PETALING JAYA: It is the prime minister who decides whether under-siege Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki remains in that office, a lawyer said.
Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said Section 5 (1) of the MACC Act states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the prime minister, appoint a chief commissioner of the anti-graft agency.
Rafique said this in response to a statement, reported by Sinar Harian yesterday, quoting Azam as saying that only the King could ask him to resign.
“The MACC chief got it wrong on his appointment under our written law (MACC Act and the Federal Constitution),” he said.
He said Article 40 of the Federal Constitution states that the King, in the exercise of his function, must act based on the advice of the Cabinet or a minister.
Rafique said even the appointment of an attorney-general, be it involving a civil servant or a contract officer, is based on the advice of the prime minister as provided for under Article 145 (1).
“He, too, can be removed from office by the King on the advice of the prime minister,” he said, citing the case of former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali.
There have been repeated calls from several quarters for Azam to resign in light of the recent revelation of his alleged extensive ownership of shares in a public-listed company.
However, at a special press conference last week, Azam denied any wrongdoing and said his brother used his trading account to acquire the shares.
The Securities Commission is investigating the case. FMT
Don’t drag Agong into politics, Ramasamy tells Azam
“The MACC’s embattled chief commissioner Azam Baki seems quite desperate and panicky. He knows that his days are numbered.
Azam, however, seemed to have forgotten that the Agong will only act on the advice of the prime minister, he said.
He questioned whether Azam was invoking the Agong’s name because the latter feels that Ismail Sabri Yaakob is not fit to be prime minister.
“Is Azam saying that Ismail is not fit to be the prime minister just because he has not said anything about the MACC chief’s fate.
“By using Agong’s name, Azam has unnecessarily dragged the institution of the royalty into politics. There is no necessity for this. The monarch should be left alone.”
Ramasamy added that just because Ismail has remained mum on the matter, that does not make him a weak leader.
“Just imagine Ismail opening his mouth on Azam’s matter, his controversial ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ will become more than a joke.
“Maybe Ismail is waiting for Azam to resign, something that will prevent the government from establishing an investigation team.
“But the allegations against him must be investigated whether he stays on or resigns.
“He cannot expect the Agong or the prime minister to save him from the present imbroglio.”
Azam, the embattled MACC chief, has stressed that he will not resign as pressure mounts on him to do so over his share ownership controversy.
Instead, he said, only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong could terminate his service.
Azam said apart from the king’s decision, he does not care about any other party calling for his resignation. TMI
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