#TangkapAzamBaki organisers threaten further action unless Azam arrested

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The movement is evaluating its options.

Yusof Mat Isa

More than 80 people who took part in the #TangkapAzamBaki rally last month have been questioned by police for violating a court order to gather in Kuala Lumpur but this will not stop them from taking to the streets again to seek justice, rally organisers said.

Undi18 co-founder Qyira Yusri said the movement is evaluating its options. She added that more protests will follow soon and continue until the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner chief commissioner Azam Baki is properly investigated for his financial history.

The #TangkapAzamBaki movement was supported by 33 civil society groups and 11 political organisations, which took the streets of Kuala Lumpur on January 22.

Despite threats from the police against demonstrations, hundreds of protesters met at Bangsar LRT station to demand the arrest of Azam, who is mired in controversy over shares he bought in public-listed companies several years ago.

The protest organisers also wanted the MACC to be reorganised and report to Parliament.

“The planning process is ongoing as we work out our next move, building on the mass awareness generated by the #TangkapAzamBaki rally,” Qyira told The Malaysian Insight.

However, she said it will not necessarily be a rally, adding that in the past they engaged on a number of levels, including sending memorandums and petitions, organising public engagements, online protests etc.

For now, she said, the government has taken no action against Azam, but the police were busy questioning people who attended the January 22 rally.

“We are holding our guard up (legal) in case any breakdowns were to happen,” Qyira said

“We should be ready to mobilise all our resources to ensure everyone who attended, including the organisers, have legal assistance,” she said.

Azam has been under scrutiny for weeks over allegations of improper proxy trading after he admitted to letting his brother use his account.

The trades in question include 2.15 million shares bought in Excel Force MSC Bhd in 2015, as well as 1.93 million shares in Gets Global Bhd the same year, plus another 1.02 million shares in Gets Global the following year. At this time, Azam was the MACC’s director of investigations.

At a press conference on January 5, Azam said the shares were bought by his brother Nasir using his (Azam’s) trading account, and were later transferred to the brother, leaving him with no pecuniary interest.

He also said he informed his superiors at the time about the purchase and they raised no concerns.

Based on his explanation, MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Abu Zahar Ujang “cleared” the chief commissioner of wrongdoing, despite mounting calls for an independent, external investigation.

The MACC chief denied any wrongdoing, while the Securities Commission said Azam was in control of his account at the time of the share purchases. – TMI