC and demonstrate, as he has earlier stated, that he welcomed public scrutiny as a good thing that will only serve to strengthen the company and its governance."

Pua, who frequently issues press statements against 1MDB, recently urged Arul as the fund's new chief to "wipe the slate clean" by being transparent in explaining 1MDB's problems and in conducting his strategic review of the fund's business and operations.

Arul had said he was willing to engage with 1MDB's detractors and provide insights in view of the criticism that the company received.

"Often, in recent months, statements that have been issued about the company appeared to have been based more on speculation rather than full knowledge of the actual facts and figures.

"If there are any issues that Pua wishes to raise, I am willing to engage with him, and share any insight where I am in a position to do so," Arul was quoted as saying in a press statement.

1MDB has come under fire from both the opposition politicians as well as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over concerns about its financial health and obligations.