1MDB probe may be wrapped up soon, says committee chairman

A 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur.
A 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The probe into state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) may be wrapped up soon, said Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin.

The final proceedings on 1MDB's management and administration involving company president and chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Halmi and the company's former chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh will take place on Thursday (Feb 11) and Friday (Feb 12).

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Hasan said that the information received from the session and the nine previous proceedings would be enough for the PAC to make an objective, transparent and fair conclusion.

The PAC probe into 1MDB has been going on since May 2014. The Auditor-General is scheduled to present the final report on 1MDB on Feb 24-25.

Mr Hasan said that the PAC will require time to analyse the report as it is the main source of reference to the committee in making formulations before presenting its findings to Parliament.

He added that the suggestion of PAC member and Democratic Action Party's national publicity secretary Tony Pua for the committee to call former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman and Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz to have their statements recorded was not very necessary.

He explained that this was because all issues relating to the time Mr Mohd Hazem was CEO had already been answered by 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin during the proceedings on Jan 19 and 20.

"It is my view that as the 1MDB chairman, he (Lodin) is responsible to know in detail the operations of the company," Mr Hasan said, adding that all the information given by Mr Lodin was enough for the committee to make its conclusions.

He also said that once the Auditor-General's Department presents its final report to the committee, the PAC may instruct it to compile or obtain any additional facts necessary.

"Concerning the issue of 1MDB under Bank Negara, the matter has been explained by 1MDB openly via the media and it has received comment by the Attorney-General which has also been reported widely by the media," he said.

However, he added that Mr Pua may still raise the issues he had brought up at the upcoming PAC proceedings and if other members also agreed to call in more witnesses, the decision would be up to the committee.

Mr Hasan, however, cautioned that doing so may delay the report and may cause it to not be presented at the next parliamentary sitting.

He said that the PAC intends to present its report to Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat session which starts in March.