DECLARE IF YOU’RE COVERING UP FOR AZAM OR NOT – DID HE LIE ABOUT HIS BROTHER – GUAN ENG DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM ‘DISHONEST’ SC – ‘WILL THE MACC, IN RETURN FOR SC’S VERDICT OF ITS CHIEF, SOON BE RELEASING A STATEMENT EXONERATING SENIOR SC OFFICIALS UNDER INVESTIGATION?’

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 Sept -- Menteri Kewangan Lim Guan Eng pada Program Ruang Bicara bertajuk ‘Sales and Services Tax (SST)’ di Wisma Bernama hari ini. --fotoBERNAMA (2018) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

Is SC covering up for Azam Baki, asks Guan Eng

The DAP leader was commenting on the SC’s statement yesterday that the regulator was unable to determine whether Azam had breached section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 in allowing his brother Nasir to use his trading account.Section 25 stipulates that every securities account with a central depository must be in the name of the beneficial owner of the deposited securities or an authorised nominee.

“Is covering up for one individual in Azam worth the reputation risk of SC and investor confidence in Malaysia’s capital markets?,” Lim said.

“If that is the case, then SC should state clearly and unequivocally that Azam had conducted share trading transactions himself instead of (issuing a) statement that is seen as the SC covering up for Azam and clearing him of any wrongdoing.”

The Bagan MP asked if that meant that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, in return for the SC verdict on its chief, would soon release a statement exonerating the SC senior officers that were under investigation.

On January 11, five days after the SC announced that it was investigating Azam, the MACC said that it had received a report from Rakyat Malaysia Prihatin, a civil society group, claiming that it has evidence of corruption among senior SC officers and its board members.

The son of a top management member of the SC and high-ranking officials who allegedly accepted bribes to turn a blind eye to probes into public companies for trading offences are among the people accused of graft in the allegations.

Lim said the SC must prove there was no regulatory or enforcement failure in its investigation into Azam to maintain investor confidence.

“Such a dishonest and irresponsible statement from the SC has not only tarnished the reputation of SC in regulating and enforcing compliance but also put investor confidence in our country’s capital market at risk.”

Azam had previously revealed that his brother had borrowed his trading account to purchase millions of shares in Excel Force MSC Bhd and Gets Global Bhd in 2015-16. At the time Azam was the MACC investigations director.

Azam said he was grateful that the SC had cleared him of wrongdoing.  TMI

Will Securities Commission members under MACC probe also be cleared? Syed Saddiq asks after Azam Baki touts his case as closed

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman suggested that the all-clear may be given in return for the SC’s non-conclusive finding in its investigation of MACC chief Tan Sri Azam Baki, currently at the centre of a stock trading controversy. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman suggested that the all-clear may be given in return for the SC’s non-conclusive finding in its investigation of MACC chief Tan Sri Azam Baki, currently at the centre of a stock trading controversy. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR — Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today asked if the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will give the all-clear to board members of the Securities Commission (SC) whom it had been investigating for alleged misconduct and graft.

The Opposition lawmaker suggested that the all-clear may be given in return for the SC’s non-conclusive finding in its investigation of MACC chief Tan Sri Azam Baki, currently at the centre of a stock trading controversy.

“The SC said ‘it was not conclusive’ after launching an investigation into the MACC chief; does that mean the SC that is currently being investigated will also be cleared?” Syed Saddiq, who heads the political party called Muda, told reporters at the Court Complex here earlier this morning.

The news conference was also aired on Facebook.

The Malay daily had cited unnamed sources, and added that the investigation into the SC board was yet not completed at that time.

Syed Saddiq suggested a possible conflict of interest in the SC issuing its statement yesterday and concluding that there was no wrongdoing on Azam’s part despite his previous admission to proxy share trading.

“When there’s a conflict of interest, the good name of such institutions will be severely affected,” he added.

Syed Saddiq also said that Azam should take a leave of absence from work and cooperate with the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) for Agencies Under the Prime Minister’s Department that is also looking into the share trading issue.

Another Opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang from the DAP had earlier called for a similar course of action and rejected the view that the SC statement exonerated Azam.

The SC issued a statement yesterday saying it has finished its inquiry on Azam’s controversial acquisition of public shares and found no conclusive evidence that he broke stock trading rules.

The SC began looking into the issue earlier this month after Azam openly admitted in a news conference that his brother, Nasir Baki, had used his share trading account — with his permission — to buy millions of shares in two public-listed companies back in 2015.

The SC said it did not conclusively find that Azam committed any breach under section 25(4) Securities Central Depository Act 1991 (SICDA) that a trading account must be opened in the name of the beneficial owner or authorised nominee.

Shortly after that, Azam issued a statement declaring that the SC had found him innocent and that he would continue work as usual.

The PSC on Agencies had summoned Azam for questioning this week, but postponed it to an unspecified date after he refused on grounds that he was already under probe by other agencies.

Azam is also being investigated by the MACC Complaints Committee. MALAY MAIL

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / MALAY MAIL

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