Calls for independent probe into Azam and Abu Zahar

PETALING JAYA: An independent body should investigate Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki and Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang over the controversy surrounding Azam and the acquisition of shares.

The Pakatan Harapan presidential council said both Azam and Abu Zahar should also take leave until the probe is completed.

“We are urging for the chief commissioner and advisory board chairman Abu Zahar to be investigated and take leave while investigations are ongoing on the possibility of their failure to carry out their duties in accordance to the law.

“We cannot accept the chief commissioner’s and Abu Zahar’s statements because the commissioner’s remarks had shown that the law may have been broken and there was a conflict of interest involving the acquisition of shares by Azam’s brother.

“This involves Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991, where one may be fined up to RM3mil or jailed 10 years, if found guilty,” said the joint statement by the Pakatan presidential council yesterday.

Sitting on the council are PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Upko president Datuk Seri Madius Tangau.

During a press conference two days ago, Abu Zahar told reporters that there was no conflict of interest on Azam’s part as MACC chief over the issue of acquiring shares of two companies in 2015.

Abu Zahar had said this was because the MACC chief commissioner did not purchase the shares himself as it was done by his younger brother Nasir.

Abu Zahar said the board had called for a meeting on Nov 24 last year and had summoned Azam to explain the allegations.

After a lengthy discussion, the advisory board members were satisfied and opined that Azam did not have any pecuniary interest on the share in question.

The Pakatan presidential council criticised Abu Zahar over his remarks, saying that it came about despite the lack of open and thorough investigations into the controversy involving allegations of the acquisition of shares of millions of ringgit in companies listed in Bursa Malaysia.

The council also said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob should call a special parliamentary meeting over the matter instead of keeping silent.

“He must explain how the administration and management of MACC has been damaged with recent cases that have tarnished the reputation of the agency,” it added.