The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has concluded its enquiry into the shareholding case of MACC chief Azam Baki and is unable to conclusively establish that a breach under section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA) has occurred.
"At the outset, the SC wishes to state that as a capital market regulator, the SC’s regulatory remit is set out under the Securities Commission Malaysia Act 1993 (SCA), Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA), and SICDA.
"In this regard, the said inquiry relates to the issue of whether a potential breach under Section 25(4) of SICDA occurred.
"Section 25(4) SICDA provides that a trading account must be opened in the name of the beneficial owner or authorised nominee," it said.
"The SC has concluded its enquiry and based on the evidence gathered, the SC is not able to conclusively establish that a breach under section 25(4) SICDA has occurred," announced the SC.
Public records show that Azam was a significant holder of warrants in the public-listed company Excel Force MSC Sdn Bhd as of March 2016, when he was head of the MACC investigations department.
A public outcry occurred in December last year after prominent academician Edmund Terence Gomez resigned from the MACC's Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, ostensibly because the panel refused to look into the matter.
Following this, Azam claimed the transaction took place because his trading account was used by his brother, Nasir.
He argued that he had no pecuniary interest in the matter and neither was there any element of conflict of interest.
However, this explanation triggered an SC investigation under Section 25(4) of SICDA, which states that every security account opened with a central depository must be in the name of the beneficial owner of the deposited securities or in the name of an authorised nominee.
Offences under Section 25 are punishable with a fine of up to RM3 million or imprisonment of up to 10 years or both.
Meanwhile, following SC’s exoneration, Azam said he will carry on with his duties to fight corruption as the MACC chief commissioner.
“Alhamdulillah, I am thankful for the decision of the SC who has found that I have not committed any offence,” he said in a statement.