Saturday, May 21, 2022

No conflict of interest in MACC chief’s shares purchase, says advisory board

The Anti-Corruption Advisory Board says the purchase of shares by Azam Baki was made on the open market.

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The Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) today cleared Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki of any conflict of interest in the purchase of shares from certain companies in 2015.

It said the conclusion followed testimonies from Azam himself regarding the controversy which recently ignited debate on social media after ACAB member Edmund Gomez raised the matter while announcing his resignation.

ACAB chairman Abu Zahar Ujang said the board members were satisfied with Azam’s explanation, adding that no further investigation would be conducted.

“The ACAB members have found no personal interest in the matter of the shares,” he said at a press conference today.

“The purchase was made on the open market and without conflict of interest,” he said, adding that the shares were subsequently transferred to Azam’s brother, Nasir Baki.

The ACAB secretariat also found that Gomez had never written regarding the issue, he said.

On Dec 28 last year, Gomez was reported to have resigned from the board in an open letter.

In it, he expressed disappointment that the ACAB had not met to discuss Azam’s shareholding which was raised in Parliament on Dec 14 and received widespread media coverage.

The letter, addressed to Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel chairman Borhan Dolah, also questioned Azam’s ownership of some two million units of shares in a public listed company.

It said the issue was raised before in November but had received no response from Borhan.

Speaking today, Abu Zahar invited Gomez to meet with the ACAB and present proof of his claims.

“We have not received anything from him,” he added.

He said the board would refer the matter to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob following calls by opposition leaders for government action.

However, he said a royal commission of inquiry would not be necessary.

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