Ambrin feels cheated on lack of action on audit report’s draft

The 6th prosecution witness said the NAD found that 1MDB had 2 versions of financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2014


FORMER Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said he felt cheated after removing issues on two versions of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) financial statements on the final audit report’s draft as there was no action taken on the matter, despite promises made by Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

Ambrin told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Najib requested for the omission of the audit findings on 1MDB’s two conflicting financial records as the latter promised to get the authorities to investigate it.

“Najib later asked me not to include the issue on two versions of financial statements in 1MDB’s final audit report. At that time, he promised me that relevant authorities will do a thorough investigation and get to the bottom of this as soon as possible,” Ambrin said yesterday.

In a meeting on Feb 24, 2016, dubbed as a “coordination meeting”, Ambrin said Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa instructed Ministry of Finance (MoF) Inc’s representative, Datuk Seri Mohmad Isa Hussain, to lodge a police report on these statements.

The meeting was also attended by Ali, a former chief secretary to the government.

Ambrin, Ali, a representative of the Attorney General’s Chambers, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy were among the attendees of the follow-up meeting. However, Ambrin, when asked by the lead public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, said no police report was lodged as agreed previously.

Sri Ram: Did you discover if a police report was lodged later?

Ambrin: After a few days, I asked my staff to check if any police reports were lodged and the answer was no.

Sri Ram: How did you feel?

Ambrin: I feel cheated because I was given the assurance that the action will be taken and that was the premise, which I agreed on for dropping the issue of different versions of financial statements.

The sixth prosecution witness said the National Audit Department (NAD) found that 1MDB had two versions of financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2014 — one that was submitted to the Companies Commission of Malaysia stated that 1MDB utilised the funds raised from the segregated portfolio company (SPC) investment to pay off debts and use for working capital; and the other version was sent to the MoF, Deutsche Bank AG and AMMB Holdings Bhd, stating that the funds gained from SPC investment were still available in the company’s financials.

The coordination meeting also deliberated about other issues found in 1MDB audit, including the delay of Islamic medium-term notes issuance and the involvement of Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, in a board meeting in approving a joint-venture investment between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International Ltd.

On Jho Low, he said the NAD found that it is unusual for someone who did not have any position or role in 1MDB to attend a board meeting.

Ambrin said he agreed to strike out the issue on Jho Low in the 1MDB audit report that was presented to the Public Accounts Committee, since the NAD could not obtain any documentary evidence of the fugitive’s attendance, despite an earlier examination showed otherwise.