DAP lawmakers want govt action against Deloitte over handling of 1MDB accounts

KUALA LUMPUR: Several DAP lawmakers have urged the government to take action against Deloitte Malaysia, one of the accounting firms which signed off the accounts of the controversial 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng pointed that auditor Tan Theng Hooi from Deloitte Malaysia had signed off 1MDB accounts on behalf of the company.

"At that time he even defended the audited account for 1MDB in Parliament.

"We want the new government to take action against this accountancy firm," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) is investigating both Deloitte and KPMG on whether auditors had breached the Accountants Act when signing off 1MDB’s accounts between 2009 and 2014.

The MIA has the power to regulate the accounting profession in Malaysia.

Lim said that Damansara MP Tony Pua had lodged a report to the MIA to probe Deloitte Malaysia but has yet to hear any official reply from the MIA.

"So, I want the MIA to state clearly and immediately what their position is on those accounts audited by one its members," he said.

Kampar MP Thomas Su said the case involved professionalism and added that such matters cannot be defended.

"The MIA should take action because it is very clear that one of its members came to Parliament and defended the report in front of the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

"Serious action must be taken," said Su.

In a written reply, the Finance Ministry said it is currently investigating the matter and will take necessary action based on the outcome and the advice from the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).

Lim had asked the Finance Ministry to state the action taken against Tan by Deloitte Malaysia who had defended the audited 1MDB report in 2016.

The scandal-riddled 1MDB which accumulated debts of RM42bil over five years between 2009 and 2014, has had four auditors since its inception.

They are Parker Randall, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte.

1MDB appointed Ernst & Young as its auditor when it was set up in mid-2009 by the previous government headed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

However Ernst & Young resigned in 2010 without signing off the fund's accounts.

KPMG stepped in to take over from Ernst & Young and signed off the accounts for three financial years which ended on March 31 in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The accounts were signed off without any qualifications from the auditors.

Deloitte took over the auditing in December 2013 after 1MDB contended that KPMG could not “conclude” its 2013 accounts.

1MDB had also said in May 2015 that Deloitte had signed off 1MDB’s accounts for 2013 and 2014.

When questions arose as to why KPMG could not conclude the accounts for 2013, 1MDB stated in 2015 that Deloitte had signed off the accounts without any qualification.