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Thursday, November 29, 2018

TOO TIMID OR NOT, SPEAKER REFUSES TO REFER NAJIB TO RIGHTS COMMITTEE – PASSES THE BUCK TO PAC OVER 1MDB REPORT TAMPERING

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof says he will leave it to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to deal with claims that Najib Razak ordered changes to the National Audit Department’s report on 1MDB, despite calls for the former prime minister to be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee.
Ariff, who chairs the committee, said as the speaker, he did not interfere with PAC.
“They will have a large say in what they look into. Otherwise it will be untidy,” he told reporters after attending a roundtable meeting on electoral reforms here today.
On Sunday, Auditor-General Madinah Mohamad said the former principal private secretary to Najib had ordered the Audit Department to remove any mention of controversial businessman Low Taek Jho’s presence at a meeting with the 1MDB board of directors from its report on the troubled investment arm.

Madinah also named former 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy, former auditor-general Ambrin Buang, former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa and Najib’s former private secretary Shukry Salleh.
She said Najib had also ordered a paragraph in the audit report which contained two versions of 1MDB’s 2014 financial statement to be removed and ordered a full investigation by the authorities.
When asked about the government’s recent announcement that certain appointments of judges would go through Parliament before the names are submitted to the king, Ariff said the Special Select Committee was an oversight body which looked at all major appointments of civil servants.
“Don’t anticipate the committee calling judges like they do in the US,” he said. “It should be taken at a much lower level.”
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