KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki’s proxy stock-trading saga may lead to both the Johor state election and 15th general election (GE15) being called soon, according to veteran DAP politician Lim Kit Siang.
Lim pointed to fast-developing political events in the country, such as what he termed “Azamgate” and the results of the Melaka and Sarawak state elections, as giving Umno leaders the confidence to push for both to happen sooner rather than later.
“There is much speculation as to whether the Johor state election will be held after the Chinese New Year,” he said in his speech during a DAP Chinese New Year gathering in Skudai yesterday.
“This cannot be ruled out as it is an open secret that after the Melaka and Sarawak state elections, Umno leaders are pressing for the 15th general election to be held as early as possible and a Johor state general election will be a form of pressure by Umno leaders on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve Parliament as soon as possible.
The Iskandar Puteri MP then listed the recent developments that arose in relation to the conflict-of-interest allegations against Azam.
“Firstly, Public Accounts Committee chairman Wong Kah Woh rightly challenged the position of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun that the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department cannot be open to the public and the media under the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders except on one point.
“Then the MP for Teluk Intan, Nga Kor Ming, submitted an emergency motion to Parliament to debate Azamgate.
“But most shockingly was the latest news of the postponement of Wednesday’s meeting of the PSCC on Azamgate, because Azam Baki objected to the meeting as he had filed a defamation suit which might be considered by the courts and that he was already investigated by the Securities Commission and the MACC Complaints Committee,” he said.
Lim said these developments have led to “parliamentary paralysis”.
“Such a parliamentary paralysis will be another example of the long list of impotence of Ismail Sabri since he became the prime minister five months ago — such as the inability to return to pre-Emergency days before January 11, 2021 in the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent ‘once-in-a-century’ floods disasters in Malaysia,” he said.
Lim claimed the Azam saga will weaken Ismail Sabri’s already tenuous position as prime minister and amp up pressure from Umno leaders for GE15 to be held immediately.
He suggested that the Speaker seek the consent of Parliament during the Special Parliament on January 20 for all Parliamentary Select Committees to hold their meetings in public and in the presence of the media, saying this will show that Parliament represents open, accountable and transparent governance.
He also said a Special Session of Parliament should be called on January 27 to decide on the Report of the PSCC on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department on the Azam issue.
Azam admitted in a press conference earlier this month that he had allowed his younger brother, Nasir Baki, to use his stock trading account to buy millions worth of shares in two public-listed companies back in 2015.
He denied any wrongdoing, saying the amount has since been transferred to Nasir’s account. However, he has not explained publicly why Nasir had to use his account to buy those shares.
On January 8, Azam said he is ready for his alleged misconduct case to be referred to the MACC’s Complaints Committee.
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