Audit Of 1MDB Has Begun, Says Auditor-General

Audit Of 1MDB Has Begun, Says Auditor-General
PUTRAJAYA, March 10 (Bernama) — The National Audit Department began an audit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) soon after being instructed to do so by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last week, Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said Tuesday.

He said the department would give priority to undertaking the audit of the government-owned strategic development company in an independent and professional manner.

“Surely, the department will give priority in this matter, and we hope we can do the work in a calm and peaceful atmosphere,” he told a news conference on the audit of 1MDB, here.

Ambrin said he had met with 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy and the latter had stated his commitment to cooperate fully with the department in the audit.

He also said that the audit department had begun to gather relevant information and was scrutinising all documents as well as interviewing the relevant people.

The audit would involve calling up all quarters, including those who made the allegations, the former 1MDB CEO and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself, if this was necessary to aid the audit, he said.

“We have to do what we have to do and if there’s a need to talk to certain parties, we will,” he said, while calling for the cooperation of all parties concerned.

He said the auditing process would not only be confined to the accounts of 1MDB but also include the assets, liabilities, corporate governance and equities.

“For me, this is a broad mandate. Any matter related to it, we need to study and look into it. We want to know how the company is being managed,” he said.

Prime Minister had, on March 4, instructed the Auditor-General to independently verify the 1MDB accounts.

Ambrin said the audit process would be carried out without setting any time frame.

“I agree that time is of the essence, and we are giving priority to this but we need to balance speed and accuracy. We are concerned about the quality of our work,” he said.

Ambrin said no specific date had been set for the 1MDB audit report to be submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“Nevertheless, every effort will be made to have the report ready as soon as possible,” he said.

Ambrin said he would personally oversee the auditing of 1MDB and follow all standard operating procedures.

“The word has been given to the Ketua Audit Negara (Auditor-General) so how can I abscond!” he said.

He stressed that the auditing of government companies, including 1MDB, was not new and was provided for under the Audit Act.

“We are no strangers to company auditing. We have experience in auditing government companies. Let us do our job professionally, quietly, he said.

Ambrin said that if necessary, the department would rope in external assistance for the auditing process.

Asked whether Arul Kanda had handed over the 1MDB accounts to him during their recent meeting or they just had a cup of coffee, Ambrin replied: “Not coffee, I had a Milo” and drew laughter from reporters.

“He did not present yet (but) my team has already started work,” he said.

— BERNAMA

 

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