Why audit NOW, what about 1MDB, Rafizi asks

KUALA LUMPUR: Sending the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) to audit the National Oversight & Whistleblowers Centre (NOW) is an unusual move, PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli said, questioning if this was some sort of political harassment.

Rafizi, who was summoned today to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) to submit NOW’s financial records for auditing, said it was highly unusual given SSM’s typical purview.

“It is not usual for them to rate companies on accounting records. I’ve never heard of this before.

“Usually they focus on secretarial and CBT, like the memorandum of articles and so on, if you do something you are not supposed to do.

“But we’ll go through it, I have no problems,” Rafizi said in a press conference today at the SSM building.

Rafizi, who was accompanied by NOW co-founder Akmal Nasir, said SSM recently announced they audited 167 companies in a year. He questioned why NOW was now part of that 167.

“There are 200,000 to 300,000 companies (nationwide), and for NOW to be part of this 167 – and it’s not even a business entity – is harassment and a nuisance, it is political pressure,” Rafizi said.

NOW is a non-profit body set up to promote the cause of whistleblowers, and is led by Rafizi, who is its founding executive director.

Last week, it launched the NOW government wastage index (NGWI), an empirical formula for tracking government corruption and wastage.

Rafizi noted that the entities that need looking into are the companies that have public interests, such as public-listed companies. NOW, he said, was an owner-managed company with nothing to do with the public.

“Whether we lose money or not is of very little public interest because it is our money.

“The biggest elephant in the room as far as the breach of the Companies Act and filing requirements is of course 1MDB. The excuse given by 1MDB so far is that they have not found an auditor to do that.”

“1MDB was last audited in 2014. You are talking about a company with a loan of RM50 billion. No action has been taken, we have not heard any 1MDB officials being summoned,” Rafizi added. – FMT

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