PH chiefs want Azam Baki, Abu Zahar suspended pending probe

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Call for new leadership.

The Pakatan Harapan presidential council is calling for MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki and MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairperson Abu Zahar Ujang to be suspended pending a probe into Azam’s shareholding scandal.

They are also calling for MACC Consultative and Anti -Corruption Panel chair Borhan Dolah to be placed on leave as well, and for the government to ensure that no senior MACC personnel are involved in any probe which should be carried out by independent investigators.

“The Harapan Presidential Council examined the media statements of six Advisory Board Members who have distanced themselves from Abu Zahar’s initial statement which attempted to clear Azam Baki.

“The media statement of the six other members is very shocking and opens the eyes of the whole country to the shortcomings that have occurred in the process of investigation into the alleged share ownership,” said PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng, Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu and Upko’s Wilfred Mangius Tanggau in a joint statement.

They said it was clear that the MACC or the MACC advisory body cannot investigate the chief commissioner himself, and investigations by independent bodies unrelated to the MACC are urgently required.

“The statements of these six members are the strongest evidence that the chairperson is no longer believed and trusted by his own members.

“Therefore, Abu Zahar needs to be rested until the end of the full investigation.

“At the same time, Borhan Dolah also needs to be rested until the same investigation is completed for his refusal to investigate Azam Baki.

Azam came under scrutiny recently after allegations surfaced about him having owned shares in two companies back in 2015.

According to Excel Force Bhd’s 2015 annual report, Azam owned 2,156,000 warrants in the company as of March 21, 2016. At the time, Azam was the head of MACC’s investigation division.

However, in a press conference on Jan 5, Azam said he did not do anything wrong as the shares were bought by his brother, who only used his name.

On the same day, MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairperson Abu Zahar Ujang also said that Azam had explained the matter to them on Nov 24 last year.

Abu Zahar also claimed that the board was satisfied that there was no wrongdoing.

However, this claim by Abu Zahar was later disputed by six other board members, who said that this was not the board’s position and Abu Zahar had only expressed his personal opinion.

Call for new leadership

“There needs to be new leaders who are clean, professional, and independent to lead the various bodies of the MACC so that its authority, integrity, and credibility can be restored.

“The Presidential Council also views serious and rejects the media statements of the three MACC deputy chief commissioners who expressed open support for the Azam Baki as well making accusations of ‘political revenge’”

“Their awkward and hurried actions to supporting their “bosses” with open statements resembling the behaviour of politicians in a political party and not a respected agency like the MACC.

“As civil servants, these three senior officials should know that their statements can be construed as an attempt to influence the investigation process against the Chief Commissioner, and contain serious allegations that raise various question marks,” said the party heads. – Malaysiakini

Earlier reports:

Jan 11, Abu Zahar: Media did not give full picture of Jan 5 press conference on Azam Baki

Jan 11, MACC graft advisers issued statement behind Abu Zahar’s back

Jan 8, Six MACC advisory board members dispute Abu Zahar’s ‘clearing’ of Azam Baki

Jan 8, Abu Zahar must resign

Jan 7, Pakatan: Don’t just probe Azam Baki, but also Abu Zahar, past MACC chiefs

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