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1MDB denies delaying its session with PAC

1mdb

Nikita Nawawi
Written by Nikita Nawawi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 26, 2015: 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has denied allegations that the company had purposely tried to delay its session with the Public Account Committee (PAC) which was initially scheduled for today.

1MDB in a press statement today reiterated the company’s commitment to cooperate with PAC and that its chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi will attend the committee’s hearing on a soon to be finalised date.

The company’s full statement is as follows;

“Contrary to recent press reports and statements by certain individuals, we wish to clarify that it was only on May 21 that 1MDB received a letter from the Ministry of Finance (MoF), appending an invitation sent by the PAC.

“This invitation, which was addressed to the MoF, requested an appearance by the company before the committee on May 26.

“Upon receiving this letter, 1MDB responded to the MoF on May 21, the same day the company received the invitation.

“As confirmed by (PAC chairman Datuk) Nur Jazlan (Mohamed), the date for this appearance is currently being finalised, due to the date proposed earlier being in conflict with previously scheduled overseas commitments.

“We once again reiterate our intention to extend our full cooperation to the PAC and both Arul and Shahrol look forward to appearing before the committee and having the opportunity to clarify 1MDB’s position,” the statement read.

A news report yesterday suggested Arul and Shahrol had sought a month extension before they face the PAC.

The Star had quoted sources as saying that Arul would be away on official business whereas Shahrol is believed to seek the extension to prepare for the hearing.

The report had prompted prominent blogs Jebat Must Die and Outsyed the Box to suggest that the debt-ridden 1MDB was snubbing the PAC hearing for its own convenience.

Anonymous Jebat Must Die wrote: “Nur Jazlan had issued early warnings that PAC will start its investigation on April 14, some 6 weeks before today’s date.

“Amazingly, Shahrol even requested a further one month extension to prepare for the investigation. That will overall be 10 weeks of preparation to face a PAC probe. Surely something is amiss,” he posted on his site earlier today.

Syed Akbar Ali of Outsyed the Box hypothesises: “By the time Arul and Shahrol make an appearance after one month, all the other witnesses would have testified.

“Then it will be easier for Arul and Shahrol to take notes, prepare and coordinate their answers.  That is why they want to be the last witnesses to appear. Banyak pandai.

“They need the one month to synchronise their answers. Listen to all the other witnesses, compare notes and prepare answers so that one fellow does not contradict the other,” he wrote.

PAC began the investigation into 1MDB last week as it called the Treasury’s secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah and Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director-general Rahamat Bivi Abdulla to give their statement.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had ordered the Auditor General (AG) to conduct an independent check on 1MDB’s accounts and prepare a report for the PAC to further examine.

In March, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had stated that the PAC does not need to wait for the AG’s report and can start its own investigation on the state-owned firm.

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About the author

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi is an up-and-coming writer who started his involvement in the media industry serving established local English daily, before joining The Mole in October 2014 as journalist.