Changes made to 1MDB report after meeting with Najib, ex-chief secretary says

Former chief secretary Ali Hamsa said Najib Razak summoned him and then auditor-general Ambrin Buang to his office for a meeting on the 1MDB Audit Report. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak was unhappy with the contents of the 1MDB Audit Report as he did not want two conflicting financial statements mentioned, the High Court heard today.

Former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa said the then prime minister summoned him to his office on Feb 22, 2016. Also present was the then auditor-general Ambrin Buang.

Ali said Najib told them he had called them with regard to the report which was to be presented before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in two days (Feb 24).

The audit report contained, among other things, two sets of financial statements.

“I have known him since 2009 but on that day he looked a little upset. Najib mentioned that he did not want two different financial statements for 1MDB to be submitted in the audit report,” the witness said when examined by ad-hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram.

Ali ,who was also a member of the 1MDB board of advisers of which Najib was the chairman, said he was not involved in any 1MDB audit process done by the National Audit Department (NAD).

“I had not seen or read the 1MDB report which Najib was referring to,” he said in the trial of Najib and former CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy for tampering with the report .

Ali said on Feb 23 he invited Ambrin and Najib’s then principal private secretary Shukry Mohd Salleh for a meeting.

“Shukry told us that the report had become a crisis that had to be handled immediately,” Ali said, adding that the 1MDB problem had also became a sensational matter.

Ali said the following day (Feb 24) he met the representatives of 1MDB ( Arul), NAD, Treasury, Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Prime Minister’s Office and his senior private secretary.

The fourth witness said Arul voiced his disapproval of the various matters in the report prepared by the NAD as matters included were “not factual”.

Finally, he said, the meeting agreed to remove from the report the two conflicting versions of the 2014 financial statements, the agreement between Country Groups Securities Thailand and ACME Time Ltd, the presence of fugitive financier Jho Low in 1MBD board meetings and the delay in the issuance of the RM5 billion Islamic Medium Term Notes.

Najib is accused of using his position to obtain immunity from legal action in relation to allegations that he tampered with the 1MDB audit report between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

Arul is charged with abetting Najib. Hearing before trial judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues.