Prove Azam Baki’s alleged wrongs, MACC advisory board chief tells Gomez

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Former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) panel member Edmund Terence Gomez must back up his claims against the anti-graft agency’s chief commissioner Azam Baki, chairman of the MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board Abu Zahar Ujang said.

Abu Zahar told The Malaysian Insight he is ready to meet with Gomez on the matter.

“Don’t just accuse, provide proof. Come and see me, and I mean business,” said the former Dewan Negara president.

Abu Zahar also denied receiving any emails from Gomez as alleged by the academic.

“I have not received any letter, emails regarding the misconduct.”

Abu Zahar told Utusan Malaysia he had invited Gomez to discuss issues surrounding Azam Baki at an in-person meeting, but Gomez declined, wanting a virtual meeting instead.

Abu Zahar said the advisory board will never compromise if any MACC officer, including those in senior posts, were found to have behaved unprofessionally.

He added that the board had not found any wrongdoing by Azam.

He also said Gomez should have lodged a police report instead of going to the media.

On Monday, Gomez resigned as member of one of five MACC oversight panels, the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel.

His resignation was to protest the lack of action taken by Abu Zahar and his panel’s chairman, Borhan Dolah, over allegations that Azam owned a large number of corporate shares in a company in 2015 and 2016, and may not have declared them.

Gomez said the information on Azam, who has served the MACC for more than 30 years, was provided to him by a person who worked with an anti-graft organisation.

Gomez also released to the media correspondence he had with Borhan and Zahar, which showed he had been sending them emails urging for a meeting to discuss Azam’s case for over a month, since November 10.

The political economist, who has authored numerous books on the links between politics and business, said he had furnished Borhan and Abu Zahar with several attachments to his emails containing information on Azam.

Borhan has also refuted Gomez’s claims, saying his emails never mentioned Azam’s wrongdoings.

Gomez said this was “disingenuous” of Borhan, as although Azam’s name was not in the cover email, it was mentioned along with details of the alleged conflict of interest in the attachments. The issue of the anti-graft chief commissioner’s shares ownership was also raised in Parliament on December 14 by Sungai Buloh MP R Sivarasa, who called for an independent investigation. – TMI