Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Nothing to hide", but PAC Chairman deletes BNM findings on Good Star Limited's ultimate beneficiary being an individual unrelated to Petrosaudi

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.

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