No conflict of interest in MACC chief’s shares purchase – Advisory board

By , in Nation on .

Putrajaya, Jan 5 — The Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (LPPR) – one of the five independent monitoring bodies of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) – has found no criminal conduct or conflict of interest involving MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki in share trading done in 2015.

LPPR chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang said the board in a special meeting on Nov 24, 2021, had sought Azam’s explanation over the matter, and the latter explained that his share trading account was used by his brother, Nasir Baki, to purchase shares in 2015.

Abu Zahar said the purchase of the shares was made on the open market with no conflict of interest, and that the shares were transferred to Nasir within the same year.

He said following a lengthy discussion, the LPPR board members were of the opinion that Azam had no pecuniary or beneficial interest in the shares.

“LPPR is satisfied with the explanation given, and finds that there is no criminal conduct or conflict of interest in the matter,” he said in a special press conference here today.

Prior to this, allegations of Azam having interests and shareholding in several companies had gone viral on social media.

Azam in a separate press conference after Abu Zahar’s ended said he had explained to the LPPR panel that his share trading account had been used by his brother for the latter’s own transactions.

MACC

“I have no interest or benefit in the shares purchased,” Azam said.

Azam said the shares were bought through the open market by his brother using his own funds, and the shares of companies bought by his brother had nothing to do with the MACC’s investigation.

“I would like to stress that in this share purchase issue, I have not committed any wrongdoing, and the allegation that there is a “conflict of interest ”on my part as alleged by some parties is unfounded,” he said.

Abu Zahar said after the LPPR received and was satisfied with Azam’s explanation, it planned on informing the matter to the public at a later date, however, the issue was prematurely raised by former MACC consultation and corruption prevention panel (PPPR) member Dr. Edmund Terence Gomez.

Edmund reportedly resigned as a member of the PPPR panel, claiming that the committee had failed to discuss reports involving senior MACC officials.

Edmund in his resignation letter said questions arose over the ‘relationship between businesses and law enforcement, besides the ‘conflict of interest’ involving senior MACC officials and allegations of share ownership.

Meanwhile, on the claim that Edmund had sent a letter to him over the share trading issue involving Azam, Abu Zahar said he had yet to receive any letter to date.

“I will not compromise or protect anyone in the event of misconduct by a MACC officer, regardless of his or her position or post.”

“My stand is to defend and protect the image of the MACC, and not to protect its officers who commit misconduct,” he said.

The LPPR was established in accordance with Section 13 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (Act 694). LPPR members are individuals of high integrity appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who have an excellent track record in public service or achieved excellence in their respective professions.

Asked whether a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) should be set up on the issue, Abu Zahar said a report on the matter would be submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri.

“Currently, there is no need for an RCI, but the decision is up to the Prime Minister,” he said.

NMT as reported by Bernama

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