“Establish independent team to probe Azam Baki, now!”

Letter to Editor

TRANSPARENCY International Malaysia (TI-M) is gravely concerned about the state of the Malaysian Anti -Corruption Commission (MACC) as the events surrounding the law enforcement agency and its top officials continue to unfold.

We refer to the press statements released to the media on Jan 5 and Jan 8 by the chairman and the other members of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) respectively.

During the press conference on Jan 5, chair of the ACAB, Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang had announced that the board had a discussion with Tan Sri Azam Baki and purportedly cleared him of any wrongdoings or conflict of interest in his ownership of shares.

Then, the Securities Commission had released a separate statement claiming they would probe the matter for possible breaches in the Securities Industry Central Depository Act (SICDA).

Subsequently, the other members of the ACAB have come out to release another statement to distance themselves from Abu Zahar’s statement.

They categorically stated that the Board members in the meeting with the chairman or at any time thereafter did not express such an opinion which Abu Zahar is alleged to have attributed to the ACAB, and they alleged that they had in fact requested for further investigation into the matter.

The question thus arises what actually transpired in those meetings in view of these contradictory statements.

MACC’s credibility at stake

Hence, Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) reiterate calls that an independent investigation to be launched as it involves the integrity and reputation of the MACC and ACAB.
The body must include properly qualified and independent persons to uncover facts of the case and determine if any laws or rules were broken.

Such body should be answerable to and shall report their findings to the Parliamentary Special Committee on Corruption for its review and recommendations. Such an independent investigation will also give Azam the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations levelled against him, and in the process protect the good name of MACC.

Given how events and statements on this matter have been made public, the rakyat deserves to know the truth.

TI-M believes that only prompt action from the Government will help to protect the integrity and reputation of the MACC and our fight against corruption and abuse of power in our country. – Jan 9, 2022.

Muhammad Mohan is the president of Transparency International – Malaysia.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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