14th July 2016 – TI-M strongly urges the government not to still keep the Auditors General’s Report on 1MDB under the Official Secrets Act 1972 but to declassify the report, table the same in Parliament for debate and inform the public on the detailed findings from the auditor general’s report. The report was submitted to Public Accounts Committee (PAC) but has not been tabled in Parliament since it is a classified document and will be violating the Official Secrets Act 1972(OSA). The report is suddenly hidden from the public using OSA. Is there something inside the report the government wants to hide from the public? If so, it can be considered an abuse of OSA.
Declassifying the report would also enable the government of the day to prove to the public at large that it is transparent, accountable and there is nothing to hide or cover up from the public‘s knowledge. After all this audit report is the result following the prime minister‘s own instruction to the Auditor-General to audit 1MDB.
TI-M also believes that now is the best time to declassify the report as it can avoid Sarawak Report (SR) from further publishing contents of Auditors General’s report on 1MDB which it claimed to be from the auditor general’s report even though the report is still classified under Official Secrets Act 1972 and the authenticity of the statements on the report made by SR has not been challenged by the government. The delay in declassifying the report allows public to unnecessarily form its opinion assumptions on what could have happened in 1MDB including issues of the financial management of the company, dubious transactions and corrupt practices which ultimately may not true.
Since the 1MDB is owned by the government and funded by using the taxpayers money, TI-M holds strongly to the view that the public has right to know how the money was managed by Board of Directors and Senior Management and if there is any fraud or wrongdoing committed by any of the persons entrusted to manage it.
TI-M also repeats its call for a forensic audit to be undertaken on 1MDB’s accounts and transactions since the forensic audit can unearth more details and disclose whether any fraud or wrong doing has taken place which the Auditor General’s report might not have covered or discovered since the auditor’s report would not be as detailed as a forensic audit. If the findings from forensic audit discloses there are elements of fraud and wrongdoings on the 1MDB’s management it can be used to conduct criminal investigation against the suspects. The government has repeatedly denied wrongdoings on the part of 1MDB and claims the allegations from various quarters are untrue. The audit report gives us some of the truth, why the hesitation and indeed the refusal to “let the truth be told”?
Dato’ Akhbar Satar
Transparency International Malaysia
14 July 2016
Transparency International-Malaysia is an independent, non-governmental and non-partisan organisation committed to the fight against corruption.