Thursday, May 19, 2022

SC clears Azam, says no laws breached in shares ownership

The Securities Commission says its inquiry file has been closed.

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The Securities Commission (SC) today cleared Azam Baki following an investigation into allegations in a series of online article accusing him of conflict of interest in the purchase of shares, saying the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief had not breached any laws.

In a statement, it said its investigation was centered on a claim that Azam had breached the Securities Central Depository Act 1991 (Sicda), which states that a trading account must be opened in the name of the beneficial owner or the authorised nominee.

“The SC has concluded its inquiry and based on the evidence gathered, the SC is not able to conclusively establish that a breach under Section 25(4) of Sicda has occurred,” the market regulator said in a statement.

A screenshot of an email from SC chairman Syed Zaid Albar meanwhile has been making the rounds, informing Azam that the SC has closed its inquiry file on him.

“Based on our inquiry and the documents obtained from relevant parties, we find that we cannot conclusively find/show that a breach of securities law under s.25(4) Sicda 1991 has occurred,” it said.

“As such, the SC has closed its inquiry file accordingly.”

Azam had been due for questioning by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department, a committee comprising MPs from Pakatan Harapan, Perikatan Nasional, Barisan Nasional as well as GPS and Warisan.

He was under investigation over claims of conflict of interest in the purchase of company shares following a series of blog articles by an activist linked to local NGO C4 Center.

He later 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.

He had also been under fire from top Pakatan Harapan leaders who called for him to go on leave and for MACC’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Abu Zahar Ujang to be investigated after the latter cleared Azam of allegations of conflict of interest.

But Azam said last week that there was no need for him to step down, adding that only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong could give such instruction.

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