Auditor-General’s assurance of professional audit of 1MDB most welcome although public confidence have not been helped by contradictory or uncharacteristic statements by MACC and Police

I welcome the promise by the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang that his department will call up any individual necessary even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in completing an independent audit on strategic fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The Auditor-General’s assurance of professional audit of 1MDB and not to be swayed by extraneous considerations is most welcome, although public confidence that the various authorities would adopt a professional, accountable and responsible approach in the handling of the 1MDB scandal had not been helped by contradictory or uncharacteristic statements by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Police.

Suddenly, there seems to be a competition among the various departments to show courage and eagerness to investigate the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself – as not only Ambrin does not rule out such possibility, even the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar pointedly said that Najib would be one of the targets of investigation by a three-agency task force to probe the 1MDB scandal.

In fact, the IGP’s announcement has detracted the credibility of the Auditor-General’s statement that his department’s audit would not exclude an investigation into the Prime Minister, for who would believe the IGP’s claim when he had been guilty of kid-glove treatment to BN Ministers and leaders, letting off the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Datuk Ismail Sabri for the most racist and seditious incitement in calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businessmen and allowing the former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Mashitah Ibrahim to enjoy impunity and immunity for spouting heinous lies to incite religious hatred, conflict and tension in plural Malaysia.

In contrast, the IGP had shown neither mercy nor respect for Pakatan Rakyat leaders, and the treatment meted out to Selangor State Exco Member, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad as if he is a common criminal is the most telling indictment of the IGP’s partisan bias and double-standards.

But there is another contradiction, as just a few hours before Khalid announced yesterday a three-agency task force comprising members of the police force, MACC and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to probe 1MDB, the MACC Chief Commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamad had declared that the MACC would wait for the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB before starting its own probe.

One issue which deserves the Auditor-General’s immediate attention is the conflict-of-interest situation, not over the Auditor-General submitting its report to PAC, but from the Prime Minister also being the Chairperson of the 1MDB advisory board and Finance Minister.

As Auditor-General, Ambrin should focus and advise on whether the Prime Minister continues to be caught in a conflict-of-interest situation in doubling up as Chairman of the 1MDB advisory board and Finance Minister.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah