Public Accounts Committee may start own audit into 1MDB

Public Accounts Committee  may start own audit into 1MDB
Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed

PETALING JAYA: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) may initiate its own audit into 1Malaysia Development Bhd's dealings (1MDB) without waiting for the Auditor-General's findings, said its chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

"It depends on the scope of the A-G's audit, on whether it involves 1MDB's domestic or foreign dealings. If the audit involves foreign transactions, it may take a year for the A-G's audit to be completed and this may be too long," he said when contacted yesterday.

If that was the case, he said, the PAC could initiate its own audit concurrently.

He said the move may be necessary as the issue has since been politicised by many groups.

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"It has involved politics and as a parliamentary committee, PAC has the power to initiate its own audit," he said.

Asked for a time frame when the PAC would start its audit, Nur Jazlan said it could be within the next few months.

"The committee is not trying to pressure the A-G to speed up its audit but if it take too long, then we will have to move in," he added.

He said this would be necessary to dispel the notion that the Government was trying to hide something should there be a prolonged delay in the A-G's audit.

"The PAC is eagerly waiting for the A-G to complete its audit to allow the committee to scrutinise its findings," he added.

On March 4, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak instructed the A-G to verify 1MDB's accounts and forward the findings to the PAC.

On March 6, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the A-G should not take too long to complete its audit of the 1MDB's accounts and that directors should bear joint responsibility if there was any negligence or misappropriation.

The A-G began its audit on March 10, with Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang holding a meeting with 1MDB's president and chief executive director Arul Kanda. He, however, did not disclose what transpired during the meeting.

A report will be forwarded to the PAC, which reports to Parliament.

1MDB, established by the Federal Government in 2009 to drive strategic investments, has come under heavy criticism for accumulating debts of RM49bil and is now facing cash-flow problems.

To match its liabilities, 1MDB has assets of RM51.4billion(S$18.9 billion), but a substantial portion of it is in the form of development projects, namely, the Tun Razak Exchange project and Bandar Malaysia, which do not generate immediate cash flow.

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