1MDB says will cooperate with A-G audit, insists attacks political

Arul Kanda Kandasamy

(Malay Mail Online) – Maintaining that it was a victim of politically-motivated attacks, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said today it will open its books to the independent audit ordered by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

1MDB group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the firm “welcomes” the prime minister’s request for the audit, and that he hopes the findings will finally put to rest all recent speculation over the alleged controversies surrounding its deals.

“It is clear,” he said in a statement here, “that the attacks being directed at 1MDB are politically motivated.

“These are deliberately coordinated attempts to undermine the company by spreading unsubstantiated allegations and speculation, which in turn could potentially harm the economy.

“In light of this, 1MDB welcomes the prime minister’s request for the Auditor-General to verify 1MDB’s accounts, which have been audited by Deloitte, one of the world’s leading firms,” he added.

In a statement earlier this evening, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said Najib has ordered the A-G to conduct an independent check of 1MDB’s accounts, following media reports claiming of a number of irregularities in its deals.

The A-G’s report, the PMO said, will subsequently be handed over to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for inspection.

“If any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” Najib was quoted as saying in the statement.

1MDB has come under heavy fire after a British paper, The Sunday Times in collaboration with whistleblower site Sarawak Report, ran an exposé last Sunday on Malaysian business magnate Low Taek Jho and his alleged links to 1MDB’s venture with oil exploration and production firm PetroSaudi International.

The series of reports cite details purportedly gleaned from thousands of leaked documents and emails involving 1MDB.

In the exposé, Sarawak Report accused the Malaysian tycoon popularly known as Jho Low, of siphoning off US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) from 1MDB and using PetroSaudi as a “front” in a 2009 joint-venture.

Petrosaudi, however, has denied the claim.