A-G’s Report 2016 series 1 contains 353 recommendations

Ed. Updated to include related articles.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The first series of the Auditor-General’s Report 2016 was tabled in Parliament today. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — The Auditor-General’s Report 2016 Series 1 tabled today at the Dewan Rakyat contains 353 recommendations to assist the federal government, federal statutory bodies and state governments in rectifying identified weaknesses.

Auditor-General Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad said two of the recommendations pertained to Federal Government Financial Statement 2016; 90, federal government ministry and department activities; and 244, financial management of state government departments, agencies and companies.

“As usual, the department heads concerned have been informed beforehand, for the purpose of confirmation,” she said in a statement to Bernama. Read more

Change the way top civil service appointments are made – Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim

Source: FMT News

Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim - Pic from FMT News

\ Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim – Pic from FMT News

BY MOHD SHERIFF MOHD KASSIM

I agree with those who say that it is unfair to jump to conclusions about the appointment of Madinah Mohamad as the new auditor-general because of her husband’s political links.

She should be given the chance to prove her integrity as a person who the public can trust to carry out this heavy responsibility of auditing the management of public funds by government ministries and agencies and reporting to parliament faithfully and professionally, without fear or favour, as her predecessor Ambrin Buang had done in the auditor-general’s annual reports.

His exposure of the weaknesses in financial management and the abuse of power at the administrative and political levels have made him one of the most respected civil servants. Read more

MACC nabs five Felda senior execs

Source: The Star Online

The Felda logo is seen at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, December 28, 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

The Felda logo is seen at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, December 28, 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has nabbed five high-level personnel from Felda under its Ops Caviar over alleged corruption.

The five were detained by MACC between 11.30am and 1.30pm in several locations around the Klang Valley on Tuesday.

All five are believed to have abused their positions in the company for personal gain since 2014.

It is learnt all five are being investigated in relation to a sturgeon fish rearing project worth about USD$10mil (RM47.6mil).

They will be remanded in a Putrajaya court on Wednesday to assist investigations into the case.

MACC director of investigations Datuk Simi Abd Ghani confirmed the arrests and seizures of documents in relation to the probe.

The 2015 Auditor-General’s Report (Series 2) stated that no feasibility study and due diligence was undertaken by Felda prior to a sturgeon-rearing and two other projects, costing the agency millions in losses.

 

Malaysia’s Growing Crackdown on Dissent

Source: The Diplomat

A new report sheds light on a disturbing trend.

Prosecutors in the United States have filed civil lawsuits in July 2016 alleging that more than $3.5 billion was defrauded from 1MDB. Pic taken from FMT News.

Prosecutors in the United States had filed civil lawsuits in July 2016 alleging that more than $3.5 billion was defrauded from 1MDB. Pic taken from FMT News.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government have come under fire for the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and a crackdown on dissent, particularly the pro-democracy movement Bersih.

But a 40-page report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) found the Malaysian government has spread prosecutions of peaceful speech over the last 12-months beyond activists and politicians to ordinary citizens on social media.

“Criminalizing peaceful speech appears part of the Malaysian government’s larger effort to tighten the noose on anyone expressing political discontent,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The authorities should cease prosecuting people for criticism or perceived ‘insults,’ and the government should urgently revise its laws to meet international free expression standards.”

The report, Deepening the Culture of Fear: The Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia, documents the government’s use of broad, vaguely worded laws to criminalize peaceful speech and assembly.

It said the government had sought to punish individuals who criticized Najib’s administration, particularly in regards to a massive corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Read more

Hakam: 1MDB audit report already public, just declassify it

Source: Malaysiakini

There is no more reason for the government to keep the 1MDB audit report secret as it has already been leaked and made public by the Sarawak Report, said human rights group Hakam.

The group, headed by former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, said if the report was erroneous, then auditor-general Ambrin Buang would have said so.

“Once a purported ‘official secret’ is in the public domain, it is no longer a secret and ought to be declassified,” it said in a statement today,

It cited arguments by British appellate court judges in the 1980s, including a judgement by Lord Bridge of Harwich, who said “once information is freely available to the general public, it is nonsensical to talk about preventing its ‘disclosure’.”

The 1MDB audit report is currently classified under the Official Secrets Act. Read more

STATEMENT: Declassify The Auditor General’s Report on 1MDB

pdfSTATEMENT DATED 19 JULY 2016

DECLASSIFY THE AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT ON 1MDB

File photo shows a man walking past a 1MDB billboard in Kuala Lumpur. The tabling of the final 1MDB audit report before the PAC has already been delayed twice and has now been classified under the OSA. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

File photo shows a man walking past a 1MDB billboard in Kuala Lumpur. The tabling of the final 1MDB audit report before the PAC had been delayed twice and has now been classified under the OSA. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Details of the 1MDB Auditor General’s report disclosed by Sarawak Report has been met by a wall of silence by the Government save for the usual vitriol hurled at the portal for its disclosure of a classified document.

