Committee to discuss controversy

PETALING JAYA: The Parliamentary Select Committee will hold a special meeting next Wednesday (Jan 19) to discuss the latest share trading account controversy involving Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki.

According to a notice sent out to MPs yesterday morning, Dewan Rakyat secretary Dr Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin said the meeting would be held in Parliament at 2pm on Jan 19.

“This meeting is to discuss issues about share ownership by the MACC chief commissioner,” the notice read.

Nizam said MPs attending the meeting are required to undergo the RTK-Ag saliva self-test procedure at the Parliament clinic beforehand.

“MPs are also required to abide by standard operating procedures (SOP) of the Dewan Rakyat – which can be downloaded from the official website of the Parliament – when they are in the Parliament complex,” said Nizam.

He added that MPs are required to confirm their attendance for the meeting with the Parliamentary Select Committee secretariat.

No deadline was mentioned though.

Several MPs also confirmed receiving the Parliamentary notice yesterday morning.

Pakatan Harapan presidential council had called for a special parliamentary sitting to debate the issue involving Azam.

The council, which consists of PKR, DAP, Amanah and Upko, had called on Azam, MACC Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel chairman Tan Sri Borhan Dolah and Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang to step back until the probe into Azam is completed.

The issue involving Azam’s ownership of shares in public-listed companies made its rounds last December.

Azam commented on the issue last Wednesday, saying that his brother had used his trading account to buy shares in the open market and financed the purchases on his own.

It involved a substantial amount 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 had maintained that he did not commit any wrongdoing, adding that action would be taken against those who had tarnished his reputation and that of the MACC.

He was quoted in Sinar Harian yesterday as saying he would not resign amid the controversy, calling for patience, adding that the truth will be revealed when the time is right.

Azam also said he is willing to be investigated by the MACC committees and that he is confident the truth will be publicly known soon, and declared only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can decide to relieve him of his position as MACC chief.

Abu Zahar is currently facing a barrage of criticism after he cleared Azam of any conflict of interest in the purchase of the said shares.

Abu Zahar had said the seven-member ACAB had been satisfied with Azam’s explanation last November, and that no further investigation would be conducted.

Six ACAB members later issued a statement distancing themselves from Abu Zahar’s statement, saying that his comment was made in a personal capacity and not representative of the board’s view.

Abu Zahar then held another press conference on Tuesday, claiming that misreporting by the media had portrayed an “inaccurate picture” of the share trading issue involving Azam.

On his position as ACAB chairman, Abu Zahar also said he would leave his fate to the King and the government, adding that he would abide by any decision.

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