Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Minister of Finance should stop telling lies and giving excuses, and admit that Malaysians will never get to see any more audited financial statements for 1MDB and SRC International

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had asked the Minister of Finance for the status of the much delayed financial statements for 1MDB.

In a parliamentary reply dated 16 November, the Minister of Finance responded that “on July 8, 2015, the police seized various original documents from 1MDB’s office.  1MDB’s management has contacted the police regarding the return of the company’s documents, but till today, the original documents haven’t been returned to the company”.

Therefore, since the last financial statement prepared by Deloitte Malaysia for the period ending March 2014, there has been no official audits conducted for the scandal-ridden company.  Worse, last year, Deloitte Malaysia has withdrawn its endorsement for the March 2013 and March 2014 financial statements.

This means that 1MDB has since March 2012, or more than 5 years ago, 1MDB has not filed any financial statements which have been endorsed by an external auditor.

This unprecedented delay was despite repeated deadline extensions granted to 1MDB by the Companies Commission of Malaysian (SSM) to file its annual reports.  And now the Minister of Finance tells us that it has completely given up and said that it cannot even provide a deadline.

If the Minister of Finance is indeed serious about 1MDB completing its audit process, why hasn’t he, who is also the Prime Minister ‘discuss’ this matter with the Royal Malaysian Police to work out an arrangement for the audit to be carried out?

Surely it cannot be too hard for investigators to allow the auditors to, at the very least, sight the documents needed? Moreover, the police have said that their investigation in 1MDB is now concluded and that they have returned their investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers. So why exactly are investigators still holding to these documents if it is necessary for the proper auditing of the company?

We are not asking for the Police to return, relinquish or destroy possible evidence in its hands.  We are merely asking for the Police to allow the statutory audit of 1MDB to be carried out.  The audit is of great urgency and importance as it will confirm if the allegations of billions of ringgit being misappropriated to fictitious investment accounts in various overseas institutions from Singapore to the British Virgin Islands and a little-known island-state of Curacao in South America.

It should be noted that even when the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee was investigating 1MDB prior to 2016, 1MDB refused to even supply its management accounts, despite being requested to do so.

The Finance Minister’s complete lackadaisical attitude towards the audit of a state-owned company with nearly RM40 billion in debts shows that it is a cover up to prevent the truth from being discovered.

The fact that 1MDB cannot produce any audited financial statements since March 2012 further rubbishes Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s pre-budget defence and praise of 1MDB, and the audacious claim that 1MDB will soon “return to profitability”.  It can’t even produce its accounts, what profit is the Prime Minister talking about?

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