Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on news you need to know.
KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The final federal audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has been classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972, even though it is scheduled for tabling before a parliamentary committee, two sources have disclosed.
Malay Mail Online also understands that Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members will not be allowed to take home the 300-page report on the controversial state investment fund that is set to be tabled before the PAC tomorrow.
“The 1MDB report is registered with the National Security Council as OSA,” one source told Malay Mail Online yesterday.
The source added that in contrast, the previous preliminary report on 1MDB by Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, which had not been made public, was not classified under the secrecy law.
PAC members were previously allowed to bring home the preliminary 1MDB audit report, which was submitted to the parliamentary committee last July, although the report had security tags, according to the source.
The tabling of the final 1MDB audit report before the PAC has already been delayed twice.
A-G Ambrin could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts by Malay Mail Online.
PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin told Malay Mail Online briefly on the phone that a statement would be issued before hanging up.
Another source told Malay Mail Online that this appeared to be the first time that a PAC report has been classified under the OSA.
Section 2B of the OSA allows public officers to classify “any” official document as secret.
Wrongfully communicating official secrets is punishable with a minimum one-year jail sentence under the law that has been criticised by activists for contravening the right to freedom of expression.
Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said last July that the preliminary 1MDB audit report found no evidence of wrongdoing.
In a report last Tuesday, US-based Wall Street Journal (WSJ) cited anonymous global investigators saying more than US$1 billion from 1MDB had been deposited in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts, instead of the previous US$681 million (RM2.6 billion).
Both 1MDB and government officials have denied the allegation and accused WSJ of mounting a “Western” agenda to oust the Najib administration and tarnish Malaysia’s global reputation.