1MDB audit no longer ‘secret’ once PAC report tabled in Parliament, Hasan says

File picture shows PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin in Kuala Lumpur March 7, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May
File picture shows PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin in Kuala Lumpur March 7, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The federal audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will no longer be classified a state secret under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 once the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) tables its findings on it in Parliament, panel chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin said today.

Hasan said in a statement here that the report by the National Audit Department is only classified an official secret until the PAC’s report on 1MDB is presented to the lower House.

“In today’s meeting, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, the Auditor-General explained that after the PAC report is tabled in parliament, the 1MDB final audit report will no longer be an official secret document under the Official Secrets Act 1972,” he said.

He added that the decision to classify the report as secret is the A-G’s prerogative, noting that latter is responsible for making sure such documents are not leaked by “irresponsible” bodies to create a negative perception of the agency.

Hasan, who is Rompin MP, also said the public should trust in PAC’s work as the panel is made up of lawmakers from both sides of the political divide.

“The people need not worry and should have confidence in PAC’s report on the administration of 1MDB that will soon be tabled to the Dewan Rakyat as it was put together by members of the PAC, which includes members from both Barisan Nasional and the opposition,” he said.

Malay Mail Online broke the story last week on the classification of the Auditor-General’s final report on state investment firm 1MDB under the OSA. PAC members were also prohibited from taking the report out of the Parliament building.

Hasan Arifin previously said that the National Audit Department had sought to classify its 1MDB report this time to prevent an information leak, having learnt from the past in which its preliminary report was leaked to the media after being tabled at the parliamentary committee last year. 

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