Utusan condemns Najib, ex-top officials over tampered 1MDB report

PETALING JAYA: Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia today slammed Najib Razak and a few former senior civil servants following the auditor-general’s revelation that its report on the 1MDB scandal had been tampered with.

In a column by “Awang Selamat”, a pseudonym which represents its editorial voice, the Malay daily said it was surprised that the former prime minister had directed for certain amendments to be made to the report.

Utusan Malaysia also said it was surprised that former senior officials, including then chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa, then auditor-general Ambrin Buang and then Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad had purportedly backed the move.

“If this indeed occurred, this is treachery of the highest order in terms of the trust placed in Najib and the civil servants,” it wrote, adding that the trio had sullied the image of the civil service.

Earlier today, Auditor-General Madinah Mohamad disclosed that Najib had, two years ago, ordered a paragraph in the audit report which contained two versions of 1MDB’s 2014 financial statement to be removed and ordered a full investigation by the authorities.

According to Madinah, Najib had done so in Ali and Ambrin’s presence.

Awang takes aim at Ali and Ambrin

Awang went on to single out Ali and Ambrin, expressing its disappointment with the duo.

The former chief secretary to the government, Utusan said, should have been a better adviser and more transparent, while Ambrin represented the last line of defence in reporting any wrongdoing by a ministry or when it came to administrative matters.

The daily said Ambrin’s decision to allow for such amendments to be made to the report was a huge transgression “in the eyes of the public”.

“Awang hopes he will step down as the chairman of a special investigation committee on procurement, governance and finance as his integrity has come into question and he is no longer qualified to take on such a responsibility.”

Utusan Malaysia went on to say that while it initially disagreed with how Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad ridiculed the credibility and integrity of the civil service when he was appointed to the post, the recent expose was proof that the civil service needed to be overhauled.