SC urged to make public Azam’s inquiry findings

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SC must avoid public suspicion of being under pressure to close the case.

An anti-corruption watchdog has urged the Securities Commission (SC) to explain how it could not “conclusively establish” if Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki broke the law over his ownership of shares.

“We urge the SC to make public their inquiry findings and how it arrived at this uncertain conclusion,” Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel told FMT.

“This vindicates further our position from the onset that only a full and independent probe will suffice, as it will also establish any potential breach of the public servant asset declaration laws and circulars as well as reveal the source of funds,” she said.

Stating that the country is “deep-diving into further darkness”, Gabriel also called for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to immediately convene a high-level task force to investigate the issue.

Meanwhile, Bersih chairman Thomas Fann said the SC must explain why their investigations were inconclusive.

“The SC must avoid public suspicion of pressure brought to bear on them.

“With allegations hurled at the SC over conflict of interest within their ranks soon after they said they will be investigating Azam, people suspect that the SC is under pressure to close this case,” he said.

MACC last week confirmed receiving a complaint alleging misconduct and corruption among certain individuals in the higher management and board of directors of the SC, with a source telling Utusan Malaysia that MACC is “reviewing” the complaint before conducting an investigation.

Azam, the country’s top graft buster, is alleged to have bought shares and warrants worth millions of ringgit in public-listed companies – this despite a RM100,000 cap on equity holdings by civil servants.

Shafwan Zaidon

He has denied any wrongdoing, stating he did not purchase the shares and that his brother had used his trading account to buy the shares.

Earlier today, the SC said it had concluded its inquiry into the matter and that based on the evidence gathered, it was not able to “conclusively establish” that a breach under Section 25 (4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (Sicda) had occurred.

Section 25 (4) of Sicda provides that a trading account must be opened in the name of the beneficial owner or an authorised nominee.

Separately, a spokesman for the Tangkap Azam Baki Action Committee, which will be holding a demonstration in the capital this Saturday demanding the MACC chief’s arrest, said they will continue to push for his immediate detention.

“He is in a position that is able to put pressure on anyone who questions his actions, such as regulatory agencies or the media,” they told FMT.

“Azam should be arrested to ensure that legal processes that are taken can be trusted by the rakyat.” – FMT

Earlier report:

Jan 18, SC: Azam inquiry inconclusive