Monday, January 24, 2022

No question of background checks, Azam was MACC No.2, says Muhyiddin’s aide

Marzuki Mohamad says Azam Baki was subject to all relevant conditions and processes before and after his appointment as MACC chief.

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Muhyiddin Yassin’s aide today said there was no question of whether the former prime minister had conducted a background check before appointing Azam Baki as chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as he was already the number two man in the agency at the time.

Marzuki Mohamad, who served as Muhyidddin’s principal private secretary during the latter’s tenure as prime minister, said that as a civil servant, certain forms would need to be filled.

He also spoke of methods that must be followed regarding the declaration of assets.

“Azam Baki was the deputy chief commissioner before he was elected as chief commissioner of MACC,” Marzuki said.

“I believe that as a senior government officer in service, he was subject to these conditions and processes before and after his appointment,” he said in a Facebook post today.

“Therefore the question of whether or not the eighth prime minister had run a background check before the appointment was made does not arise. The appointment process was made in an orderly manner, in line with the rules and methods set.”

Marzuki was responding to a question raised by Azalina Othman Said, who is Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s adviser.

“Azam was appointed by YB Pagoh after he became the eighth prime minister,” she had said.

“I expect that background checks were run by the relevant authorities before the appointment was made. Was this issue highlighted at that point?”

Azam was appointed as MACC chief commissioner on March 9, 2020, to replace Latheefa Koya who resigned following the collapse of the previous Pakatan Harapan government.

His appointment took place several days after the Perikatan Nasional government was formed, when Muhyiddin was sworn in as prime minister.

Marzuki also said that the appointment of the chief commissioner is made under Section 5 of the MACC Act 2009.

Under this provision, he said, a chief commissioner is chosen by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister.

“The prime minister meanwhile, as with the appointment of other high-ranking government officials, usually receives a recommendation from the chief secretary to the government or any parties provided for under the law,” he said.

“Any issues that arise pursuant to that should be handled according to the provisions of the laws and regulations in force.”

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