Committee to call up to 20 witnesses to testify in its 1MDB reinvestigation
by P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN
THE Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has deferred its reinvestigation of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) financial scandal to a later date that has not been fixed.
PAC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the inquiry scheduled to begin yesterday with a probe on former Auditor-General (A-G) Tan Sri Ambrin Buang has been put on hold for the time being, without disclosing the reason for the deferment.
“Any further information pertaining to the PAC proceedings will be given to the media through press statements,” Kiandee said in a statement yesterday.
The PAC is expected to call up to 20 witnesses to testify in its 1MDB reinvestigation.
The list includes Ambrin — who currently heads a special government investigation committee on procurement, governance and finance — as well as former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and businessman-turned-fugitive Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.
During the last Parliamentary session in August, the Finance Ministry called for the A-G and PAC to reopen a probe into the 1MDB scandal.
The PAC, under the previous Barisan Nasional government, had cleared Najib of any involvement in the sovereign fund’s dealings in April 2016.
It also downplayed reinvestigations into the fund when new statements from the US Department of Justice on 1MDB emerged.
Kiandee also said the 12-member bipartisan panel’s ongoing investigation into the RM19.4 billion missing from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund fund will continue next month instead of tomorrow.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was scheduled to testify tomorrow.
“He was scheduled to appear tomorrow at 2.30pm but this has been moved to Nov 14 at 2.30pm in Parliament,” Kiandee said.
Najib testified on the missing GST funds last Wednesday in Parliament after his meeting with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over matters related to the debt-ridden sovereign fund.
Former Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and Customs
Department DG Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy are among those who have given their testimonies.
Kiandee said proceedings on the lost credit returns are expected to conclude by the end of the Parliament session in December.
Lim will be the final witness to be called, after which the findings will be presented to the Dewan Rakyat.
The current Parliament meeting began on Oct 15 and will adjourn on Dec 11.
Lim revealed that a staggering RM19.4 billion in GST input tax was missing from the balance sheet.
The money was meant for refunds for the consumption tax from April 2015 to May 31, 2018.
He said the existing repayment fund of only RM1.48 billion left the government with an RM18 billion shortfall to pay the GST refunds.