Lack of proper audit of 1MDB suggests cover-up, says Pua

tony-pua_1mdb_600_newPETALING JAYA: Tony Pua says that the lack of a properly audited set of accounts for the past four financial years for a state-owned company with nearly RM40 billion in debt suggests “a cover up”.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP was referring to the written reply from the finance ministry, dated Nov 16, stating that the 1MDB financial statements for 2015 and 2016 were not completed as the police had not returned documents seized from 1MDB’s office in July 2015.

“The finance minister’s complete lackadaisical attitude towards the audit of a state-owned company with nearly RM40 billion in debts shows that it is a cover up to prevent the truth from being discovered.

“The fact that 1MDB cannot produce proper audited financial statements since March 2012 further rubbishes Prime Minister Najib Razak’s pre-budget defence and praise of 1MDB, and the audacious claim that 1MDB will soon ‘return to profitability’,” Pua said.

He was referring to the audited accounts for the financial year April 2011 to March 2012, prepared by KPMG, which Pua said is the last accepted financial statement for 1MDB.

“Last year, Deloitte Malaysia had withdrawn its endorsement for the March 2013 and March 2014 financial statements, which it had prepared.

“This means that since March 2012, 1MDB has not filed any financial statements which have been endorsed by an external auditor,” Pua said, adding that this unprecedented delay was despite repeated deadline extensions granted to 1MDB by the Companies Commission of Malaysian (SSM) to file its annual reports.

“1MDB can’t even produce its accounts, so what profit is the prime minister talking about?”

The DAP national publicity secretary said that 1MDB had even refused to hand over management accounts to the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which had investigating 1MDB prior to 2016. Pua had been a member of the PAC at the time.

Meanwhile, criticising the finance minister for blaming the police for not returning documents for the audit to be carried out, Pua said more could have been done over the past two years.

“If the finance minister is indeed serious about 1MDB completing its audit process, why hasn’t he, who is also the prime minister ‘discuss’ this matter with the police to work out an arrangement for the audit to be carried out?

“Surely it cannot be too hard for investigators to allow the auditors to, at the very least, sight the documents needed?”

Pua added that with police having reportedly completed their investigation, there was no reason for them to not return the relevant documents as well.

“So why exactly are investigators still holding on to these documents if it is necessary for the proper auditing of the company?

“We are merely asking for the police to allow the statutory audit of 1MDB to be carried out, as it is of great urgency and importance,” Pua said, suggesting it will help clear or confirm allegations that billions of ringgit were misappropriated.

Ministry: 1MDB auditors hampered by cops not returning documents

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