KUALA LUMPUR: A National Audit Department (NAD) staff today described how former Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang was so shaken after attending a meeting which led to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report being tampered that he was left mumbling to himself.
"I saw that he looked very fragile and he was very upset...I heard him mumbling to himself...he was saying what is the purpose of auditing.
"I had to follow him to the washroom as I was afraid he would collapse...," NAD director Nor Salwani Muhammad revealed after she was called to the stand today.
Nor Salwani, 52, said her then boss was left in such a state after he attended the meeting at Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa's office on Feb 24, 2016.
The meeting was convened by Ali on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's behest after the latter said he was not satisfied with the contents of the 1MDB audit report for 2015 which was going to be tabled at the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Later, after Nor Salwani completed her testimony, Ambrin was called to the stand as the prosecution's sixth witness in the case where Najib, 66, and former 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy, 43, are accused of tampering with the audit report.
Ambrin, 70, read from a witness statement in Bahasa Malaysia and started off by detailing his long and illustrious career in the civil service.
He related how he joined the civil service in 1971 and was now attached to the Prime Minister's Department as chairman of the committee overlooking management, acquisitions and finance, a post he has held since July last year.
Ambrin, who has also served in the Malaysian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, and as senior general manager of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from 1995 to 1999, said he was appointed as the Auditor General on Feb 22, 2006, and held the post until he retired in 2017.
Talking about the 1MDB audit, he said the NAD faced numerous challenges in preparing the report as there were many missing or unavailable documents.
He said an audit which could have been done within five months took the department a year to complete.
Ambrin said the audit team was also unable to access computers, servers and notebooks in 1MDB to obtain data and information during the auditing process.
He said eventually the audit which started on March 9, 2015, was only submitted to the PAC on March 4, 2016.
He said it was originally supposed to be given to the PAC on Feb 24, 2016, but was delayed due to amendments which had to be made.
Ambrin will continue his testimony next week.