Datuk Seri Azalina Othman today defended the police for declining to expand the investigation on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) beyond the ambit of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department argued the police were correct to limit themselves to the terms of reference set by the PAC for its own probe on the state investment firm, but did not elaborate on the legal reasons for this.
But she asserted that this was the “fair and justified” course, as the police investigation was pursuant to information from the parliamentary panel’s discoveries.
“If you want PAC or the police to go above and beyond, I think it’s not right,” Azalina told reporters after visiting the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration complex here.
“Because PAC has already decided on that terms of reference… the police is probing due to the PAC report, I think it validates (it).”
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar last week announced that the first phase of the investigation on 1MDB was concluded, and revealed that the probe would be restricted to the recommendations contained in the PAC report.
He added that the decision was made following instructions from the Cabinet.
Azalina today justified the decision by saying the PAC was an independent panel comprising both ruling and opposition lawmakers, and had been thorough and impartial in their investigation.
“Those who sit in PAC are government and opposition, they are given the prerogative to investigate in whatever manner they are able to investigate by calling in witnesses.
“And PAC (investigation) is based on the (Auditor General’s) audit report… so if the instruction is to contain ourselves to the PAC report then I think it’s a fair statement,” she said.
SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID