Guan Eng: Suing whistleblower won’t clear Azam of illegal conduct

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Defamation action unlikely to proceed.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption chief commissioner Azam Baki’s impropriety and illegal conduct will not be wiped out simply by suing anti-graft activist Lalitha Kunaratnam for defamation, Lim Guan Eng said.

“Azam suing the whistleblower Lalitha Kunaratnam for defamation by demanding an apology and RM10 million will not make his impropriety and illegal conduct disappear since Azam’s admission is evidence that he did own the shares and had violated the law by allowing his shares account to be used as a proxy by his younger brother,” the DAP secretary-general said in a statement.

Lim Huey Teng/Reuters

“In fact, this defamation action is unlikely to proceed when there is clearly no cause of action for him against Lalitha who had stated the actual facts, and he clearly intended to cover and distract attention from failing to justify his wrongful conduct,” he added.

The Bagan MP said DAP’s legal bureau had also offered to assist and fully back Lalitha if Azam goes ahead with his suit.

Lim said it is ethically, morally, and even legally untenable for Azam to continue his role as MACC chief commissioner after he had admitted to the ownership and purchase of millions of shares and warrants which was transacted on behalf of his younger brother, Nasir Baki, who had used Azam’s shares trading account as a proxy.

The former finance minister said the matter has also come to the attention of the Securities Commission.

“Further for Azam to act against the whistleblower for stating the facts already disqualifies him from being the MACC chief commissioner, who is legally bound to protect whistleblowers as MACC is supposed to act as a guardian against those exposing corruption, abuse of power, and financial malpractices,” he said.

Meanwhile, Azam Baki said he is ready for his alleged misconduct case to be referred to the MACC’s Complaints Committee.

At the same time, the anti-graft agency chief said he was also prepared to leave the case at the discretion of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB), adding that he did not hide any information regarding the allegations thrown against him.

Azam also said that he did not commit any criminal offence or abuse of power as alleged by certain quarters.

Related reports:

Jan 7, After suit, C4 questions Azam’s previous backing for whistleblowers

Jan 6, Azam Baki demands RM10m, apology from researcher who blew whistle on his millions of shares