Wednesday, February 22, 2017

C4 questions Madinah's qualifications as auditor-general

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Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Centre) has raised concerns over Madinah Mohamad's qualifications as auditor-general.

C4 Centre executive director Cynthia Gabriel said the position of auditor-general requires specific knowledge and capability, skills and practical experience in auditing, accounting and financial management.

"She (Madinah) may have qualifications apt for other work, but most glaringly she has no auditing experience.

"What were the process and consideration taken by the prime minister in recommending her appointment? We ask for an explanation in this regard," said Cynthia in a statement today.

Madinah was secretary-general of the Education Ministry and has a PhD in human resources.
Cynthia emphasised that the position is important to ensure as a check and balance to ensure accountability.

"We are baffled at the choice of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, given the importance of this much esteemed position, and its valued significance in independently auditing the management and use of public funds in the light of growing financial scandals in the country," said Cynthia.

Cynthia added that there are also concerns about Madinah's independence due to her husband, Kepong Umno chief Rizuan Abdul Hamid, declaring his willingness to "die for Najib".
Najib was an important figure in the 1MDB scandal which was a subject of investigation by the National Audit Department.

"In light of the foregoing, C4 Centre reiterates its call for the Auditor-General's Office to be independent and report directly to Parliament to ensure its independence and credibility," said Cynthia.

Be loyal to country, not PM

Meanwhile, PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin congratulated Madinah on being the first female auditor-general.

"The 1MDB saga is an international scandal and I hope that Madinah conducts herself professionally as she is obliged to have an absolute duty to the rakyat.

"While Madinah's husband is faithful and willing to die for Najib, I hope that her loyalty lies with the country first," she said in a statement.

Zuraida added that the responsibility now lies with Madinah to restore credibility following the 1MDB scandal.

"The appointment of Madinah as auditor-general is questioned by many due to her husband being an Umno leader.
"Even though their experience and education background cannot be denied, there is no guarantee that there would be no political interference in her duties as auditor-general.
"Therefore, PKR urges the government to review the appointment of the auditor-general to ensure the position and department remain free from political interference," he said.

Madinah will assume the position of auditor-general tomorrow following the retirement of Ambrin Buang.

Ambrin, who will retire after today, had led the audit into scandal-plagued 1MDB. However, the government has refused to release Ambrin's report and classified it as an official secret.

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