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SC tells why Azam did no wrong, reaffirms decision on MACC chief

It says its decision was based on independent evidence gathered at the inquiry into Azam's ownership of shares.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Azam Baki.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Azam Baki.

The Securities Commission (SC) today reaffirmed its recent decision clearing Azam Baki of conflict of interest in the ownership of company shares based on an investigation on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief.

In a statement, it said the independent evidence gathered at the inquiry into Azam’s trading account showed that he was the named account holder and had control of the account in question.

It also said Azam had operated the account which he had opened, in that he had given instructions to buy, sell and transfer securities from the said account.

“Therefore, the SC arrived at the decision that there was no breach of Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991,” it said.

The SC yesterday said that Azam was in the clear, adding that the MACC chief had not breached any laws.

“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, referring to the Securities Central Depository Act 1991.

It also said in an email to Azam that it had 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.

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 also filed a RM10 million defamation suit against her, seeking a public apology over the publication of the articles last year.

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.