Friday 24 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 11): The High Court on Tuesday (Jan 11) fixed March 31 to deliver its decision on a judicial review application by Deloitte PLT partner Ng Yee Hong to challenge a decision by the Disciplinary Committee (DC) of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the MIA not to strike out a complaint lodged by Damansara Member of Parliament Tony Pua.

Pua had lodged a complaint with the MIA over the audit that Ng signed off on in relation to the financial accounts of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) between 2013 and 2014.

Justice Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh fixed the date after hearing submissions from Ng's counsel Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, assisted by Wong Ming Yen and Khoo Suk Chyi.

Counsels John Mathew and Heng Yee Keat appeared for the DC, while senior counsels Porres Royan and Lee Shoue Jie appeared for the MIA.

The proceedings were conducted via videoconferencing online on Tuesday between the parties and Justice Wan Ahmad Farid.

The Edge understood that Ng sought the judicial review based on the principle of res judicata — a legal doctrine meant to bar the relitigation or duplicate hearings between the same parties.

Pua lodged the complaint over 1MDB's accounts on May 26, 2015, although an earlier complaint was lodged by Andrew Anand Solomon Devasahayam on March 31, 2015.

A decision had already been made by the DC over Devasahayam’s complaint, and Ng's lawyers argued that the hearing of a similar complaint by Pua is tantamount to duplicity.

Ng has also filed a judicial review over the complaint lodged by Devasahayam, seeking to bar the MIA from reporting the outcome and challenging the decision of the DC and the MIA.

However, High Court Justice Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid dismissed Ng's first judicial review last Dec 9 — over the complaint lodged by Devasahayam. He also ordered the Deloitte partner to pay RM20,000 costs each to the DC and the MIA. Ng filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal on Jan 4.

Ng was suspended for two years and fined by the Disciplinary Appeal Board of the MIA over the purported breach in the 1MDB reports.

The first and second complaints — including the one lodged by Pua — are over Ng’s signing off on the 2014 1MDB accounts and his failure to report money-laundering breaches to Bank Negara Malaysia.

Last October, Justice Ahmad Kamad allowed a stay of the DC proceedings following the complaint lodged by Pua. 

Pua’s complaint will be handled by Justice Wan Ahmad Farid.

Deloitte took over the auditing of 1MDB's accounts from KPMG in December 2013 — after KPMG was reportedly dismissed by the company following a difference of opinion on the fair value of 1MDB’s investment in Bridge Global SPC through Brazen Sky Ltd.

Deloitte verified the accounts for the 2013 and 2014 financial years, and its opinion was unqualified without any qualification or emphasis of matter. It quit as 1MDB's auditor in 2016.

1MDB subsequently said the audit reports issued by Deloitte in connection with its 2013 and 2014 financial statements should no longer be relied upon.

Edited ByPauline Ng
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