Six members of the MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) have disputed their chairperson Abu Zahar Ujang's account relating to the shareholding controversy involving MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki.
They noted that Abu Zahar (above), during a press conference on Jan 5, had claimed the board had met with Azam and concluded that he did not have any pecuniary or beneficial interest with regard to the millions of shares in two firms purchased in 2015.
Abu Zahar also declared no crime was committed nor was there a conflict of interest.
However, the ACAB members said this was not the board's position and Abu Zahar had only expressed his personal opinion.
"We categorically wish to state that the board members at that meeting or at any time thereafter did not express such opinion as Abu Zahar attributed to.
"We also wish to state that these comments were entirely Abu Zahar’s personal view," they said in a press statement.
The statement was signed by all members of the ACAB except for Abu Zahar.
The signatories are Ismail Omar, Azman Ujang, Akhbar Satar, Hamzah Kassim, David Chua Kok Tee and Mohammad Agus Yusoff.
"We need to provide this clarification in order to safeguard the integrity of the board and the institution," they said.
The board members said prior to the press conference, they had a separate discussion with Abu Zahar and proposed that the matter be further referred to either an independent committee, the parliamentary select committee on corruption, or MACC's complaints panel.
"However, our views and proposals were not raised at Abu Zahar’s press conference," they said.
The ACAB members stressed that the panel has no investigation powers as it is established as an advisory board.
The share ownership had raised questions on whether it was commensurate with his income as a public servant and conflict of interest concerns.
During the press conference, Abu Zahar claimed Azam didn't really own the shares and they were purchased by his younger brother in his name. They had since been transferred to the brother.
However, the explanation attracted the attention of the Securities Commission for possible misuse of trading accounts.