The Securities Commission (SC) has confirmed that a company which recently appointed a close confidante of Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim is involved in a probe by the agency for breach of capital market rules.
The capital market regulator however refused to comment further on the case as the matter is now in the courts.
"The Securities Commission does not, as a matter of policy, respond to media queries on ongoing court cases, or cases under review," said a spokesman.
Farhash Wafa Salvador, the former Perak PKR chief, was appointed as group chairman for Apex Equity Holdings Bhd, a company involved in investment holding, stockbroking, property development and money lending, not long after SC launched the investigation into the company.
The 40-year-old, who served as political secretary to Anwar and is known as a staunch loyalist of the prime minister, was later named chairman of retail chain 7-Eleven, a move that stirred debate on the links between the corporate world and politicians close to the top echelons of power.
Apex Holdings has been the subject of investigation by SC, Malaysia's market regulator, for allegedly contravening the Capital Markets and Services Act as well as the Companies Act.
It was reported that ACE Group, the second largest shareholder in Apex Equity, is also being dragged to court by SC to prevent it from taking control of the stockbroking firm.
The SC claims that Apex Securities contravened securities laws, adding that ACE Group is not "a fit and proper person" to be a controller of the company.
Last month, citing a court filing dated Dec 1, 2022, The Edge quoted Apex Equity as saying that the SC was seeking a court declaration that its subsidiary Apex Securities Sdn Bhd had contravened securities laws, and that ACE Holdings Bhd, which is part of the ACE Group, was knowingly involved in the contravention.
"The SC claimed that Apex Securities contravened the securities laws 'as ACE has become a controller of Apex Securities, when ACE is not a fit and proper person' to do so," the report added.
ACE Group comes under Calvin Choong Chee Meng, who was appointed as managing director of Apex Equity earlier this year.
ACE Group was involved in previous breaches which led to its ban from fundraising activities.
Court documents filed in October last year showed ACE Group and Apex Securities seeking to stop the SC from imposing additional conditions in respect of Apex's capital markets and service licence.
In 2019, Apex Equity and its subsidiary Apex Securities Sdn Bhd filed legal action against 18 defendants including its shareholder Lim Siew Kim, the daughter of the late Genting Group founder Lim Goh Tong, accusing them of trying to obtain control of the company by breaching capital market rules.