ACAB member: MACC advisory board has no beef with Abu Zahar, just differences of opinion

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Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang speaks to the media during a press conference at the MACC's headquarters in Putrajaya January 5, 2022. — Bernama pic
Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang speaks to the media during a press conference at the MACC's headquarters in Putrajaya January 5, 2022. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) does not have any conflict with chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, a board member has clarified.

ACAB member Professor Datuk Mohammad Agus Yusoff said the six board members and Abu Zahar merely had a difference of opinion over allegations of the acquisition and ownership of shares by MACC chief Tan Sri Azam Baki, local daily Berita Harian reported.

Mohammad Agus said the ACAB will be holding a meeting at the end of this month where any differences of opinion can be resolved.

“No conflict at all; just differences of opinion among us in terms of understanding certain contexts, that’s all,” he was quoted as telling Berita Harian.

He also said he and the five other ACAB members have decided not to make any additional comments for the time being to avoid clouding the situation.

Azam was embroiled in a controversy involving the purchase of millions of shares in two public-listed companies in 2015, and had on January 5 admitted in a news conference that he had allowed his brother Nasir Baki to use his share trading account to buy those shares.

Azam insisted, however, that he had not committed any wrongdoing and said there was no conflict of interest as he claimed to have no interest or benefit from the share purchased.

Abu Zahar on January 5 reportedly said the ACAB held an internal inquiry last November 24 and cleared Azam of any wrongdoing, and had also said that all the shares had subsequently been transferred to Nasir in 2015.

Abu Zahar’s remarks, however, did not sit well with all six of the ACAB members — Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, Datuk Hamzah Kassim, Datuk David Chua Kok Tee and Mohammad Agus — who in a joint statement on January 8 distanced themselves from his statement.

Separately, Mohammad Agus told The Star on January 8 that the six distanced themselves from Abu Zahar’s remarks as the share trading issue involving Azam was not at all addressed in the ACAB meetings.

Yesterday, Abu Zahar expressed deep regret over the six board members’ joint statement which he said was released prior to a board meeting scheduled for yesterday.

Abu Zahar yesterday maintained that it is still open for any agency or authority to investigate the allegations of misconduct against Azam, adding that he has no intention of obstructing further investigations.

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