Thursday, May 26, 2022

PH ups the ante in war against Azam with swipe at another MACC official

The coalition now wants the anti-graft body's consultation panel chief Borhan Dolah to go on leave and be placed under investigation.

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Top Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders have added another official of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to a list of individuals whom they say must be suspended from duty, following similar calls over its chief commissioner Azam Baki and adviser Abu Zahar Ujang.

The opposition coalition said Borhan Dolah, who heads MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, should go on leave and be replaced, claiming he and Zahar had wrongfully exonerated Azam of accusations on a blog related to the ownership of shares.

Apart from Zahar and Borhan, PH also criticised the deputy chief commissioner for defending Azam.

“As civil servants, the three senior officials should know that their statements can be construed as an attempt to influence the investigation process against the chief commissioner, and contain serious allegations that raise many questions,” the four PH leaders said in a statement.

Zahar, who heads the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, had cleared Azam of conflict of interest in the purchase of shares from certain companies in 2015.

He said the board members were satisfied with Azam’s explanation, and that no further investigation would be conducted.

A group of board members later distanced themselves from Zahar’s statement.

Zahar himself also came under attack from PH, which called for his suspension pending an investigation.

Yesterday, the former Dewan Negara president said he had nothing to hide in relation to the decision to clear Azam, adding that he was prepared to be investigated by any agency as well as to resign if he was instructed to do so.

The issue arose following a series of blog articles by Lalitha Kunaratnam, who is linked to C4 Center, an NGO headed by activist Cynthia Gabriel, whose fellow director Edmund Terence Gomez had earlier resigned from the consultation panel headed by Borhan.

The articles bearing Lalitha’s byline claimed conflict of interest in Azam’s ownership of company shares.

The MACC boss subsequently issued her a demand letter, and a police report was lodged by the commission describing her claims as false and unsubstantiated by evidence.

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