Kepong MP: Securities Commission’s turn to look into Azam Baki’s admission of proxy stock trading

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Calls for a probe on Azam for possible violation of stock trading laws.

An Opposition MP today called on the Securities Commission (SC) to conduct a full probe on Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki for a possible violation of stock trading laws.

This after Azam ended his silence after being embroiled in controversy over his acquisition of millions of shares in two public-listed companies in 2015. In a news conference yesterday, he said he had allowed his brother to use his share trading account to buy those shares.

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said Azam’s disclosure only raises further questions and cited Section 25 (6) of Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act, known as SICDA for short.

“The SC has the duty to state if Azam Baki has breached any securities law,” Lim said in a statement.

He pointed out that sub-sections (1), (2) and (5) Section 25(6) of the Act clearly states that no trading of securities shall be carried out using the trading account of another person unless he or she is an authorised depository agent who has opened and maintained a securities account with the central depository.

Lim, who is also a lawyer by profession, said Section 25A also states that an authorised nominee shall hold deposited securities for one beneficial owner in respect of each securities account.

He added that subsection (3) of the same law states that anyone who breaches it is guilty of an offence.

Those convicted of contravening subsections (1), (2), or (5) can be punished with a maximum fine of RM3 million, up to 10 years in jail, or both.

Lim cited a case back in May 2011, which he said was similar to Azmi’s current situation. He said the SC compounded a woman for allowing another person to use her central depository system account to trade in shares in May 2007.

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“This is in breach of section 25(4) of SICDA which provides that any securities account opened must be in the name of the beneficial owner,” he said.

The federal lawmaker also asked if the Attorney General has carried out a full investigation into Azam Baki’s case and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

“If what Azam Baki did was not wrong at all under our existing law, can any person now start using their securities account to trade on behalf of their relatives, friends, and others, whether for a fee or on a voluntary basis?” Lim asked.

It is understood that the shares in question had already been transferred back to Azam’s brother, Nasir Baki, back in 2015 — based on a statement by Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang Abu Zahar at the same press conference yesterday.

Abu Zahar also vouched for Azam, saying that the board had cleared Azam of any wrongdoing or conflict of interest.

The controversy erupted when Edmund Gomez, a political economics professor, resigned from MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel last December 28 in protest of purported inaction against allegations of Azam’s ownership of the publicly traded stocks. – MMO