Syed Saddiq questions SC and MACC investigating each other

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Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has questioned the circumstances leading to the Securities Commission (SC) declaring its investigation against MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki as inconclusive.

He noted that shortly after the SC announced that it was going to interview Azam, a MACC report was lodged by an obscure NGO against senior leaders of the SC.

The allegation against the SC was similar to that levelled against Azam, relating to share ownership and insider trading.

Following the report, Utusan Malaysia reported that the MACC was looking into the SC.

Syed Saddiq, who heads the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), noted that this led to a situation of the MACC and SC investigating each other.

“Now we can see that the person who is being investigated, investigates the investigator, and then after the investigator conducted the investigation, the investigator cleared the person’s name.

Bernama

“…A lot of people ask why the investigation against SC top officials only started after the MACC chief was told to be investigated by SC? In fact, that was an old case.

“It was an old case that everybody knows. Why only now is the investigation being conducted (against the SC)?” he told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex.

Syed Saddiq asked with the SC now declaring its investigation against Azam to be “inconclusive”, will the MACC now also make a similar finding against the SC.

The SC yesterday issued a statement announcing that it had concluded its enquiry into the shareholding case of Azam, saying that it was unable to conclusively establish that a breach under section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (Sicda) has occurred.

Under Section 25 of the Sicda, securities accounts with the central depository must be in the beneficial owner’s name or an authorised nominee.

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.

Syed Saddiq proposed the creation of a special task force to look into Azam’s case, raising a similar precedent involving the 1MDB scandal.

“MACC last set up a special task force on 1MDB. They supported it. Why cannot they establish a task force for this issue?

“If you did nothing wrong, then do not be afraid. Let the law take its course,” he said.

He was referring to the special task force which was set up by the then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail in 2015 to probe the 1MDB issue.

The task force, which tried to move in on then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak who was accused of misappropriating 1MDB funds, was subsequently disbanded and only revived after he was ousted from power in 2018.

Syed Saddiq also criticised how the authorities handled Azam’s case, stating that it created a strong public perception of double standards.

“In this case, how would the officers appointed by him (Azam) execute a transparent and fair investigation?” he asked, adding that the negative perception would hurt the institution and the officers who do their jobs faithfully.

He also reiterated that Azam should take garden leave and let the relevant agencies conduct an independent investigation, including the MACC, SC, Attorney-General Chambers (AGC), and police. – Malaysiakini


Earlier reports:

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