KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 ― Tan Sri Ambrin Buang reportedly maintained to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday that his final audit report on scandal-plagued 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was not doctored.
Citing anonymous sources familiar with the proceedings, New Straits Times reported the former auditor-general as telling the PAC that the so-called “tampered” audit report revealed by successor Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad was “merely a draft”.
Ambrin also reportedly said 10 changes were made to the draft as “certain developments had allowed for it [to be removed]” or that information was “irrelevant and made no effect towards the probe”, but there was no elaboration on the changes.
“Throughout the four-hour long proceedings, Ambrin maintained that the report wasn’t tampered with and that no one had influenced him [to do so]. The report presented to PAC was the final one.
“According to the law, there is nothing wrong if the report is amended before it is submitted as the final report,” one of the sources told the daily.
“He maintained that there is no other version of the final report,” the source added.
The sources also said that Ambrin insisted his position was not compromised despite meeting former chief secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and then 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
Ambrin reportedly said it was normal to communicate with those under audit to obtain information and data.
“He denied being influenced by anyone or any groups. This is as expected as he needs to uphold his integrity,” one source said.
However, PAC members remained unsatisfied with Ambrin’s explanation for the changes in the report, claiming they did not make any sense.
“One of the major changes involved the meeting of two people. If that was removed, does this mean new evidence proves they never met? If it was irrelevant, why was it in the draft in the first place?” asked a source, saying Ambrin will be called again together with his team.
Last month, current Auditor-General Madinah made a stunning revelation that her predecessor’s audit report was tampered with prior to its presentation to the PAC.
Among others, she alleged that a paragraph stating fugitive financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low’s presence at 1MDB board meetings was removed under the instructions of former prime minister Najib’s office.
The PAC will call Madinah for an interview over the matter today.