Auditor-General Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad confirms tampering instructed by Najib and his aides.
- Paragraphs mentioning the presence of Jho Low at 1MDB board of directors meeting as well as 1MDB’s financial status removed
- Implicated – Tan Sri Shukry Salleh, former principal private secretary of Najib; Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, former chief secretary to the government; Tan Sri Ambrin Buang; Arul Kanda Kandasamy, former 1MDB Group president and CEO
Former auditor-general Ambrin Buang called at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters at Putrajaya today, presumably to assist in the investigation into the alleged alteration of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) final audit report.
Ambrin arrived at the MACC office at 3.15 pm, according to a MACC source.
Reporters waiting at the main entrance of the MACC office failed to detect the vehicle he had used to come to the office.
Auditor-General Madinah Mohamad, in a statement released to the media yesterday, disclosed that alterations had been made to the 1MDB final audit report on the orders of, among others, former prime minister Najib Razak and Najib’s former principal private secretary Shukry Salleh.
In the statement dated Nov 24, Madinah said the two crucial omissions in the report were on the presence of businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low 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.
MACC, in a statement yesterday, said it had opened an investigation into the allegation of the altered report and would call up several witnesses soon to assist in the probe.
It said it will go through the original documents of the report and compare them with the final draft issued by the Auditor-General Department.
Chronology of all the times the report was altered and Najib’s role in the matter:
Feb 20, 2016: Tan Sri Shukry Salleh, the former principal private secretary of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, asked the National Audit Department to present the final audit report on 1MDB to the then prime minister, Najib, for further discussion.
Feb 22: At the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, Najib ordered the deletion of the paragraphs in relation to the two versions of the 1MDB Financial Statement for the year ended 2014 and ordered an investigation by the enforcement authorities.
The meeting was also attended by the former chief secretary to the government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Shukry and the former auditor-general, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.
The presentation of the report to the PAC, scheduled for Feb 24, 2016, was postponed to March 4 and 7, 2016.
Feb 23: The 1MDB audit team was informed that the government had categorised the 1MDB final audit report as a crisis.
Feb 24: A meeting attended by Ali, Shukry, Ambrin and the then 1MDB Group president and chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy as well as representatives of the Attorney General’s Chambers and Finance Ministry, discussed several other paragraphs in the report and issued directives for their removal or amendment.
Feb 25: Ali instructed the 1MDB audit team to attend a meeting at his office, along with Arul Kanda, to further discuss the 1MDB final audit report.
That meeting was to further discuss the report whereby several other findings reported were removed or amended.
In the afternoon of the same day, Ali, Ambrin, Arul Kanda, the former audit director and three other officers continued with the discussion on the report.
Shukry ordered the former audit director to remove a paragraph which proved that Jho Low had attended a meeting of the 1MDB board of directors on the grounds that it was a sensitive issue and to prevent it from being manipulated by the then opposition parties.
Feb 28: The 1MDB final audit report was amended to exclude Jho Low’s attendance at the 1MDB meeting and the amended document was submitted to Ali for further action.
March 1: Ali again summoned the audit team to his office to discuss the report.
At the session, only Ali and Arul Kanda were present to review the report in detail with the audit team and instructions were given for more changes (removals/amendments) to be made to the report.
March 2: The 1MDB final audit report was printed.
March 3: Ali handed two copies of the report to Shukry.
March 4 and 7: Ambrin presented the 1MDB final audit report to the PAC.
Madinah added that she briefed the Cabinet at its meeting on Friday (Nov 23) on the amendments to the 1MDB final audit report that was finalised and presented to the PAC on March 4, 2016.
“The 1MDB final report prior to the amendments was submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Royal Malaysia Police in 2018 for investigation,” she said in a statement.
Meanwhile, PAC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said that key stakeholders in the 1MDB scandal will be called to assist in investigations to the probe.
“Based on the last PAC meeting, we have decided to meet with former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang on Dec 4 and his successor Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad on Dec 5,” he told The Star.
When asked if other individuals, including Najib, Jho Low and Arul Kanda Kandasamy, would be called in to testify, Kiandee replied, “I would not rule them out. But we (the PAC) need to meet to decide when we can call other individuals involved for questioning.”
Last month, Ambrin had insisted that nobody had tampered with his report, as he had full authority over it, while Najib has repeatedly claimed that his relationship with Low was strictly professional and was forged with the country’s economic interests in mind.
Najib also blamed US investment banking goliath Goldman Sachs for failing to safeguard Malaysia’s interests by not alerting his administration of Low’s efforts to defraud the Malaysian investment firm.