Ali Hamsa: Arul Kanda admitted to two different 1MDB financial statements for 2014

Danial Dzulkifly
Former 1MDB CEO, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex November 19, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy had admitted that there were two different versions of the fund’s financial statement for the year 2014, Tan Sri Ali Hamsa told the High Court today.

The former chief secretary to the government said Arul Kanda had done so after then auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang had raised the issue of the sovereign wealth fund’s 2014 conflicting financial statement during a meeting on the 1MDB audit report on February 24, 2016.

“At the meeting, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang also brought up issues on the two different versions of 1MDB’s financial statements for the year 2014.  

“I then asked Arul Kanda to explain. He admitted that there were two different versions of the 1MDB financial statements.

“He insisted that the conflicting version shall not be included in the 1MDB Audit Report and asked for a police investigation to be conducted,’’ said Ali, who was reading from his witness statement.

Ali said he concurs with Arul and had ordered then Finance Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Isa Hussain to lodge a police report on the conflicting reports.

“The purpose of my instruction to lodge a police report was to ensure that the authorities could investigate whether there were elements of fraud or concealment of facts with regard to the 2014 financial statement,’’ he said.

However, during examination-in-chief by senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, Ali revealed that he was informed “much later” by the National Audit Department (JAN) that a police report was never lodged on the matter.

Earlier, Ali also explained that Arul Kanda had voiced his disapproval on various matters in the 1MDB report done by JAN.

“His reason was that the matters included in the 1MDB Audit Report were not factual and were merely hearsay.  

“Arul Kanda insisted that it should not be included in the report. He also insisted that the 1MDB Audit Report prepared by the National Audit Department be in accordance with what he wants.

Ali also said that Ambrin had mentioned that the JAN audit team was facing difficulties throughout the audit process for 1MDB, especially in obtaining documents from the sovereign wealth fund.

However, Arul Kanda also complained to Ali that he was facing difficulties in dealing with the auditors from JAN.

Arul Kanda had assumed the role of the 1MDB chief executive in January 2015 to June 2018, taking over from Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman who was also appointed as the sovereign wealth fund’s managing director in March 2013.

Mohd Hazem’s predecessor, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi had left the post in March 2013 after he was appointed to the position of chief executive officer in 2009.

To date, Shahrol is the first 1MDB former chief executive to have taken the stance to testify against Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the latter’s ongoing 1MDB corruption case.

Arul Kanda is being jointly trial with Najib for their alleged role in tampering with the 2016 auditor-general 1MDB audit report.

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