1MDB probe: Panel 'has more questions now' for top officials

PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed (above) says 1MDB's current president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former chief executive Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi "should be worried".
PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed (above) says 1MDB's current president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former chief executive Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi "should be worried".PHOTOS: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BLOOMBERG, REUTERS
PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed says 1MDB's current president Arul Kanda Kandasamy (above) and former chief executive Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi "should be worried".
PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed says 1MDB's current president Arul Kanda Kandasamy (above) and former chief executive Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi "should be worried".
PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed says 1MDB's current president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former chief executive Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi (above) "should be worried".
PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed says 1MDB's current president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former chief executive Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi (above) "should be worried".

KUALA LUMPUR - The bipartisan parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has more questions in need of answers from the past and present chief executives of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

"They should be worried," chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said of 1MDB's current president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former chief executive Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, both of whom missed a scheduled hearing on May 26.

Datuk Nur Jazlan said the PAC now has more questions for the two men after interviewing the auditors of 1MDB.

"We are giving them good time and not more time to prepare themselves. They should be more worried as we now have more questions for them," he told reporters on Thursday.

Mr Arul Kanda confirmed his next date with the PAC is on Aug 5. He said he missed the first hearing because he was abroad on official business.

"The purpose of my appearance before the committee is to respond to questions that its members may have.

"I have every confidence that the honourable members will allow me a fair opportunity to explain 1MDB's position to a lawful authority," he said in a statement.

The PAC had changed its mind about getting both men to testify on the same day in August, according to Mr Nur Jazlan.

"We are calling them separately based on the new information gathered," he said.

Mr Sharol will appear before the PAC on Aug 4.

Mr Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, who was managing director and CEO of 1MDB briefly, will also be called to testify on Aug 6.

Earlier, Mr Nur Jazlan described the PAC's probe into KPMG's role as 1MDB's auditor from 2010 to 2012 as "a good treasure of information".

KPMG was the auditor when Finance Ministry-owned 1MDB entered into major contracts such as the PetroSaudi deal, he said.

"They also said that their contracts were terminated by the Finance Ministry in December 2013, but they were not told the reasons for the termination," he said. KPMG was replaced by Deloitte Malaysia.

Others scheduled to appear before the PAC include former 1MDB directors - Sime Darby CEO Mohd Bakke Salleh and RHB Bank chairman Azlan Zainol - on Aug 17 and five new directors on Aug 18.

In March, Prime Minister Najib Razak ordered the Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, to start an independent probe into 1MDB after it was found to have chalked up debts of up to RM42 billion (S$15.1 billion). Datuk Seri Najib had pledged that the state-backed fund would face legal repercussions if wrongdoings are proved.

The PAC initiated its own probe after 1MDB became a political issue. Mr Nur Jazlan said that the Auditor-General would table his preliminary report to the PAC on July 9.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2015, with the headline '1MDB probe: Panel 'has more questions now' for top officials'. Print Edition | Subscribe