PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Azam Baki (pic) should retract his letter of demand against anti-corruption activist Lalitha Kunaratnam, says MCA spokesperson Chan Quin Er.
Chan said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner, as a high-ranking senior civil servant, would show that he has nothing to hide should he retract his letter of demand against Lalitha in the interest of transparency and public accountability.
“As society inevitably steers towards openness with demands for transparency from government agencies and public services, investigative journalism plays an important role in society and holds the government accountable.
“Globally, the media is recognised as the fourth pillar of democracy, balancing the influence and keeping the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary in check.
“Lalitha was only doing her job by reporting on public knowledge, as all public-listed companies must publish and submit their annual report, listing their largest shareholders, besides holding annual general meetings,” said Chan in a statement on Friday (Jan 7).
Noting that Azam would be summoned by the Securities Commission (EC), Chan said this was an opportunity for him to clear his name and quell any doubts among the public.
Chan also said that pursuing the letter of demand against Lalitha would only reflect poorly on Azam.
“This inadvertently portrays the anti-corruption enforcement agency – which he represents – as vindictive and flexing the muscles of government machinery to exert undue pressure to silence anyone on issues of public interest.
“If MACC is perceived as shrouding any questionable transactions or even wrongdoings into secrecy, the good works executed by other MACC staff in bringing corrupt practices to book will all be invalidated by this singular action,” said Chan.
On Thursday (Jan 6), Azam said he would cooperate with the SC over the matter and expected to meet next week.
Speaking about the issue on Wednesday (Jan 5), Azam said his brother had used his trading account to buy shares in the open market and financed the purchases on his own.
It involved substantial amounts of shares bought from Gets Global Bhd and Excel Force MSC Bhd between 2015 and 2016 when Azam was the MACC director of investigations.
Azam said the same explanation was given to the MACC’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) after he was summoned to explain the matter on Nov 24.
Azam also maintained that he did not commit any wrongdoing, adding that action will be taken against those who tarnish his reputation and that of the MACC.