KUALA LUMPUR: The two key witnesses in the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) inquiry into 1MDB can expect to be questioned on their absence at Tuesday’s hearing.
1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy, and its former chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi were no-shows on the date, claiming they had prior commitments overseas.
“His answer to the PAC earlier that they were overseas, that they were informed at the last minute, these are all twisting and turnings. I want the CEO of 1MDB, president of 1MDB Arul Kanda and the former CEO to tell us if they are not twisting and turning, where were they on May 25 and 26 when the PAC asked them to attend the inquiry,” Pakatan Rakyat representative to the PAC, Tony Pua (pic) said in Parliament lobby on Thursday.
“They told us that they had a prior appointment overseas. We want to know where they were. Were they in Dubai, did they take a short flight to Singapore? Did they go together? Did they go separately? We even want to know when was the flight booked. Was it booked after the date the notice was given or before the notice was given?” said the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.
“What meeting were they having overseas such that they could not attend the inquiry? These are questions that we will ask again when they come to see the PAC at a date that will be fixed by PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed,” he said.
Arul and Shahrol were originally called in to meet the PAC on Tuesday. It is understood that Arul was away on official business while Shahrol has requested a month’s extension to prepare for the hearing.
The committee decided to allow Arul and Shahrol time but the duo were warned against further delays. They are expected to face the PAC sometime in mid-June.
A letter was mailed to the Finance Ministry on May 6 requesting for Arul and Shahrol to attend the inquiry on May 26. However, Arul claimed to have received the letter from the Ministry only on May 21.
The bi-partisan PAC is conducting an inquiry into the debt and cashflow problems of 1MDB.
The PAC began its probe into 1MDB on May 19 when two senior government officials – Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah, also a 1MDB advisory board member and, Economic Planning Unit director-general Datuk Seri Dr Rahmat Bivi Abdulla – appeared before it.
1MDB auditor Deloittee has been called to met the PAC on June 10 while previous auditor KPMG will meet the committee on June 17.Another previous auditor, Ernst & Young, is set to be called at a later date.