Change of 1MDB auditors not meant to hide info: Malaysian minister

Change of 1MDB auditors not meant to hide info: Malaysian minister

PETALING JAYA - The move to change 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) auditors is common practice among large companies and not meant to "hide information".

The decision to switch auditors from KPMG to Deloittee was also a move for the better as Deloitte is the biggest audit firm in the world, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said in a Wednesday 9pm interview on Radio Televisyen Malaysia's (RTM) Dialog programme.

"Whichever organisation, individual or institution, operates subject to the rule of law. Looking at who KPMG and Deloitte are, Deloittee is the biggest auditing firm in the world while KPMG is among the four biggest. What is the benefit of them hiding information? Would their licence not be revoked?" Ahmad Husni said in response to a question on whether the change of auditors was a move to hide certain things within 1MDB.

"It is clearly written that the financial transactions are according to international financial standards. Is it not a simple matter? In addition to that, it is signed by all partners," he explained.

"What happens in many large, international companies is that after three years of having an auditor, they will make a decision on whether to continue with their auditors," he said in response to the switch.

"In this context, 1MDB felt that they should follow international standards, and so they changed. Because Deloitte is No. 1 in the world, so it was a move from the Top four to the first, as it is better," said Ahmad Husni, adding that the change of auditors is common practice.

1MDB's president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy said earlier on Wednesday that all RM42bil in alleged debts are accounted for.

He said that the information was fully disclosed in 1MDB's audited and publicly available accounts from March 31, 2010 to March 31, 2014.

On Wednesday, Bank Negara opened a formal enquiry to examine if there are any contraventions of financial rules and regulations with respect to issues surrounding 1MDB.

The investigation will also entail taking statements from individuals involved in the governance process and obtaining information from other relevant domestic and foreign parties.

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