Six MACC advisory board members say chairman went rogue by clearing Azam Baki

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Chairman of the Advisory Board of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, speaks to the media during a special press conference at MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, January 5, 2022. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Chairman of the Advisory Board of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, speaks to the media during a special press conference at MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, January 5, 2022. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

IPOH, Jan 8 — Six members of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) today clarified that a recent statement by chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang on Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki was his personal point of view.

The six — Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, Datuk Hamzah Kassim, Datuk David Chua Kok Te and Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff — said that the Abu Zahar’s statement did not reflect the decision of the board as a whole.

“During his press conference, Abu Zahar said that after a lengthy discussion following a meeting with Azam on November 24 that the board found that Azam did not have any pecuniary or beneficial interest on the issue of purchased shares of the amount reported.

“Abu Zahar said that the board was satisfied with the explanation given by Azam. He further said there was no crime committed or conflict of interest in the matter.

“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,” they said in a statement.

They also said that the members of the board had a separate discussion with Abu Zahar prior to the press conference.

“We proposed that the matter be further referred to any of the following panels and committees, namely the Independent Committee, the Parliamentary Special Committee on Corruption or MACC’s Complaints Panel,” they said.

However, the six said that their views and proposals were not raised during Abu Zahar’s press conference.

“The ACAB has no investigation power as it is established as an Advisory Board.

“We need to provide this clarification in order to safeguard the integrity of the board and the institution,” they said.

Over the past month, reports emerged alleging that Azam owned a substantial amount of shares in several publicly-listed companies.

Azam, in a press conference on Wednesday, said he had explained to the ACAB that his share account had been used by his brother to buy stocks in the open market with the latter’s own financing.

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