Six MACC advisory board members distance themselves from Abu Zahar’s ‘no conflict of interest’ statement

PETALING JAYA: Six MACC advisory board members have distanced themselves from the statement made by the board’s chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.

In a statement on Saturday (Jan 8), the six comprising Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, Datuk Dr Hamzah Kassim, Datuk David Chua Kok Te and Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff, said that board members were not satisfied with the explanation provided by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Tan Sri Azam Baki, despite Abu Zahar saying otherwise during a recent press conference.

“Abu Zahar said that the Board was satisfied with the explanation given by Azam. He further said there was no crime committed or conflict of interest in the matter.

“We categorically wish to state that the board members at that meeting or at any time thereafter did not express such opinion as Abu Zahar attributed to,” they said.

They added that the comments were Abu Zahar’s personal view and a separate discussion was held on the matter where several proposals were given.

Among the proposals were for the issue to be brought to an independent committee, Parliamentary Special Committee on Corruption or the MACC’s complaints panel.

“However, our views and proposals were not raised at Abu Zahar’s press conference. The ACAB has no investigation power as it is established as an advisory board.

“We need to provide this clarification in order to safeguard the integrity of the board and the institution,” they said.

In a press conference on Wednesday (Jan 5), Abu Zahar told reporters that there was no conflict of interest on Azam’s part as MACC chief over the issue of acquiring shares in two companies in 2015.

He said this was because the MACC chief commissioner did not purchase the shares himself as this was done by Nasir Baki, his younger brother.

Abu Zahar said the ACAB had called for a meeting on Nov 24 last year and had summoned Azam to explain the allegations.

He said after a lengthy discussion, ACAB members were satisfied and were of the opinion that Azam did not have any pecuniary interest in the said shares. ANN

Abu Zahar: Up to PM to decide on Azam’s case

PUTRAJAYA: The Anti-Corruption Advisory Board will present its finding on the issue of purchased shares linked to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief to the Prime Minister, says its chairman.

Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang believed the issue was of utmost importance as it was of public interest.

“I will convey this to the Prime Minister and it will be up to his discretion on what he wants to do next,” he said during the highly-anticipated press conference at the MACC headquarters yesterday.

Abu Zahar was asked to comment whether he was prepared to inform the Prime Minister following calls – especially from the Opposition – to clarify the matter.

“I think this is a serious matter and even the rakyat want to know about it, including those at the grassroots level,” he added.

He also hoped the matter would not be politicised.

Abu Zahar said it was, however, unnecessary to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe the matter, adding that this could be settled without having to form an RCI, which would cost a lot of money.

“This is a simple matter, as one side says this, while we say another. So, it is up to the rakyat to decide what the real situation is,” he added.

Earlier, Abu Zahar revealed that there was no pecuniary interest or conflict of interest on the part of MACC chief Tan Sri Azam Baki over the issue of acquiring shares of two companies in 2015.

Abu Zahar said this was because the MACC chief commissioner did not purchase the shares himself as it was done by his younger brother, Nasir.

The board, he said, had called for a meeting on Nov 24 last year and had summoned Azam to explain the allegations.

“In the meeting, Tan Sri Azam explained to me and the rest of the board members that his brother had used his (Azam’s) share trading account to acquire the shares in 2015.

“The shares were bought in the open market and there is no conflict of interest there,” he said.

The board was also told that the shares had been transferred to Nasir’s own trading account later the same year.

“After a lengthy discussion, the board members are of the opinion that Tan Sri Azam did not have any pecuniary interest on the said shares.

“The board is satisfied with the explanation given and found that there is no criminal conduct or conflict of interest on the part of Tan Sri Azam on this matter,” said Abu Zahar.

He said the board had wanted to make public its findings pertaining to the case.

“Unfortunately, the matter was brought earlier to the public’s attention by former MACC panel member Dr Edmund Terence Gomez,” he said.

Allegations had surfaced that Azam owned a substantial amount of shares in Gets Global Bhd as well as Excel Force MSC Bhd between 2015 and 2016, when he was the MACC director of investigations.