KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) disclosed today the government’s move to classify the final federal audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) was done to prevent information from being leaked.
PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin added that the Federal Audit Department sought to classify the final report after its previous preliminary report was leaked to the media after it was tabled before the panel last year.
“The PAC concedes and understands the need by the Federal Audit Department to classify its audit report on 1MDB as an official secret under the OSA 1972 and the Auditor General has the power to do so.
“The decision was made after knowing that information from the preliminary report on 1MDB that was tabled before the PAC July last year had been leaked selectively by irresponsible parties to create negative publicity which ultimately affected the credibility of the Federal Audit Department and this panel itself,” Hasan said in a statement.
The final audit report on 1MDB was tabled before the PAC this morning and is being deliberated by the panel now.
Hasan said today’s receipt of the final audit report on 1MDB will allow PAC to conclude its investigation on the state investment fund, almost a year since the panel first deliberated the matter.
PAC is expected to prepare its own report to be presented to the Dewan Rakyat in the next sitting which starts Monday.
The Rompin MP stressed on the need to “have faith” on the parliamentary panel as an independent body accountable to the public as it consist of both government and opposition lawmakers.
“The rakyat should not worry and must have faith that the recommendations and conclusion made by PAC on the financial management of 1MDB as the panel consist of both government and opposition lawmakers”.
He added that once PAC has present its report to the Dewan Rakyat, the Federal Audit Department will have the discretionary power to decide if its audit report should be declassified.