Gomez challenges Abu Zahar to disclose minutes of Nov 24 meet

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This will back up Azam Baki’s claims of innocence.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Abu Zahar Ujang must disclose the minutes of the board’s meeting with Azam Baki on November 24, said Edmund Terence Gomez today.

He said this will back up the MACC chief commissioner’s claims of innocence.

Gomez resigned from the MACC Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel on December 27, as a protest against the lack of action against Azam.

Gomez also asked why he, as the one who raised the issue, was not called to the meeting.

“Why did the advisory board not invite me to present and discuss the issue to them, as I had offered to do so?” he asked in a statement today.

“And why did Abu Zahar not call for a press conference immediately after the meeting to inform the public about what had transpired, including explaining why the chief commissioner had been exonerated of the serious allegations made against him?”

Gomez has released his correspondence with Abu Zahar and Borhan Dolah, who chairs the panel on which he previously sat, to the press after his resignation.

The economist had written to both chairs from early November to mid-December, sharing with them information on Azam’s equity ownership.

Gomez was responding to Abu Zahar, who had yesterday said the advisory board has cleared the chief commissioner of any wrongdoing concerning his ownership of millions of corporate shares.

Azam had yesterday told the media that he had allowed his brother, Nasir, to use his trading account to purchase shares from two companies.

However, the shares were later transferred to Nasir, he added.

Azam said he had informed his superiors about his brother’s purchase of shares in 2015, adding that no concern was raised. He was then MACC investigation director.

PM must respond

On claims that the shares had belonged to Azam’s brother, Gomez said this raises alarming questions.

“Is he not aware of the need to declare ‘beneficial ownership’ when holding corporate equity in trust?

“Azam must be aware that it is not sufficient to inform his superior, the then MACC chief commissioner, whom he did not name, of his ownership of this corporate equity.

“Did he also declare his ownership of this corporate equity as required by government regulations? And why did the then MACC chief commissioner approve his form of corporate ownership when he may have violated beneficial ownership-related legislation?”

Gomez said Abu Zahar’s press conference has raised more questions about the conflict of interest, dereliction of duty, and possible violation of legislations and regulations, not just by Azam, but also other MACC officials.

This indicates “a deeply disturbing trend” within the institution tasked with combating corruption, he added.

“As such, it is now vital that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob publicly speaks on this issue as the MACC falls under his jurisdiction.

“The Prime Minister is also duty-bound to address this matter as the press conference by the MACC’s leading officials has further tarnished the integrity and image of this institution,” said Gomez.

Sungai Buloh MP R Sivarasa had raised this issue in Parliament on December 14, asking whether Azam had declared the alleged 2.15 million shares owned in Excel Force MSC Bhd in 2015, as well as the 1.93 million shares in Gets Global Bhd the same year and 1.02 million shares the following year. – TMI

Earlier reports:

Jan 3, Gomez accuses Abu Zahar of covering up for Azam Baki

Dec 30, Prove Azam BAki’s alleged wrongs, MACC advisory board chief tells Gomez

Dec 29, Gomez: MACC panel head ‘disingenuous’ about my emails on Azam Baki

Dec 28, Panel chief: Gomez’s emails did not mention Azam’s alleged wrongdoings

Dec 28, Prof Edmund Terence Gomez quits MACC panel over Azam Baki allegations