Malaysia – A member of the Johor Opposition demanded that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob launch a complete investigation into Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chairman Tan Sri Azam Baki for alleged wrongdoing and misconduct.
Hassan Abdul Karim, a PKR MP from Pasir Gudang, said it was critical that Ismail Sabri address the matter since Azam’s position in the MACC is presently in jeopardy after it was revealed that he reportedly possessed millions of publicly traded shares.
He suggested that the prime minister first encourage Azam to take a leave of absence before consulting the attorney general (AG), who also serves as the government’s legal counsel and a public prosecutor on the matter.
He said in a statement that regarding the suggestion of the prime minister, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appointed (Tan Sri) Azam to the position of MACC head commissioner under Article 40 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
And because the MACC is within the prime minister’s authority, Azam, as the commission’s chairman, is answerable to Ismail Sabri.
“Ismail Sabri must take the initiative so that a formal report on Azam can be submitted to the MACC and the Royal Malaysia Police,” Hassan added.
He was referring to Azam’s involvement in a legal issue over his suspected purchase of millions of shares in two publicly traded firms in 2015.
The career government official revealed he had permitted his brother to acquire the shares using his share trading account at a news conference held recently.
Hassan, who is both a lawyer and a social activist, believes the recommended investigation should then submit both the MACC and police investigation files to the Attorney General’s Chambers in a professional manner.
“From there, the attorney general will act as a public prosecutor and determine whether or not to prosecute Azam,” he said.
According to Hassan, if Ismail Sabri takes such action, it would demonstrate that he is taking the situation seriously, intelligently, and responsibly, based on the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution.
Last December 28, Edmund Gomez, a political economics professor, resigned from MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel in protest of the panel’s alleged passivity in the wake of claims that Azam owned publicly listed equities.