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‘Upset’ Najib ordered 1MDB audit report changes to hide two different financial statements, Ali Hamsa confirms

November 20, 2019

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* PAC trial: Gani Patail terminated as AG after Najib lost trust in him, court told  

Former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court November 19, 2019. Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 ― Datuk Seri Najib Razak directly ordered amendments to be made to the 2016 Auditor-General’s (A-G) report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa told the High Court today.

Testifying at the Pekan MP’s trial for allegedly tampering with the federal audit report, Ali related that he was called by Najib to the Prime Minister’s Office on February 22, 2016 for a meeting ― the first of a series of other meetings that resulted in changes to the A-G’s 1MDB report that was later presented to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

Ali said he was not alone when meeting Najib who was both pime minster and financial minister then. Tan Sri Ambrin Buang who was the A-G at that time was present.

The retired chief secretary remembered Najib saying he did not want the audit report to include mention that 1MDB had two different financial statements for the financial year 2014.

During that meeting, Datuk Seri Najib informed Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and I that the purpose of the meeting was with regards to the 1MDB audit report which was to be presented to the Public Accounts Committee on February 24, 2016.

Datuk Seri Najib said that he was not satisfied with the contents of the report,

Datuk Seri Najib mentioned that he did not want two different financial statements for 1MDB to be submitted in the 1MDB audit report,” said Ali, now 64.

Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court November 19, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

Asked by the lead prosecutor to describe how Najib looked during that first meeting, Ali said: “Knowing him, directly dealing with him since 2009, I noticed that time on that day he looked a little upset”.

Ali is the fourth prosecution witness testifying against Najib in a joint trial with former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

In this trial, Najib was charged with abusing his position as prime minister and finance minister to order amendments in February 2016 to the auditor-general’s audit report on 1MDB before its presentation to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee to avoid any civil or criminal action against him, while Arul Kanda was charged with abetting Najib in the report’s tampering.

Both their offences are punishable under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 with a maximum 20-year jail term, and a fine of at least five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000 or whichever is higher.

The trial before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan resumes tomorrow morning.

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From → Malaysia Upclose

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