PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho were not called for Parliament’s first Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probe into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal earlier.
Now, they will be among 18 witnesses to be summoned before the panel when it convenes on Oct 29.
PAC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said Najib and Low, also known as Jho Low, were not called to testify before PAC at the 13th Parliament.
He said the PAC’s 12-member bi-partisan committee unanimously decided to reopen its probe into 1MDB after a special meeting on Tuesday.
“The first proceeding will be held on Oct 29, with former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang to be called in to testify before the committee,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
He said Low had served as special adviser to the Terengganu Investment Authority, which was later changed to 1MDB.
He added that Ambrin was the auditor-general when the National Audit Department audited 1MDB and he had tabled a report on it for PAC in March 2016.
Calls for PAC to reopen its inquiry into 1MDB were made through a government motion tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and passed in Parliament on Aug 16.
Following this, Dr Kiandee said Ambrin was called in on Aug 30 and Sept 4 to brief PAC on the 1MDB audit report carried out by the Auditor-General’s Department two years ago.
On the new PAC proceedings, Dr Kiandee said the probe would also rely on the US Department of Justice’s reports on the 1MDB scandal, released in 2016 and 2017.
There had been much controversy over the 1MDB audit report, which was supposed to have been tabled in Parliament early 2016.
Debate arose after the report was classified under the Official Secrets Act in March that year, which prevented it from being tabled before lawmakers.
PAC, in the previous Parliament session under the Barisan Nasional government, had looked into 1MDB and cleared Najib of any involvement in the sovereign fund’s dealings in April 2016.
A heated argument arose in Parliament on Aug 16 this year when former PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Ariffin admitted that he had removed information from the previous PAC report a day before its tabling two years ago, saying this was from a confidential letter from Bank Negara.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng then accused Hasan of deliberately erasing vital information from the report.
The information, he added, could have shed light on Low’s connection to 1MDB.