PA’s audits’ “adverse opinion” for several consecutive years? No action taken?

I refer to the article “BREAKING: Auditors give adverse ratings to PA’s financial reports” (TR Emeritus, Feb 20).“Adverse opinion” vs “disclaimer of opinion”?

It states that:

“This is the second year that the Auditor has submitted a disclaimer of opinion on AHPETC’s Financial Statements. Moreover the Auditor has raised several more issues of pressing concern this year, compared to last year. AHPETC’s Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements are cause for serious concern.”

As it turns out, auditors have been giving an “adverse opinion” on the financial reports from the People’s Association (PA) for several years now.

An “adverse opinion” is more serious than the AHPETC’s “disclaimer of opinion”.

Same “adverse opinion” for several consecutive years?

As to:

For FY2007, PA did not include the financial statements of grassroots organizations (GROs) operating under itself. The auditor could not “assess the financial impact to the financial statements of the Association arising from the non-inclusion of the financial statements of the GROs”. As such, the auditor gave an “adverse opinion” against PA because its financial statements “[did] not present fairly” the state of affairs of the Association.

Several issues may be raised. For example, It may be one thing to have an adverse opinion – but to have an “adverse opinion” pertaining essentially to the same discrepancy, apparently for several consecutive years may raise the following questions:

What action did the Board of Directors take?

What action (if any) was taken by the Board of Directors to address the “adverse opinion”?

Why ‘same’ “adverse opinion” allowed to continue?

Why was the ‘same’ “adverse opinion” allowed to continue for several consecutive years?

Format of online financial reports changed?

Why was the format changed for the last 3 years as reported by TRE:

Then, the format for the online version of PA’s financial reports for the next 3 years (FY2010 – 2012) changed (“).

“Adverse opinion” disappeared?

TRE further reported:

The public could no longer see the detailed opinions of the auditors. PA only published the “financial highlights” in these 3 reports. In other words, the financial reports became just financial summaries:

…Not giving up, TRE did a further extensive online search and managed to find an online version of PA’s FY2010 financial report. This copy was found on the Parliament website:

FY2010 (10/11) [Link]

Comparing this with the online version on PA’s website [Link], they are essentially the same except that the one found on the Parliament website discloses the detailed opinion of the auditor at the end.

Misleading the public by a public institution?

Is this possibly tantamount to intentional attempts to mislead the public?

“Adverse opinion” for FY2011 and FY2012?

Finally, can the PA please confirm whether they had an “adverse opinion” for FY2011 and FY2012 too?


Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.