Tony Pua urges Putrajaya to go after KPMG, Deloitte next after AmBank agrees to RM2.83b 1MDB settlement

Pua urged the Finance Ministry to not give in during its negotiations with KPMG and Deloitte. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Pua urged the Finance Ministry to not give in during its negotiations with KPMG and Deloitte. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 1 — DAP MP Tony Pua today urged the Finance Ministry to now focus on the claims against former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) auditors, KPMG and Deloitte Malaysia.  

The Damansara MP said the ministry has done well to complete the RM2.83 billion settlement with AmBank Bhd over its culpability in the 1MDB corruption scandal and must now ensure similar resolutions with KPMG and Deloitte through the courts or a settlement. 

“Like the AmBank case, the claim documents against both entities were completed by the professionals more than a year ago.

“However, unlike the degree of forthcoming cooperation shown by AmBank, these ‘international’ auditors have failed to demonstrate any remorse and have refused to acknowledge any degree of culpability in the RM50 billion scandal despite clear evidence of their failure to carry out their audit responsibilities in a competent manner,” he said in a statement. 

Pua also urged the Finance Ministry to not give in during its negotiations with KPMG and Deloitte.

“Since they have demonstrated no remorse for their culpability in the tens of billions of ringgit for the Malaysian tax-payers, the Finance Ministry, via 1MDB must immediately file the relevant suits, which have been fully prepared, against them in the Courts,” he said.

He added that he had filed complaints against both KPMG and Deloitte as well as their respective partners Ahmad Nasri Abdul Wahab and Ng Yee Hong, in March and June 2015 respectively with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) for filing fraudulent 1MDB annual financial statements.

“My complaint against KPMG was for its failure to take into consideration the material disclosures of the transactions which took place in 1MDB’s then US$1 billion (RM4.05) billion investment to form an aborted joint venture with Petrosaudi International Limited from 2009 to 2010, including at least US$700 million (RM2.83 billion) that was siphoned to Jho Low’s company, Good Star Limited,” he said.

Pua reminded that KPMG had then performed the arguably record-breaking feat of signing off the March 2010 financial audit within three weeks after being appointed in September 2010, after the original auditors Ernst & Young (EY) were sacked.  

“EY had refused to sign off 1MDB’s financial statement due to irregularities in the transactions with Petrosaudi.

“Deloitte, on the other hand, took over from KPMG after the latter was sacked by 1MDB in December 2013.  

“KPMG had refused to sign off the March 2013 accounts because it was unable to verify the authenticity of 1MDB’s US$2.318 billion (RM9.40) billion investment in a dodgy investment fund parked in Cayman Islands,” he said.

He further recalled accusing Deloitte Malaysia of intentionally and/or negligently failing to conduct sufficient and necessary due diligence and audit of the cash flow and liquidity risk 1MDB.  

“Deloitte endorsed 1MDB as a going concern on November 5, 2014, after which 1MDB immediately failed to repay a RM2 billion loan at the end of November 2014.

“This was because Deloitte has failed to perform a thorough authentication and verification of 1MDB’s investment in the Cayman Islands, which turned out to be fraudulent,” he said.

On Feb 26, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz said AMMB Holdings Berhad has agreed to pay RM2.83 billion to the Malaysian government as global settlement on all outstanding claims and actions over AmBank Group’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal. 

He said the settlement is part of the Malaysian government’s continuing efforts against all parties directly or indirectly involved in 1MDB and 1MDB-linked entities to recover funds.

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