AG requests PAC to suspend probe on 1MDB

By P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By BERNAMA

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the decision to defer the reinvestigation into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) financial scandal was made following a request by Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas.

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (picture) said the panel received a letter from the AG on Oct 25 which recommended that the PAC postpones sine die the 1MDB proceedings.

“After a discussion with PAC members, we held a meeting with the Dewan Rakyat speaker to inform him of the matter.

“Following the discussion, the PAC has decided to have a meeting with the AG as soon as possible to discuss the suspension further,” Kiandee said in a statement yesterday.

It is not known why the request was made, but the prosecutor had filed a few cases in the courts related to 1MDB’s fund or related subsidiaries.

The inquiry, which was scheduled to start with the questioning of former Auditor- General (A-G) Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, was postponed on Monday (Oct 29). No reason was given over the deferment.

The PAC was expected to call up to 20 people to testify in the 1MDB reinvestigation including former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and businessman-turned-fugitive Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Calls to reopen the probe into 1MDB were made by the Finance Ministry in August this year after the previous committee denied reinvestigations into the fund despite damaging revelations from the US Department of Justice on the state-owned development fund.

Najib was cleared of any involvement in the sovereign fund’s dealings in April 2016.

Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh, who is the current PAC deputy chairman, on Monday alleged that the final A-G report on 1MDB made by Ambrin was tampered with on orders given by unnamed individuals. He said this in his debate on the midterm review of the 11th Malaysia Plan in Parliament.

Former PAC chairman Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin has denied any knowledge of or involvement in the alleged tampering of the A-G report in 2016.

Hasan also insisted that any manipulation of the document would have occurred after his time with the parliamentary panel.

“That was not done during my time. I don’t know what the deputy PAC chairman meant by his remark in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday. As far as I know, what was presented is as it is,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

It was reported that Hasan had previously admitted to removing information from the PAC report a day before it was tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2016, as it was a confidential letter from Bank Negara Malaysia.