PAC questions former audit director on alleged alteration to 1MDB report

PAC deputy chairman Wong Kah Woh says they have received a copy of the ‘original’ audit report on 1MDB.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says the statement by a former government audit sector director, involved in drawing up the 1MDB audit report, was “very helpful” in investigations into an allegation that the report was altered.

Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad was asked about the alteration and how it happened at a PAC meeting today. She was questioned for two hours.

“We want to take into account the situation at the time.

“The explanation will help PAC come to a conclusion when we prepare our report later,” PAC deputy chairman Wong Kah Woh told reporters at Parliament today.

Wong, who had first made the allegation on Oct 29, said PAC had received from Auditor-General Madinah Mohamad a copy of the audit report before it was allegedly altered.

Utusan Malaysia had on Nov 25 reported that Saadatul had kept a copy of the original 1MDB audit report as evidence to reveal irregularities despite being asked to destroy the copy.

According to the newspaper, Saadatul handed this report over to Nor Salwani Muhammad, the director of the government audit sector at the National Audit Department, before retiring.

On Nov 24, Madinah issued a statement alleging that the audit report had been tampered with on the orders of several individuals.

She claimed this included former prime minister Najib Razak; his former confidential secretary Shukry Salleh; former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa; former auditor-general Ambrin Buang; and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Madinah was reported to have said that two important items in the report were removed, namely the presence of businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, at a 1MDB board of directors meeting; as well as a paragraph containing two versions of the 1MDB financial statement for the year ending 2014.

Aside from the PAC, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has also commenced investigations into the claim. It has called several witnesses to assist in its investigations.

Today was the last day of the PAC investigations into the case for this month. The probe will continue next year.

PAC intends to call Arul Kanda, Ali and former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali next.