Friday, May 20, 2022

NGO activist issued letter of demand as Azam begins legal action

Lalitha Kunaratnam whose articles were carried by Independent News Service says she received the letter of demand to cease and desist earlier today.

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An NGO activist has been issued a letter of demand on behalf of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki in what is believed to be the first legal move against those involved in claims regarding his ownership of shares from certain companies some six years ago.

Lalitha Kunaratnam, whose articles were carried by the Independent News Service or INS, said she was issued the letter earlier today.

“Thanks,” she added in a Twitter post tagging MACC.

According to a screenshot of the letter shared in the same post, the demand to cease and desist concerned two articles written by Lalitha in December last year, titled “Business ties among MACC leadership: How deep does it go? (Part 1)” and “Business ties among MACC leadership: How deep does it go? (Part 2)”.

Azam said yesterday that he would take legal action against those who had levelled accusations at him, calling the moves an attempt to tarnish his image and to erode public trust in the anti-graft agency.

He also said no wrongdoing was committed in allowing his brother, Nasir Baki, to conduct business using his account to buy shares on the open market.

His comments came as MACC’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Board said no conflict of interest had occurred in his purchase of the shares.

However the Securities Commission Malaysia said today that Azam had gone against the law in sharing central depositories accounts.

It said that every securities account opened with a central depository must be in the name of the beneficial owner of the deposited securities or the name of an authorised nominee.

It also said that it would be in touch with the parties involved, including Azam, for an explanation and to verify the statements made, as well as to gather any relevant evidence.

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