The directive to the Auditor General to investigate 1MDB came from the Cabinet in March 2015. The report was completed and handed to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 4 March 2016 at which point it was classified as an official secret. It is unclear exactly who classified it although the Act requires that if it does not fall within the schedule that refers generally to government decisions and issues relating to national security, then it must be so classified by a Minister, the Mentri Besar or Chief Minister or other authorised public officer.  Who therefore classified the report as an official secret?  It must be ensured that no conflict of interest arose in the classification.

The issue now is whether the Auditor General’s report should be declassified under Section 2C of the Official Secrets Act.  There are compelling reasons why it must.

First, this is an audit sought by the Cabinet who was perfectly justified in doing so in view of the fact that public funds were involved.  The Cabinet was therefore acting in the public interest.  However, Cabinet’s task is incomplete if they do not consider the report in full and if they do not publicly disclose its contents.  One does not ask for such an important report to be done by the Auditor General, only to make his findings secret.  In other words, the Auditor General is brought into the picture to examine if there are improprieties relating to public funds.  It is therefore incumbent on the Cabinet to direct the declassification of the Auditor General’s report. Read more

STATEMENT: Declassify The Auditor General’s Report on 1MDB

STATEMENT DATED 19 JULY 2016

DECLASSIFY THE AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT ON 1MDB

File photo shows a man walking past a 1MDB billboard in Kuala Lumpur. The tabling of the final 1MDB audit report before the PAC has already been delayed twice and has now been classified under the OSA. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

File photo shows a man walking past a 1MDB billboard in Kuala Lumpur. The tabling of the final 1MDB audit report before the PAC had been delayed twice and has now been classified under the OSA. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Details of the 1MDB Auditor General’s report disclosed by Sarawak Report has been met by a wall of silence by the Government save for the usual vitriol hurled at the portal for its disclosure of a classified document.

The directive to the Auditor General to investigate 1MDB came from the Cabinet in March 2015. The report was completed and handed to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 4 March 2016 at which point it was classified as an official secret. It is unclear exactly who classified it although the Act requires that if it does not fall within the schedule that refers generally to government decisions and issues relating to national security, then it must be so classified by a Minister, the Mentri Besar or Chief Minister or other authorised public officer.  Who therefore classified the report as an official secret?  It must be ensured that no conflict of interest arose in the classification.

The issue now is whether the Auditor General’s report should be declassified under Section 2C of the Official Secrets Act.  There are compelling reasons why it must.

First, this is an audit sought by the Cabinet who was perfectly justified in doing so in view of the fact that public funds were involved.  The Cabinet was therefore acting in the public interest.  However, Cabinet’s task is incomplete if they do not consider the report in full and if they do not publicly disclose its contents.  One does not ask for such an important report to be done by the Auditor General, only to make his findings secret.  In other words, the Auditor General is brought into the picture to examine if there are improprieties relating to public funds.  It is therefore incumbent on the Cabinet to direct the declassification of the Auditor General’s report. Read more

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

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysian Parliament - MMO File pic

Malaysian Parliament – MMO File pic

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. Read more

Only supporting documents from AG’s report will be classified under OSA, minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KLUANG, March 5 — Only support documents from the Auditor-General (AG) that accompany the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on the administration of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is classified under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA).

The PAC’s summarised report can be tabled in Parliament said Deputy Home Minister I Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

“The report classified under the OSA is the AG’s report. It must be made clear to avoid any misunderstanding,” he said attending an Excellent Service Awards presentation for the Prison Department’s Intan Kampus Wilayah Selatan (IKHWAS), here today.

What is important is that the PAC report need the consensus of all panel members to ensure the report from the committee has credibility, said Nur Jazlan. Read more

Final 1MDB audit report under OSA to prevent info leak, PAC chief says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) disclosed today the government’s move to classify the final federal audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) was done to prevent information from being leaked.

PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin added that the Federal Audit Department sought to classify the final report after its previous preliminary report was leaked to the media after it was tabled before the panel last year.

“The PAC concedes and understands the need by the Federal Audit Department to classify its audit report on 1MDB as an official secret under the OSA 1972 and the Auditor General has the power to do so.

“The decision was made after knowing that information from the preliminary report on 1MDB that was tabled before the PAC July last year had been leaked selectively by irresponsible parties to create negative publicity which ultimately affected the credibility of the Federal Audit Department and this panel itself,” Hasan said in a statement. Read more