KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Opposition MPs were up in arms today about whether the Cabinet might have interfered in the investigation conducted by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) into Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki’s proxy share trading case.
Puchong MP Gobind Singh asked the Dewan Rakyat today if yesterday’s Cabinet meeting had discussed matters pertaining to the investigation and if orders were given to the SC to absolve Azam of any wrongdoing.
“Mr Speaker, I want the prime minister to confirm if this was discussed as reported by the media yesterday. It was stated discussions were held at length on the pros and cons of the case related to Azam Baki.
“What are these pros and cons? The SC did its investigations and issued a statement several days ago. Then yesterday, another statement came out after the Cabinet meeting absolving Azam of any wrongdoing.
“If this is true and the Cabinet is the one responsible for that statement by the SC, then this means there is internal interference to influence these decisions. We have a Constitution that we have to uphold where if someone is under suspicion, he must be charged.
“But here, we have the prime minister saying we must accept the SC’s decision. What has happened to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC)? The AGC has the powers to prosecute, not the Cabinet or prime minister,” he said during today’s special parliamentary sitting to discuss last month’s flood disaster.
Azam has been embroiled in a share trading controversy that is now the subject of at least two investigations.
The MACC chief is being investigated by the SC for allowing his brother to operate his share-trading account and has been summoned by a parliamentary select committee over the same matter.
Here is a timeline of the controversy.
Initially, the SC stated it could not conclusively find any wrongdoing and its investigations were inconclusive, even though the law states Azam had breached Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991.
Yesterday, another statement was released, clarifying that the SC found no evidence of proxy trading by Azam and that he was in full control of a share trading account he claimed he let his brother use.
Gobind asked why two statements were issued, one contradicting the other, as the latest statement suggests that Azam had breached the law as the SC said Azam was named as the account holder and had control of the said trading account.
Secondly, the MACC chief commissioner was said to have operated the said account, “in that he had given instructions to buy, sell and transfer securities from the said account.”
“The whole world is covering this case. We do not want this to be the topic of discussion especially when the prime minister makes statements like that.
The first statement from SC said its investigations were inconclusive, meaning it did not know if there was a criminal breach of trust.
“The next day, after the Cabinet meeting, a statement comes out saying he is not guilty? What kind of government is this? We have a weak prime minister with no firm standing to ask for a proper investigation. We should be transparent.
“Therefore, I want the prime minister to come back to the Dewan and answer these questions,” he said.
Following that, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer asked Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon where all the ministers and deputies were as he said none of them were in the hall for these important discussions.
Rashid said they were most likely out for lunch.