KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — A meeting between Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara to discuss the establishment of a Joint Committee on Integrity and Anti-Corruption will be held in the near future, said Chairman of the Special Committee on Corruption (SCC) Tan Sri Rais Yatim.
In a statement, Rais, who is also Dewan Negara Speaker, said that he has already consulted with his Dewan Rakyat counterpart Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun on the establishment of this joint committee, adding that a statement will be issued soon.
“Issues relating to anti-corruption surveillance under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) being put under the supervision of Parliament will be discussed and fine-tuned together by both Houses, through the administration of their respective Speakers.
“The committee today also shared its view that the establishment of this committee should be hastened as issues relating to integrity and anti-corruption are rising, and majority of the voices are in favour of this establishment,” he said, noting that currently the Dewan Negara has established an SCC.
Rais said that anti-corruption efforts and campaigns in this country were extremely important and that politicians should be involved, adding that prior to this, it always involved those not involved in politics.
Rais added that the SCC is also of the view that the parties who give bribes should be investigated and acted upon accordingly, and not limited to those who accept bribes.
“The Committee takes note of the country’s image which has been tarnished due to the increasing cases of corruption lately.
“Steps must be taken to improve this negative image,” he said.
The establishment of the Joint Committee comes in the middle of embattled MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Bakar’s proxy stock trading scandal.
The MACC chief is being investigated by the Securities Commission (SC) for allowing his brother to operate his share-trading account and has been summoned by a parliamentary select committee over the same matter.
The SC said that in its inquiry into Azam, there was no breach of Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA) in relation to Azam’s trading account.
In a statement, the SC clarified that the independent evidence gathered showed that the latter was the account holder and had control of said trading account.
The SC did not elaborate on what the next course of action would be or if it would be making any recommendation to any other body.
Previously, the SC explained in a statement on January 6 that all trades and securities accounts opened with the central depository must be made in the name of the beneficial owner of the account or an authorised nominee.
Azam has maintained he did no wrong even as his critics accused him of conflict of interest and abusing his position.
He has also said he plans to take legal action against the person who wrote the articles alleging conflict of interest last year, which sparked the controversy.