PSSC to summon SC over Azam probe

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Due to SC’s recent statements on Azam’s case that were “unsatisfactory”.

The Parliament Special Select Committee on Finance and Economy will be calling the Securities Commission (SC) to get an explanation from the stock market regulatory body over MACC chief Azam Baki’s shares ownership case.

Subang MP Wong Chen, who is the committee’s deputy chairperson, told Malaysiakini that a process to hold an enquiry had been initiated earlier today.

According to Wong, the matter had been discussed with Rompin MP Hasan Arifin, whom he said was “open to the idea” of calling SC to explain its recently concluded investigation against Azam.

“So, the process has started. I spoke to the PSSC secretariat this morning.

“The secretariat is writing a letter to the Finance Ministry as a courtesy. They are also contacting all the MPs involved to determine the date and time suitable for them (to hold the enquiry session),” he said when contacted this afternoon.

The select committee has a total of nine members. Apart from Arifin and Wong, the others are Idris Jusoh (Besut), Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (Alor Gajah), Robert Lawson Chuat (Betong), Khairuddin Aman Razali (Kuala Nerus), Ong Kian Ming (Bangi), Teresa Kok (Seputeh), and Khalid Samad (Shah Alam).

Dewan Rakyat rules allow for all select committees to issue subpoenas to compel individuals and organisations to appear and testify before them. Failure to heed the subpoena can result in arrest.

However, it was uncertain if the PSSC was issuing a subpoena on SC.

Wong had this afternoon Tweeted about the move to summon SC, which he said was due to the authority’s recent statements on Azam’s case that were “unsatisfactory”.

According to the PKR MP, the select committee members shared the same opinion that they should invite SC to testify and provide more details.

“The key question that SC needs to answer is what was the “independent evidence” that they gathered that then guided them to the conclusion that Azam Baki did nothing wrong.

“Did they interview Azam Baki? Did they speak to any other third party, such as brokers and bankers? What trading documents did they rely on?,” Wong Tweeted.

According to him, while the questions were simple, they are pertinent to be answered by SC, especially on whether they have interviewed Azam before concluding the investigation.

“If the SC did interview Azam Baki, then Azam Baki must have convinced the SC that the trades were purely his and not on behalf of his brother. If this was what actually happened, the SC would then be in a position to justify no further action against Azam Baki.

“However, this scenario will then confirm that Azam had lied to the public when Azam claimed he acted as a nominee for his brother. In this scenario, Azam could also be in breach of civil service rules on share purchase.”

In the case that SC did not interview Azam in the course of its investigation, Wong said it would show that the stock trading regulator had conducted a “shoddy investigation work”.

Azam came under the spotlight over his ownership of 1,930,000 shares in Gets Global Berhad (previously KBES Berhad) on April 30, 2015, worth around RM772,000 at the time.

His shareholding in Gets Global Berhad went down to 1,029,500 as of March 31, 2016, worth around RM340,000 at the time.

He also held 2,156,000 warrants in Excel Force MSC Berhad in March 2016.

The share ownership in 2015 and 2016 had raised questions on whether it was commensurate with his income as a public servant and conflict of interest concerns.

Azam claimed the shares were not his but purchased by his brother in his name, prompting the SC to also get involved over the possible misuse of his trading account.

On Jan 18, SC issued a statement saying they had concluded their investigation into Azam and that based on evidence gathered, they were “not able to conclusively establish that a breach under section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (Sicda) has occurred”.

However, following wide criticisms over its announcement, SC issued a clarification on the next day (Jan 19), where it clarified that it found no evidence of such an instance. – Malaysiakini

Earlier reports:

Jan 21, Ramkarpal: Has the SC sent its investigation papers on Azam to AGC?

Jan 19, Syed Saddiq questions SC and MACC investigating each other

Jan 19, Gobind: Did SC refer its findings on Azam to the AG?

Jan 19, SC: No proxy trading found as Azam controls own trading account

Jan 18, Guan Eng: Why did SC not disclose if Azam’s brother had a trading account?

Jan 18, SC urged to make public Azam’s inquiry findings

Jan 18, SC: Azam inquiry inconclusive