Azam Baki should resign as MACC's credibility at stake

06 Jan 2022 11:31pm
Azam during the special press conference at MACC headquarters in Putrajaya on Jan 5. (Source: Bernama)
Azam during the special press conference at MACC headquarters in Putrajaya on Jan 5. (Source: Bernama)
SHAH ALAM - Best for Tan Sri Azam Baki to step down as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner following the share-ownership scandal.

MUDA Vice President Lim Wei Jiet said this was the least he could do since there is a much larger issue at stake, which is the credibility and integrity of the commission as a whole.

He said scandal has tainted the credibility of not only Azam but also MACC, which is unfortunate.

He said something drastic needs to be done to restore the public’s trust in the institution.

“This is not a personal thing of his but a larger issue at stake and if we want people to take anti-corruption seriously and to eradicate corruption in Malaysia, something drastic should be done.

“And it should start with Azam Baki stepping down,” he told Sinar Daily.

Lim, who is also a lawyer, said that the people were now questioning the credibility of MACC due to Azam’s questionable claim that his brother Nasir Baki used his trading share account to purchase stocks.

“The excuse should not be used especially when you are the chief commissioner of MACC.

“From the comments we read on social media, the public also finds it very hard to believe it,” he said.
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He said that Azam should self-reflect and ask himself if staying on would be good for MACC or not because officials in other countries have resigned for far less serious accusations.

Lim added that there was also a legality issue when Azam allowed his brother to use his trading share account as someone was not allowed to trade or operate an account belonging to someone else.

“A person cannot use a third party’s account. That is the violation of Section 25 (4) of the Security Industry (Central Depository Act) 1991,” he added.

Meanwhile, Datuk M Reza Hassan said agreed with Azam’s statement that he was only answerable to the MACC’s Anti Corruption Advisory Board.

“In terms of the law, he (Azam) is not wrong but the public will have a negative perception as they felt like there was something amiss about his statement,” he said.

Reza said this event has impacted MACC as people began questioning the institution’s credibility since this type of issues should not arise from MACC or any board and investigative body of similar nature.

“When you make the standing of this institution questionable, then people will doubt their integrity and credibility,” he said.

Reza said what MACC can do to move forward is to support Azam’s resignation in order to protect the integrity of the institution.

“Tan Sri Azam Baki should resign in order for MACC to protect their integrity and credibility,” he said.

On Jan 5, a special press conference was held by the MACC to address accusations on Azam owning shares in excessive amounts at multiple companies.

Azam denied the accusation and stated that the shares have nothing to do with MACC and his trading share account was used by his brotheri to purchase shares.

According to Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, the shares in question had already been transferred back to his brother Nasir in 2015.

The Securities Commission Malaysia on Jan 6 released a statement saying that they will be calling Azam for question over alleged violation of stock trading laws.

Citing Section 25 of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act (SICDA), the SC said every securities 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.

The regulatory authority further wrote that Section 29A of SICDA stipulates that all dealings in securities shall be effected only by the beneficial owner of the securities or an authorised nominee.
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