Pua: Lines deleted by PAC chief from 1MDB report are crucial

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The lines Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief Hasan Arifin deleted from the PAC's 1MDB report were crucial to the investigaton, says Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.

Pua, who is also a PAC member, said this in response to Hasan, who yesterday owned up to editing the 1MDB report but played down on the deleted parts, claiming these did not in any way affect the committee's final report.

The lines concerned Bank Negara's information that Good Star Ltd, in which US$1.03 billion from 1MDB's joint venture with PetroSaudi International was diverted to, was owned by an individual and not linked to the PetroSaudi group as claimed.

"This finding is crucial to the entire investigations of 1MDB because the company and its executives have testified to PAC that Good Star is a subsidiary of Petrosaudi," Pua said in a statement today.

He added: "However, the company was unable to provide any concrete evidence, such as a company search or certificate of incorporation from the relevant authorities, despite repeated requests, to back up its claims to both the auditor-general and the PAC.

"All 1MDB could provide was, a letter dated in 2015, from Petrosaudi to 1MDB making a claim that Good Star Limited was part of the Petrosaudi group.

"This letter would certainly hold no water in any court of law and the PAC would make itself a laughing stock of the world if we were to accept the letter at face value."

He questioned why Hasan ( photo ) would unilaterally delete the lines if they were indeed inconsequential, as he had claimed.

Pua went on to criticise the PAC chief's explanation that he did so because the information was unclear or was under investigation.

"The PAC chairperson should inform Parliament and all concerned as to what exactly is so unclear about Bank Negara’s findings that 'the ultimate beneficiary of Good Star is an individual unrelated to the Petrosaudi International Ltd'?

"Is the PAC chairperson questioning and challenging the authority and investigative findings of Bank Negara Malaysia?" he asked.

Furthermore, Pua pointed out, Hasan was adamant in his refusal to call up Bank Negara for clarification during the PAC proceedings but was now claiming that information provided by the central bank was unclear.

"If he is questioning the findings of Bank Negara, then why did he persistently, as recorded in the Hansard on at least five occasions, refuse our request to call Bank Negara to testify to the PAC?

"Is there something that Hasan is aware of, which he doesn’t want PAC members to find out?" asked Pua.

He added that PAC at no point empowered Hasan to delete the said sentences.

"The fact of the matter is that the final meeting of the PAC, which included members of the backbenchers and the opposition, approved the final draft that included the above information," he said.

In light of Hasan's actions as well as the latest collapse of the debt-asset swap deal between 1MDB and IPIC, the PAC should reconvene and re-open its investigation into 1MDB.

"The failure to do so under the current circumstances would mean the failure of the PAC to fulfil our duties and obligations to the Parliament and the rakyat," Pua added.

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