Kit Siang urges Azam to clear name before parliamentary select committee

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Only an independent probe will suffice to clear Azam’s name and restore the integrity of MACC.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Azam Baki should stand before a parliamentary special select committee to clear his name, said Lim Kit Siang today.

This, he added, will carry more credibility.

His comment comes after the MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board cleared Azam of any wrongdoing concerning the latter’s alleged ownership of corporate shares.

“The pertinent question is why he is not prepared to appear before a parliamentary special select committee for agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department to clear himself of the claims of conflict of interest made against him more than two months ago.

Zhafaran Nasib/The Star

“Surely a clearance of any such claim by the committee has more credibility and value than a clearance from an MACC committee.”

The DAP veteran also questioned whether Azam’s brother is prepared to appear before the committee to clear his brother’s name.

Lim expressed his disappointment over the MACC’s “tell-all” press conference, saying it had left many questions unanswered.

He pointed out that a senior MACC enforcement officer was charged in court yesterday for the misappropriation of RM25 million of cash evidence linked to a major corruption case.

While it is up to the court to decide whether the MACC officer is guilty of this offence, Lim said it does not bode well that the MACC is having problems inculcating the value of integrity among its officers.

“How does the MACC expect to be successful in inculcating the value of integrity among the Malaysian population?

“Shouldn’t the subject of integrity and anti-corruption be taught in schools from the primary level onwards?” he added.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also agreed with Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Koh Kar Chai, who chastised the MACC for releasing an advertisement about corrupt doctors at a time when the graft buster is facing questions about its own integrity.

The anti-corruption awareness video posted by the MACC on Twitter had depicted an example of how bribery may occur at a clinic to obtain a medical certificate.

“Why didn’t the MACC release a video depicting the corruption of ministers or MPs?” Lim asked.

Meanwhile, Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has rejected the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board’s (ACAB) move to clear top graft-buster Azam Baki of any wrongdoing over his ownership of corporate shares.

C4 said the ACAB’s inquiry did not amount to an independent probe to ascertain “the truth and details”.

“Only an independent probe will suffice to clear his (Azam) name and restore the integrity of MACC,” C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel told FMT.

She urged Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to convene a special independent probe without delay.

Cynthia said some questions remained “unanswered”, including why Azam’s name continued to appear as the owner of millions of shares in Gets Global Bhd and Excel Force MSC Bhd in 2016.

She also claimed Azam may be in breach of the Public Officers Regulations Act (Conduct and Discipline) 1993 by virtue of his ownership of the shares and questioned why no disciplinary action had been taken against him.

She said Azam may also be in breach of Section 25 (4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA), which provides that any securities account opened must be in the name of the beneficial owner.

Earlier reports:

Jan 4, Kit Siang: PM should sack Azam Baki if uncooperative with PSC probe

Jan 3, Kit Siang: Azam Baki should volunteer for PSC probe or quit

Dec 28, Kit Siang: PM must end silence over claims against Azam Baki