Malaysian parliamentary committee to question 1MDB chief again on Dec 18

President and group executive director of 1MDB, Mr Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
President and group executive director of 1MDB, Mr Arul Kanda Kandasamy. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The chief of the troubled Malaysian state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Arul Kanda Kandasamy will appear before parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) again on Dec 18 to answer further questions as part of a  probe into the firm, the committee said on Tuesday (Dec 1). 

PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin said this was because there was plenty of information that the committee had yet to acquire from the 1MDB boss, adding that they were satisfied with the responses given so far. 

Arul’s next appointment will take place a day after the Auditor-General’s final report on 1MDB is presented to the PAC. 

“It was good. Arul managed to give full cooperation and gave us good answers,” Hasan said of Tuesday’s (Dec 1) proceedings. 

The PAC earlier spent more than four hours grilling Arul on matters relating to the committee’s ongoing probe into 1MDB. 

1MDB, whose board of advisers is headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, is at the centre of a multi-agency probe for amassing debts of RM42 billion (S$14 billion) in its first five years amid questions about its borrowings and funds allegedly missing from its coffers.

The 1MDB chief was accompanied on Tuesday (Dec 1) by staff and legal officers from the company. 

Hasan said the PAC wanted more information from Arul so that it could prepare a “fair and good assessment” in its probe. 

“Overall, the PAC is relieved that 1MDB’s business dealings and foreign investments were done with reputable companies,” he added. 

Earlier, PAC deputy chairman Tan Seng Giaw said Arul had replied to all the questions, despite not being at the helm of the company during the time of the controversial deals that are under probe, the Malay Mail Online reported. 

"Basically he does not have much baggage. Everything happened before he took over," he said, adding that most of the deals in question were from 2009 to 2014.

Arul took over as president of 1MDB in January.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Arul said he was asked various questions on the management of 1MDB from its inception until now. 

“We gave the PAC our full cooperation. I have also been asked to come back for another session, and I will take the opportunity to further explain to the PAC,” he said. 

Arul reiterated that 1MDB was committed to presenting its side of the story, adding that he was able to answer questions on behalf of the company to the best of his ability.