CSOs call for an independent inquiry on Azam Baki’s share purchase

CIVIL society organisations (CSO) repeat their call for an independent inquiry into Tan Sri Azam Baki’s shares purchase.

In a joint statement today, the CSOs said this is vital as this also raises serious questions with regards to any conflict of interest that occurred, in the purchase of shares by the highest-ranking member of the nation’s anti-corruption body.

“To uphold MACC’s integrity and to restore public trust in the anti-corruption body, MACC Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki must step aside temporarily until an independent inquiry can conclusively prove, beyond any measure of reasonable doubt, that he did not breach any regulations as a bearer of public office,” the statement read.

It was jointly released by the Institut Demokrasi dan Hal Ehwal Ekonomi (IDEAS), Transparency International Malaysia, C4, RasuahBusters, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia, BERSIH and UNDI 18.

The CSOs also stated that it regrets the recent statement by prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the allegations surrounding Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) head Tan Sri Azam Baki.

It said that the PM seems to have dismissed the ongoing controversy.

“The Securities Commission should clarify whether any shares in Tan Sri Azam Zaki’s trading account were purchased and paid by his brother. If so, there should be a document executed by Tan Sri Azam Zaki authorising his brother to use his trading account,” the CSOS said further.

They highlighted that if this is true, then Tan Sri Azam Baki, who at the material time in 2015 held the position of MACC investigation director, had purchased shares above MYR100,000 in amount, which contravenes government rules under Section 23 of the Service Circular Number 3/2002 – Ownership and Declaration ofAssets by Public Officials as well as  Section 10 of the Public Officers Regulations Act (Conduct and Discipline) 1993.

“If Tan Sri Azam Baki had in fact breached a government circular, action must be taken.In the interest of public accountability, it is important that the government clarifies the appropriate agency that is responsible for apprehending civil servants who have acted in contravention of a government circular, whether it is the Public Services Commission or the Public Services Department.”

The CSOs strongly call for proper procedures to be put in place in the future, so that there is greater clarity over which government body is responsible to monitor the adherence to such rules.

“What sort of disciplinary action is taken when there is found to be a breach of government rules?” they said. –TMR