Kit Siang suggests Cabinet tell Azam Baki to go on leave until cleared of wrongdoing

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MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki speaks to members of the media during a press conference at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur September 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki speaks to members of the media during a press conference at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur September 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang today insisted that Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki, who is embroiled in a stock trading controversy, has not been cleared of wrongdoing and as such should take a leave of absence from work.

The Iskandar Puteri MP pointed out that while the Securities Commission (SC) may have concluded its inquiry but said its statement yesterday did not absolve Azam, contrary to the latter’s assertion in a subsequent statement.

“Only an imbecile will regard the Securities Commission statement as fully clearing Azam of any breach of the law and a declaration that Azam is therefore innocent,” Lim said in a statement.

He also pointed out that other agencies had yet to conclude their investigations on Azam, citing as example the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) for Agencies Under the Prime Minister’s Department.

As such, he suggested that the Cabinet instruct Azam to take leave from work pending the completion of all investigations.

“If the Cabinet does nothing, which means the Cabinet agrees that the Securities Commission statement is a statement declaring Azam is innocent, Malaysians are entitled to regard the present Cabinet comprise ministers of low intellectual standards and powers of comprehension and is the worst Cabinet in Malaysian history under nine Prime Ministers,” he added.

The SC issued a statement yesterday saying it has finished its inquiry on Azam’s controversial acquisition of public shares and found no conclusive evidence that he broke stock trading rules.

The SC began looking into the issue earlier this month after Azam openly admitted in a news conference that his brother, Nasir Baki, had used his share trading account — with his permission — to buy millions of shares in two public-listed companies back in 2015.

The SC said it did not conclusively find that Azam committed any breach under section 25(4) Securities Central Depository Act 1991 (SICDA) that a trading account must be opened in the name of the beneficial owner or authorised nominee.

Shortly after that, Azam issued a statement declaring that the SC had found him innocent.

Lim today expressed his disagreement that the SC statement exonerated Azam.

Azam is also being investigated by the MACC Complaints Committee.

The PSC on Agencies had summoned Azam for questioning this week, but postponed it to an unspecified date after he refused on grounds that he was already under probe by other agencies.

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