Former A-G to testify tomorrow over alleged tampering of 1MDB audit report, PAC chief confirms

Former A-G to testify tomorrow over alleged tampering of 1MDB audit report, PAC chief confirms

KUALA LUMPUR,. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee today confirmed former Auditor-General (A-G) Tan Sri Ambrin Buang will give his statement over the alleged tampering of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad audit report submitted in 2016.

“Yes Ambrin Buang is expected to meet us at 11am tomorrow here in Parliament,” he told reporters today.

Kiandee said the current A-G Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad would also be present to provide her statement at 3pm in Parliament.

In October, Ambrin had insisted that nobody had tampered with his report, as he had full authority over it.

Madinah had disclosed on November 25 that several parts of the 1MDB audit report were expunged on the orders of former prime minister and finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In a statement, Madinah had listed down in chronological order all the times the report was altered.

It started back in February 20, 2016 where the former private secretary to Najib, Tan Sri Shukry Salleh had requested for the 1MDB audit team to prepare a final audit report on the troubled state fund.

Two days later, during a meeting with Najib and in the presence of former Chief Secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa and Ambrin, the former prime minister had ordered the removal of two paragraphs from the audit report which contained its 2014 financial statement and recommendations for a full investigation by authorities on 1MDB.

On February 23, 2016, during a meeting at the Chief Secretary’s office which was attended by Ali, Shukry and Ambrin, the 1MDB audit team was informed that the government had classified the final audit report of 1MDB as a “crisis”. The next day, during another meeting — this time with 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy, representatives from the Attorney-General’s Office (AGC) and Ministry of Finance — it was decided that a few more paragraphs from the report had to be removed and amended.

On February 25, the audit team was instructed by the ex-Chief Secretary to attend a meeting at his office with Najib and Arul to “continue” discussions about the final audit report where more reported findings were ordered to be removed. The next day, Shukry instructed a paragraph detailing Low’s attendance during a 1MDB board of directors meeting to be removed from the audit report.

Shukry claimed back then that this was done so that the federal Opposition would not “exploit” the facts on an otherwise sensitive issue. On February 28, 2016 Shukry had asked for the amended version of the 1MDB audit report to be given to him. The next day, the final report was given to the ex-Chief Secretary.

Then on March 1, the ex-Chief Secretary instructed the 1MDB audit team to once again convene at his office to discuss the amended final version of the report. This time, only he and 1MDB’s Arul went through the report, page after page with the audit team.

More amendments were then made.

On March 2, the finalised version of the 1MDB audit report was printed and the next day, two copies were handed to Shukry as well as Ali. On March 4 and 7, Ambrin tabled the final report to the PAC.

This comes as Najib repeatedly claimed that his relationship with Low was strictly professional and was forged with the country’s economic interests in mind.