LIKE SERIOUSLY: Azam Baki
When we were young, most of us, if not all, always got ourselves into trouble or got others into trouble. And when our parents asked us about it, we almost always pointed the finger to others.
“It wasn’t me. He did it”. Or others would take the rap for us.
So, was Tan Sri Azam Baki doing the exact same thing?
Truth be told, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I heard the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner (MACC) chief explain about him purchasing stocks from multiple companies worth millions of ringgit back in 2015 during a special press conference.
“It was my brother,” he said, naming Nasir Baki as the buyer of the stocks.
The chief has been in hot soup for the past few months following two reports by Independent News Service based on Edisi Siasat's blog claiming that he owned millions in publicly traded stocks.
All eyes were on Azam this week after Professor Edmund Terrence Gomez resigned from MACC's Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel in protest of its inaction against the top anti-corruption chief on Dec 28.
After days of radio silence, the commission finally invited media members on Wednesday to the its headquarters to address these allegations.
The blame game didn't end there.
Not only did Azam drag his brother into this mess, he even went the extra mile demanding RM10 million in the Letter of Demand to independent Malaysian anti-corruption activist Lalitha Kunaratnam.
But we do have to admit that there are times when it really is not our fault and we do have to fight for what's right.
Well, whatever it is, Malaysians are not easily fooled and won’t simply let this go regardless of the situation.
Immediately after these claims, which Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang stated that Azam was in the clear, the Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia released a statement saying that they will be calling Azam for questioning.
Abu Zahar was quoted saying "there was no criminal conduct or conflict of interest involving Azam in the share transaction in 2015" but in reality, there obviously was.
According to 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 Security Industry (Central Depository Act) 1991 stipulates that all dealings in securities shall be effected only by the beneficial owner of the securities or an authorised nominee.
In short, you cannot use another person's account.
You'd think he would know this since when it happened, Azam was MACC's investigation chief. Was he practicing what he preached? Nevertheless, calls are loud and clear; people want him out.
Azam has already stated that he will give his full cooperation to SC and expected to meet them next week.
The ball is now in the Prime Minister’s court whether to further investigate Azam or maintain status quo. Pas’ top leadership has already praised the man’s bravery in coming forward. Will Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob do the same?
Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for my brother to borrow my account and make millions for himself as well!
LIKE SERIOUSLY is a column written by Sinar Daily Editor, Tasnim Lokman.