Further scrutiny on Azam Baki’s shares trading

The SC will be in touch with the parties involved for an explanation and to verify statements made, as well as gather any relevant evidence


THE shares trading issue involving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner (MACC) Tan Sri Azam Baki (picture) remains under scrutiny with the Securities Commission (SC) says it will seek his explanation on the matter.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Azam said that his trading account was used by his brother to purchase shares in 2015.

“The SC will be in touch with the parties involved, including Azam, for an explanation and to verify statements made, as well as gather any relevant evidence,” the SC said in a statement yesterday.

SC explained that securities accounts opened with a central depository and all dealings involved must be done in the name of the beneficial owner of the securities or an authorised nominee.

“Under section 25 of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA), every securities account opened with a central depository must be in the name of the beneficial owner of the deposited securities or in the name of an authorised nominee.

“In addition, section 29A of SICDA stipulates that all dealings in securities shall be effected only by the beneficial owner of the securities or an authorised nominee,” it added.

In the same press conference, the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang said the board found there was no conduct or conflict of interest by Azam over his purchase of the corporate shares.

Abu Zahar said Azam was called to clarify the issue with the board on Nov 24, last year.

According to Abu Zahar, Azam said that his brother had used his share trading account to acquire the shares.

Opposition lawmakers slammed the board for clearing Azam’s name of any wrongdoing with regards to the purchased shares.

Eight PKR politicians questioned the investigation conducted by the board which it claimed was not transparent.

“We would like to ask Abu Zahar if the board actually saw the documents that showed the money trail from Nasir Baki to Azam? Azam said Nasir bought the shares,” said Sungai Buloh MP Sivarasa Rasiah in a press conference yesterday.

He also questioned if it was allowed for Nasir to acquire shares using Azam’s trading account.

Also present were Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Lembah Pantai MP Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Fadzil, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim and Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik and Ledang MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh.

Syed Ibrahim highlighted that the board has no power to clear Azam of any wrongdoing, as stipulated in the board’s term of reference.

“They can only advise. So, it is not right for them to say that Azam did no wrong,” he said in the joint press conference.

Sivarasa added that the move by the advisory board reflected the institutional failure in the MACC and the matter should be brought to a Parliamentary select committee for further investigation.

“We think this matter should be brought to the select committee and the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his cabinet members need to view this matter seriously because it involves MACC’s integrity which is being tarnished now,” he said.

Meanwhile in a separate statement, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance’s central executive committee urged for an investigation to be conducted by an independent body to maintain MACC’s reputation.

It said the independent body should be controlled by the Parliament.

“While the investigation is ongoing, Azam should ‘rest’ to ensure the investigations can be done in a transparent manner,” said the committee.