In answer to Tony Pua, chairman says details about Zeti and Hazem already been explained.
PETALING JAYA: The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has rejected a suggestion to call Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz for its hearings into 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
PAC chairman Hasan Arifin said there was no need to prolong the investigation, and disputed PAC member Tony Pua’s statement that Zeti’s testimony was crucial.
Hasan said Bank Negara’s investigations had already been explained openly by 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy and had been widely reported in the press. The Attorney-General has also given his explanations, which were widely covered.
He did not see the need to call Zeti and a former 1MDB chief executive, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, as suggested by Pua, who is the MP for Petaling Jaya Utara.
He suggested that Pua bring it up at the coming PAC meeting to see if members agree to call for more witnesses, it depends on the committee. But surely it will delay the summary process and subsequently result in PAC failing to present our report in the next parliamentary session.”
He said any information pertaining to Hazem’s tenure had already been provided by 1MDB chairman Lodin Wak Kamaruddin when he testified before the committee on Jan 19-20.
“In my opinion, as 1MDB chairman he is responsible to have an in depth knowledge of the firm’s operations,” Hasan said in a statement today.
On Saturday Hasan had said that only two more witnesses would be heard by the committee before it concludes its investigation. They were former 1MDB chief executive officer Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and former chairman Mohd Bakke Salleh.
Pua had responded by saying that Zeti’s statement was crucial as Bank Negara had revoked three permissions granted to 1MDB for investments abroad worth US$1.83bil (RM7.58bil).
Hasan, who was appointed to replace former PAC chief Nur Jazlan Mohamed following a Cabinet reshuffle last year, said that 1MDB proceedings had gone on for a long period beginning in May last year, and that all the information gathered was sufficient for the Committee to come up with an “objective, transparent and fair” conclusion.
“At the same time, the Auditor-General will present its final report on 1MDB on Feb 24-25, and PAC would definitely need time to review and evaluate the report,” he said, adding that it will be the final step before the committee submits its report to the Dewan Rakyat in March.
-Free Malaysia Today-