The opposition members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) disclosed yesterday that PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin had deleted a key sentence/paragraph from the PAC Report on 1MDB after the report has been concluded by the committee.
This key section states that Bank Negara Malaysia has been informed by the relevant overseas authorities on a voluntary basis that the ultimate beneficiary of Good Star Limited is an individual unrelated to the Petrosaudi group. 1MDB has made payments of US$700 million and US$330 million in 2009 and 2011 respectively even though the funds were meant for its investments with Petrosaudi.
Datuk Hasan Arifin responded yesterday evening that “the deletion of two sentences in no way affects the final report by the Public Account Committee's (PAC) on 1MDB”. He said the sentences were deleted because of their unclear status or being investigated and were not for public consumption.
Firstly, if the “two sentences” were indeed inconsequential to the PAC Report, why did the Chairman find it necessary to delete them in the first place?
Secondly, the PAC did not at any point empower the Chairman to delete these sentences. The fact of the matter is that the final meeting of the PAC which included members of the backbenchers and the opposition, approved the final draft which included the above information.
Datuk Hasan Arifin tried to defend his unilateral decision by claiming that the statement “is unclear or being investigated”, hence “is something prejudicial”.
The PAC Chairman should inform the Parliament and all concerned, what exactly is so unclear about Bank Negara’s findings that “the ultimate beneficiary of Good Star Limited is an individual unrelated to the Petrosaudi International Ltd”?
This finding is crucial to the entire investigations of 1MDB because the company and its executives have testified to the PAC that Good Star Limited is a subsidiary of Petrosaudi. However, the company was unable to provide any concrete evidence, such as a company search or certificate of incorporation from the relevant authorities, despite repeated requests, to back up its claims to both the Auditor-General and the PAC.
All 1MDB could provide was a letter dated 2015 from Petrosaudi to 1MDB making a claim that Good Star Limited was part of the Petrosaudi group. This letter would certainly hold no water in any court of law and the PAC would make itself a laughing stock of the world if we were to accept the letter at face value.
Hence, is the PAC Chairman questioning and challenging the authority and investigative findings of Bank Negara Malaysia?
If he is questioning the findings of Bank Negara, then why did he persistently, as recorded in the Hansard on at least 5 occasions, refused our request to call Bank Negara to testify to the PAC? Is there something that Datuk Hasan Ali is aware of, which he doesn’t want PAC members to find out?
In the light of the above, as well as the latest developments involving the complete collapse of 1MDB’s debt-asset swap agreement with IPIC, we once again call upon the PAC Chairman to call for an immediate PAC meeting and officially re-open our investigations on the troubled 1MDB. The failure to do so under the current circumstances would mean the failure of the PAC to fulfill our duties and obligations to the Parliament and the rakyat.