DAP lawmaker insists that panel investigating 1MDB must question Bank Negara Governor and former 1MDB boss Hazem Rahman before closing probe.

PETALING JAYA: DAP’s Tony Pua said today that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) never decided that no more witnesses would be called after February 12 in its investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Pua, in a statement, stated there were several other parties extremely relevant to the investigations, including Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz and another former 1MDB chief executive officer, Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman.

“I call upon Hasan Arifin to discuss the matter of calling additional witnesses to the PAC before completing our investigations at the next PAC meeting,” he said, referring to the PAC chairman.

The Petaling Jaya Utara lawmaker, who is part of the bi-partisan committee, was responding to a report that quoted Hasan as saying that PAC would be calling its final witnesses on Feb 11 and 12.

The two are former president and chief executive officer of 1MDB Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and former 1MDB chairman Mohd Bakke Salleh.

Pua said that he was surprised by Hasan’s announcement as “no such decision was made during the past meetings”.

He explained it was crucial for the PAC to hear directly from Zeti and her Bank Negara officials because the Central Bank revoked three permissions granted to 1MDB under the Exchange Control Act 1953 (ECA) for investments abroad totalling US$1.83 billion.

Bank Negara also issued a directive under the Financial Services Act 2013 to 1MDB to repatriate US$1.83 billion to Malaysia and to submit a plan to it for this purpose.

“Bank Negara’s testimony will offer crucial information on the alleged offences, if any, leading to the above unprecedented actions against 1MDB.”

Hazem’s testimony, Pua argued, was crucial because he was 1MDB’s CEO from March 2013 to January 2015.

During Hazem’s service, Pua said, a US$3 billion bond was raised via Goldman Sachs for the purposes of a joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investment PJS in March 2013.

“The failure of PAC to be thorough in its investigations will not only disappoint Malaysians. It will give the perception that PAC is biased in favour of 1MDB and the authorities.”

Source from FMT NEWS

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