KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has instructed the Auditor-General to independently verify 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) accounts.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday, the Auditor-General’s report would be passed for transparent inspection to the Public Accounts Committee, which is fully bipartisan and reflects Parliament’s composition.
It said the prime minister had informed the Cabinet of the move.
“If any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” Najib said in the statement.
It said the prime minister today called 1MDB and its auditors, Deloitte, before the Cabinet following recent media reports on the wholly-owned government strategic development company.
“Having received clarifications from 1MDB and Deloitte, the Cabinet expressed confidence that no wrong-doing has been committed within 1MDB, and their desire for the company to be allowed to implement the proposed outcomes of its strategic review,” the statement said.
Despite this, it noted that the government had called for the Auditor-General to check 1MDB accounts as a further step.
It said that 1MDB provided a briefing on 1MDB’s current situation and responded to a series of questions posed by cabinet ministers, including the prime minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Deloitte, it said, provided an overview of their engagement with 1MDB and confirmed that the firm had audited and verified the company’s accounts.
“The Cabinet was told that the recent allegations directed at 1MDB relate to transactions undertaken by third parties such as Petrosaudi, not 1MDB.
“The relevant investments of 1MDB have been returned in full with significant audited profit,” according to the statement.
In an immediate response, 1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda said the company welcomed the prime minister’s request for the Auditor-General to verify 1MDB accounts.
It pointed out that the accounts had been audited by Deloitte, one of the world’s leading firms.
“We will cooperate fully with the Auditor-General and hope that the outcome of his findings (will) put to rest recent speculation,” he said.
Arul said it was clear that the attacks being directed at 1MDB were politically motivated.
“These are deliberately coordinated attempts to undermine the company by spreading unsubstantiated allegations and speculation, which in turn could potentially harm the economy,” he added. – Bernama