Malaysia

Pakatan leadership presses for special Dewan Rakyat session on MACC chief’s share scandal this month


A view of the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur March 19, 2021. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A view of the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur March 19, 2021. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council today said that a special session of Parliament should be held to discuss and debate Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki’s proxy share trading admission.

The council — consisting of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Mohamad Sabu and Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau — recommended that the session take place the day before or after the special Dewan Rakyat sitting to discuss flood issues slated for January 20.

They added that the media statement released by six members of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) demonstrated that investigations into Azam were already flawed.

“The Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council reviewed the media statements of six members of the ACAB who distanced themselves from the statement of Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, the ACAB chairman who had tried to clear the name Tan Sri Azam Baki, chief commissioner of MACC.

“The media statement of these six ACAB members was shocking and opened the eyes of the whole country to the flaws that occurred during the investigation process into the alleged share ownership of the MACC chief commissioner,” they said.

The council said that the statement by the ACAB members is the strongest evidence that Abu Zahar is not trusted by the advisory board, and called for him to take a leave of absence until a full investigation into the chief commissioner is completed.

Similarly, the Presidential Council also called for MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel chairman Tan Sri Borhan Dollah to go on leave pending a full investigation for refusing to act on Azam, even though he knew Azam may have committed an offence.

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“There needs to be a clean, professional and independent new leadership to lead MACC and the panel so that the integrity and credibility of MACC can be restored,” they said.

They also lambasted the media statement of three MACC deputy chief commissioners who openly expressed their support for Azam, as well as alleged that the entire episode was politically motivated.

“Their action of hastily supporting their boss with an open statement resembles the behaviour of politicians in a political party rather than a respectable agency such as the MACC.

“As civil servants, these three senior officers should know that their statements can be interpreted as an attempt to influence the investigation into the chief commissioner, and contain serious allegations that raise many questions,” they said.

They then called on these three senior officers to lodge a police report against Azam and allow the police to conduct a full investigation into Azam and show that the agency will not try and just “clear his name”.

Azam and the MACC have been under intense scrutiny after two articles titled “Business ties among MACC leadership: How deep does it go? (Part 1)” and “Business ties among MACC leadership: How deep does it go (Part 2)” were written by Lalitha Kunaratnam, who is a Malaysian correspondent with the Asia-based Independent News Service.

The report said that Azam owned a substantial amount of shares in several publicly-listed companies, and in a press conference later, he had explained to the ACAB that his share account had been used by his brother to buy stocks in the open market with the latter’s own financing.

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The Securities Commission (SC) on January 6 announced that Azam will be called in for questioning over alleged violation of stock trading laws.

Citing Section 25 of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act (SICDA), the SC said every securities account opened with a central depository must be in the name of the beneficial owner of the deposited securities or in the name of an authorised nominee.



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