Malaysia's Public Accounts Committee to resume probe on 1MDB

KUALA LUMPUR - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) plans to resume its probe on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) by setting new dates to question key figures and witnesses in the state investment arm's financial dealings.

Newly-appointed PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin said the committee's first meeting on Monday, following the suspension of proceedings after the Cabinet reshuffle in July, discussed the framework laid out by the former chairman.

"We will call up the relevant individuals for sure. We will decide the dates as soon as possible," he said, referring to 1MDB's past and present chief executive officers, Datuk Shahrol Halmi and Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

The duo were originally supposed to appear before the PAC on Aug 4 and 5 respectively.

Hasan said they would also call up Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, who was briefly managing director and chief executive officer of 1MDB.

Also to be questioned are 1MDB's former directors Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh and Tan Sri Azlan Zainol.

Asked if businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, would be hauled up to testify, the PAC chairman said he was regarded as a "personality" linked to the 1MDB controversy.

"At the moment, I don't have a date in mind to call up Jho Low. He is someone we should call, but he is not of immediate concern," said Hasan.

He said Monday's meeting also briefed the new members in the PAC about the Auditor-General Department's interim report on 1MDB.

The Parliamentary committee of selection last week appointed five new members to the PAC as replacement for those who relinquished their posts following Cabinet appointments.

The new members are Datuk Dr Makin @ Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan), Datuk Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin), Datuk Nawawi Ahmad (BN-Langkawi), Datuk Koh Nai Kwong (BN-Alor Gajah), and Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Baru).

In early March, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak ordered the A-G to start an independent probe into 1MDB, pledging that the company would face legal repercussions if any wrongdoings were proven.

The PAC initiated its own probe as 1MDB had become a political issue which demanded answers.

The final report on the 1MDB probe is expected to be tabled in Parliament by year end.