Pakatan leadership want MACC chief and anti-corruption board chairman investigated immediately

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PKR members hold up placards protesting alleged corruption in MACC outside the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur January 7, 2022. — Picture by Hari Anggara
PKR members hold up placards protesting alleged corruption in MACC outside the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur January 7, 2022. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council is calling for the formation of an independent body to investigate possible elements of corruption and abuse of power by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki and Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (LPPR) chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.

They said Azam’s explanation that millions of publicly-listed shares were bought in his name by his brother was unacceptable as it raised the issue of conflict of interest and breach of law.

“This breach of law can be tied to Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991, which comes with an RM3 million fine or a jail term of up to 10 years if found guilty.

“There is also the issue of where the money to buy these shares came from,” they said in a statement today.

“The LPPR chairman was so eager to accept his (Azam’s) explanation when he was supposed to reveal the facts from their investigation as this involved accusations of share purchases in the millions of ringgit in companies listed on the Malaysian stock exchange.”

The Securities Commission of Malaysia said yesterday it was in the process of seeking an explanation from Azam over his alleged acquisition of millions of shares in two public-listed companies in 2015.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Azam claimed he had allowed his brother to use his share trading account to buy the stocks.

“We feel the prime minister cannot remain silent about this matter anymore. He must call for a special parliamentary sitting to explain the real situation behind Azam Baki and these share purchases.

“We at the PH Leadership Council strongly reiterate our stance that we need an independent body unrelated to the MACC to investigate the current chief and former chiefs as well.

“At the same time, the MACC chief and LPPS chairman need to take a leave of absence and the police must open investigation papers if the law has been broken.”

At a press conference held almost two weeks after news about his ownership of shares in multiple companies surfaced yesterday, the MACC chief commissioner maintained that he had done nothing wrong, and that the shares were already declared to the LPPR.

It is understood that the shares in question had already been transferred back to Azam’s brother, Nasir Baki, in 2015 — based on a statement by Abu Zahar.

Abu Zahar had vouched for Azam at the press conference, saying that the board had cleared the latter of any wrongdoing or conflict of interest.

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