Amid stock trading storm, Azam Baki gets support from three senior MACC officers who label allegations as ‘revenge politics’

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki at a special press conference at MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, January 5, 2022. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki at a special press conference at MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, January 5, 2022. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Three senior officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today issued a statement offering their full support to their chief Tan Sri Azam Baki who is currently embroiled in controversy over stocks acquired back in 2015.

The statement was signed by Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya, Datuk Seri Norazlan Mohd Razali and Datuk Junipah Wahid who are the deputy chief commissioners in charge of operations, prevention and management and professionalism respectively, and follows ongoing investigations by the Securities Commission (SC) against Azam over possible conflict of interest after he admitted to proxy stock trading.

“We represent all of the MACC’s members in stating our stand, supporting the leadership of Tan Sri Azam Baki, the chief commissioner of the MACC.

“We are of the opinion that the accusations and attacks made are motivated by revenge politics to sully the image and credibility of the MACC. We urge that all parties stop this chaos and allow the legal processes to take its course in a fair and transparent manner.

“The members of the MACC are still united in defending the chief commissioner institution and the MACC for the continuity of corruption prevention in this beloved country,” the trio said in the joint statement.

However, they did not elaborate on the possible motivations for revenge.

The SC had last week announced that Azam will be called in for questioning this week over alleged violation of stock trading laws.

This was after Azam ended his silence over his alleged acquisition of millions of shares in two public-listed companies in 2015. In a news conference last week, he admitted that he had allowed his brother, Nasir Baki, to use his share trading account to buy those shares.

Citing Section 25 of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act (SICDA), the SC said every securities account opened with a central depository must be in the name of the beneficial owner of the deposited securities or in the name of an authorised nominee.

Azam has been under public scrutiny in recent weeks over his acquisition of millions of shares in two public-listed companies back in 2015.

At the same news conference, the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang Abu Zahar said an internal inquiry last November 24 cleared Azam of any wrongdoing, adding that all the shares had subsequently been transferred to Nasir in 2015.

Abu Zahar’s remarks however, did not sit well with six of the ACAB members — Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, Datuk Hamzah Kassim, Datuk David Chua Kok Te and Prof Datuk Mohammad Agus Yusoff.

In a joint statement yesterday, the six said Abu Zahar’s statement was his personal view and that it did not reflect the decision of the board as a whole.

Mohammad Agus told The Star yesterday that the six distanced themselves from Abu Zahar’s remarks as the share trading issue involving Azam was not at all addressed in the ACAB meetings.

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