Auditor-General Confirms It Was Najib Who Ordered The Tampering Of 1MDB Audit Report

Najib wanted his and Jho Low's involvement omitted from the report prepared by the-then A-G Ambrin Buang, who had claimed that "there was no tampering".

  • Cover image via NSTP

Earlier today, 25 November, Auditor-General Dr Madinah Mohamad confirmed that it was Najib Razak who among others had tampered with the 1MDB audit report prepared by the-then A-G Ambrin Buang

Auditor-General Dr Madinah Mohamad.

Image via KiniTV

The tampering was done to delete the paragraphs mentioning the presence of Jho Low at a meeting of the 1MDB board of directors

According to A-G Dr Madinah, the removal of paragraphs mentioning the presence of the controversial financier at the meeting of the 1MDB board of directors was one of the changes made in the 1MDB final audit report when it was being prepared.

Apart from the omission of Jho Low's presence, there was another tampering done to the report about the financial status of 1MDB, she revealed today.

She said the directive to make these two notable changes came from former prime minister Najib Razak through his then-principal private secretary Shukry Salleh on 26 February 2016, on the grounds that it was a sensitive issue and the changes were being made to prevent it from being manipulated by the then political opposition.

Along with Shukry Salleh, several top former civil service personalities including the former Chief Secretary to the Government Dr Ali Hamsa, former Auditor-General Ambrin Buang and the former 1MDB president and CEO Arul Kanda, who had the capacity to make important decisions with regard to the omission of facts in the 1MDB audit report, were named in the statement issued by the National Audit Department Malaysia.

Ambrin, Najib, and Low.

Image via MC

Here's a chronology of the days when the report was tempered:

It started back on 20 February 2016, when the former private secretary Shukry Salleh had requested for the 1MDB audit team to prepare a final audit report.

Then on 22 February, when former A-G Ambrin and Dr Ali Hamsa had been summoned to a meeting with Najib, he had ordered for the removal of two paragraphs from the audit report which contained its 2014 financial statement and recommendations for a full investigation by authorities on 1MDB.

The next day, on 23 February, the 1MDB audit team was informed that the government had categorised the audit report as a "crisis." This meeting took place at the Chief Secretary's office which was attended by Ali, Shukry and Ambrin.

And on 24 February, another meeting was held attended by then-1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy, along with representatives from the Attorney-General’s Office (AGC) and the Finance Ministry, to discuss the 1MDB audit report.

"That meeting was to further discuss the report whereby several other findings reported were removed or amended," A-G Dr Madinah said, adding that next day, Ali, Ambrin, Arul Kanda, the former audit director and three other officers continued with the discussion on the report where more findings were ordered to be removed.

A day later, on 26 February, Najib's former private secretary then ordered a former audit director to expunge mentions of Low attending a 1MDB board of directors meeting, "on the excuse that it is sensitive, and to avoid facts from being twisted by the opposition."

On 29 February, the final report of the amended version of the 1MDB audit was given to Ali. He then ordered the audit team to come to his office on 1 March to discuss the amended final version of the report. This time, he and Arul Kanda went through the report, page after page with the audit team and more edits were made.

Then on 2 March 2016, the finalised version of the 1MDB audit report was printed and the next day, two copies were handed to Shukry as well as Ali. Between 4 March and 7 March 2016, Ambrin presented the audit report to the PAC, A-G Dr Madinah said.

The current A-G revealed that the unaltered report has been submitted to the police and MACC for further investigations this year on the orders by the cabinet after she presented them with her report on the 1MDB tampering on Friday, 23 November 2018.

The confirmation by A-G Dr Madinah comes amid reports that Najib, who is currently out on bail, wanted his and Jho Low's involvement omitted from the report prepared by Ambrin, who had claimed that "there was no tampering" on his 2016 audit report on 1MDB

The issue of tempering came to light last month when it was first raised by Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh during the Dewan Rakyat, who is also the PAC deputy head.

Image via NSTP

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