Why MV Agusta was sold for 1 euro report next month

(Bernama) – The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will submit its report on Proton Holdings Bhd's sale of MV Augusta at one euro to Parliament next month.

Its chairman Datuk Azmi Khalid said PAC had completed its investigation into the issue after calling up Proton for clarification on the sale of MV Augusta, an Italian motorcycle manufacturer.

"We have called up Proton and the report will be presented to Parliament," he told reporters after opening a seminar on quality audit at the Securities Commission here Wednesday (13 May).

The investigation was undertaken after Proton acquired a 57.75 stake in MV Augusta in December 2004 for 70 millions euros (RM367.6 million) and decided to sell the stake a year later for just one euro.

The sale, which drew criticisms at that time, helped Proton to write off the unit's losses from its accounts.

Azmi said that besides Proton, PAC was continuing its investigation into the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) costing RM4.6 billion.

He did not dismiss the possibility that several big names will be called to provide clarifications on the issue.

"Before this, PAC (under Datuk Shahrir Samad) had called up those involved in the issue but the investigation was not completed because of the directive for an audit," he said.

"But we will continue with the case and call up those involved to give clarifications when the Parliament session begins," he added.

In addition, PAC will also discuss a proposal by its deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw for a subsidy scheme involving the toll rate of the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART).

Dr Tan, who is also the MP for Kepong, suggested that the matter be discussed between PAC and the Malaysian Highway Authority to ensure that the toll rate imposed on users is reasonable.

On the seminar, Azmi reminded those in profession to focus on the integrity and quality of the audit process as it will enhance public confidence and trust towards their work.

"To me, audit quality has many contributing factors, including good leadership, experienced judgment, technical competence, ethical values and appropriate client relationships, proper working practices, and effective quality control and monitoring review processes," he said.

"Thus, performing audit of high quality should be the priority of auditors in order to avoid more unexpected financial scandals which eventually lead to further erosion of public trust towards the profession," he added.

However, Azmi said that audit regulations in Malaysia are expected to be more stringent when the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board, which was announced in the 2008 Budget, is set up.

The seminar, entitled "Audit Quality: Towards Enhancing Public Trust", was organised by the Mara University of Technology (UiTM) and Malaysian Accountancy Research and Education Foundation.