Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bersatu condemns media war against Azam, says unfair to civil servants

It says civil servants, especially MACC, must continue to discharge their duties in the face of those 'conspiring to tarnish their image'.

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Bersatu has warned against any attempt to use the media to accuse civil servants, saying the recent attacks by politicians on top graft-buster Azam Baki have undermined the legal process.

“This is because civil servants, in discharging their duties, will occasionally become targets due to their firmness,” the party’s deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu said in a statement, in the wake of attacks against the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief.

“Civil servants, especially MACC, must continue to bravely discharge their duties and not be fearful in carrying out their trust, just because there are those conspiring to tarnish the image of civil servants before there is solid evidence and court proceedings.”

Azam has come under attack over a series of blog articles by an activist linked to local NGO C4 Center, claiming conflict of interest in the ownership of company shares.

He has since issued a demand letter to the writer of the articles, Lalitha Kunaratnam, with the MACC lodging a police report against her describing her claims as false and unsubstantiated by evidence.

Top Pakatan Harapan leaders have meanwhile urged for Azam to go on leave, and called for Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Abu Zahar Ujang to be investigated after the latter cleared Azam of allegations of conflict of interest.

Bersatu said all parties must allow space for a fair investigation by the police and the Securities Commission.

It also welcomed Azam’s explanation in response to the allegations against him, saying it showed a high level of integrity as demanded of civil servants.

“His willingness to be investigated by the authorities should be commended and there should not be any question about his accountability as the MACC chief commissioner,” said Faizal.

He said “loud voices” in the media calling for Azam’s resignation pointed to other intentions of certain quarters who were willing to ignore the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”.

“It is apparent that they want to pass judgment on Azam Baki before any trial or solid evidence in accordance with the country’s laws.

“The MACC is a crucial agency in the fight against corruption, and a media war against Azam Baki by highlighting these issues seems aimed at giving a negative perception of the reputation of MACC and its chief commissioner.”

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