Court reinstates disciplinary proceedings against former 1MDB auditor

THE Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court ruling and reinstated disciplinary proceedings against former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) auditor Ng Yee Hong. The High Court had previously deemed the action as double jeopardy.

Justice Datuk Azizah Nawawi, heading a three-member panel, stated that the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) disciplinary committee must address the negligence complaint against Deloitte’s Ng Yee Hong in auditing 1MDB’s 2014 financial statements.

“A challenge on an interlocutory decision, which is not the final determination of the disciplinary proceeding, is a premature challenge,” emphasised Justice Azizah, asserting that due process including internal appeals must be exhausted before seeking court intervention.

Also on the panel were Justices Datuk See Mee Chun and Zaini Mazlan.

The court ordered Ng to pay RM20,000 in costs to MIA and the disciplinary committee.

The complaints against Ng were filed in 2015 by Andre Anand Solomon and former Damansara MP Tony Pua. Solomon raised concerns about the sufficiency of Deloitte’s inquiries into a purported US$2.3 bil investment by 1MDB in a Cayman Island fund accusing Ng and Deloitte of negligence in detecting fraud.

Pua’s complaint focused on Ng’s alleged negligence in uncovering “highly dubious and fraudulent transactions in 1MDB”.

In 2020, Ng was found guilty of misconduct in Solomon’s complaint, resulting in a two-year suspension and a RM5,000 fine. The High Court upheld the decision in the following year.

Moreover, Ng contested Pua’s complaint, arguing it duplicated Solomon’s and should not warrant additional sanctions. The disciplinary committee disagreed, stating they concerned different subject areas.

Ng then sought a judicial review in the High Court, leading to the quashing of the second disciplinary proceeding in 2022, prompting the current successful appeal. – Jan 12, 2023

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE