Academic Prof Dr Edmund Terence Gomez has resigned from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel.
- Wrote thrice to panel chairperson Borhan Dolah to push for a meeting to discuss allegations – meeting never materialised
- Wrote thrice to MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Abu Zahar – no response
- Deafening silence from Azam on his business dealings
In a letter to the panel’s chairperson Datuk Seri Borhan Dolah on Monday (Dec 27), Gomez said that his resignation was in protest over the panel’s inaction with regards to allegations regarding MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki.
Azam allegedly owns close to two million shares in a public listed company.
In the letter, Gomez had said he had raised the issue with Borhan on Nov 12 and had asked him to call a meeting of the panel on the allegations.
“I wrote to you on Nov 12, asking that you convene a meeting of our Panel. You responded immediately stating that you would call a meeting and that you would ask the MACC’s administrative staff to organise it,” said Gomez.
“Two weeks later, I wrote to you again on Nov 26, this time attaching more information I had received on the business links of Azam’s family. I stressed that this information was deeply troubling as it was based on extensive research,” said Gomez.
Gomez then said that he had raised the issue again with Borhan on Dec 14 as he had not received a response to his second letter
He then added that he is submitting his resignation as he had said that he would be tendering his resignation from the MACC panel if he did not hear from Borhan.
Gomez had been appointed to the MACC panel from June 1, 2020, and would have ended his term on May 31, 2022.
The professor of political economy at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Economics and Administration added that he had also written to the MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Nika Ujang on three separate occasions, but these also failed to elicit any response.
Gomez also described the delay in convening a meeting on this issue as being “unconscionable” and “extremely irresponsible”.
He further noted that Azam has yet to issue any public statement, nor had he responded to statements made by several MPs in Parliament on his business dealings that were made on December 14.
“This deafening silence on the part of the chief commissioner, although a serious allegation has been made about his conduct, further indicates why the advisory panel, as well as the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, should meet to discuss this matter,” he said.
Gomez said he “deeply regrets” that he was not able to convince Borhan and Abu Zahar to act on this matter.
Even though he had resigned, Gomez was also quoted as saying he is currently pushing for the panel’s response.
“The letter was sent to the press to publicise this reluctance to act on an important issue. The press has to help us keep this matter in the public eye until an independent investigation is done.
“The prime minister should also act on this matter to protect the integrity of the MACC,” he said.
He added that he had hoped he could contribute to a joint effort to look into the allegations and determine how the integrity and credibility of the MACC can be protected.
Previously, Sungai Buloh MP R Sivarasa had filed an urgent motion seeking the Dewan Rakyat to discuss Azam’s alleged ownership of close to two million shares in a public listed company.
Sivarasa had alleged that between 2015 and 2016, when Azam was the MACC’s investigation director, he had become the owner of 930,000 shares in Gets Global Bhd as at April 30, 2015, and a further 1,029,000 shares as at March 31, 2016.
The MP also claimed that, as of March 21, 2016, Azam also owned 2,156,000 warrants in public listed Excel Force MSC Bhd, while his younger brother owned 3,728,000 shares in Gets Global.
Sivarasa had noted that public servants are barred from owning more than RM100,000 value of shares in any company.
Public officers are also required to declare all their assets to their heads of departments under the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.