Former A-G Ambrin Insists 1MDB Report Only a Draft, at MACC for More Grilling

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Ambrin insists that the “untampered” report exposed by Auditor-General Madinah was “merely a draft”.

Former Auditor-General Ambrin Buang was at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters for a second round of questioning, reportedly over the alleged tampering with the 1MDB audit report.

He arrived in a black Proton Perdana at about 2pm.

Ambrin was first called in for questioning last week.

He was questioned for about five hours yesterday.

It was reported that Ambrin maintained his stand there was no tampering of the 1Malaysia Develop­ment Bhd’s (1MDB) audit report.

Shafwan Zaidon

He told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the document presented to the committee previously was not the final report.

Sources familiar with the ongoing PAC probe said while Ambrin was cooperative, the committee wasn’t thoroughly convinced with his explanation.

“Ambrin has maintained that he had the legal power to make amendments to the draft as long as there was new evidence or revelations to be included.”

Ambrin also denied he was “pressured or influenced” to make the amendments to the report.

PAC committee members were also told by Ambrin that changes – a total of 10 – were made in the draft as “certain developments had allowed for it (to be removed)” or that the information was “irrelevant and made no effect towards the probe”, sources familiar with the proceedings told the New Straits Times.

It was not immediately known what the 10 changes were.

“Throughout the four-hour-long proceedings, Ambrin maintained that the report wasn’t tampered with and that no one had influenced him (to do so). The report presented to PAC was the final one. According to the law, there is nothing wrong if the report is amended before it is submitted as the final report.

“He maintained that there is no other version of the final report,” a source said.

However, PAC members remained unsatisfied with Ambrin’s explanation for the changes in the report, claiming they did not make any sense.

“One of the major changes involved the meeting of two people. If that was removed, does this mean new evidence proves they never met? If it was irrelevant, why was it in the draft in the first place?” asked a source, saying Ambrin will be called again together with his team.

Last month, Auditor-General Madinah Mohamad said the audit report on the controversial investment fund had been amended on the orders of various individuals.

They included former prime minister Najib Razak and his ex-principal private secretary Shukry Salleh; former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa, Ambrin and former 1MDB executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

In a statement dated Nov 24, Madinah also said the mention of Jho Low’s presence at a meeting of the 1MDB board of directors and a paragraph containing two versions of the 1MDB financial statement for the year ended 2014 were removed.

MACC said it had opened an investigation into the claim and would call up several witnesses to assist in the probe, among them its former chief Dzulkifli Ahmad.

Dzulkifli arrived at the commission’s headquarters this morning.

He today said that his presence at a 1MDB board meeting in February 2016, was not in his capacity as the anti-graft body’s head.

Instead, he explained that he was at the meeting as a legal officer from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and that he was yet to be appointed to the MACC at that point in time.

“I want to address issues that make it seem that in February 2016, I was in the meeting, as the chief commissioner. I was not appointed then.

“I was just a legal officer working at the AGC. My involvement in the issue was just at the meeting, upon orders to represent the AGC,” he told reporters outside the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya today.

Bernama

He exited the building at about 3.30pm, after being grilled for about five hours by the graft-busters.