Are contradictory statements issued by govt officials a criminal offence? DAP MP asks AG amid Azam Baki share trade storm

21-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng today asked the Attorney general to explain publicly if contradictory statements issued by a high ranking government official constituted a criminal offence.

The Opposition lawmaker from DAP claimed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki had made contradicting statements, one to the media and the other to an official inquiry, and urged the government’s top lawyer to clear the air on the matter.

Lim also referred to the latest statement from the Securities Commission (SC) issued yesterday, confirming Azam was the named account holder and the same had control of the shares traded in during a period in 2015, which the latter previously said had been used by his brother Nasir Baki to acquire several million shares in two companies.

The regulatory body then concluded that there was no breach of section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA).

The findings, Lim said, only further raises more questions which the SC has failed to answer.

“Firstly, Azam as a senior government officer, in his public statement to the media, claimed that the shares belonged to his brother, who used his account.

“This is a pertinent point that the SC has failed to address!

“In particular, we would like to know if the SC had asked Azam with regards to his public admission that his brother used his trading account and owned the shares,” he said in a statement here.

Lim said the SC needs to disclose the minutes of its inquiry into Azam’s trading account for the sake of public interest and transparency.

He added that the SC could do this without having to disclose Azam’s personal stock trading account details.

He also asked if the SC had investigated in-depth the financial transactions between Azam and Nasir to verify the MACC chief’s assertions that the money had since been remitted to his brother’s account.

“If Azam had owned up to the possession of that amount of money, has the police, Inland Revenue Board or even the MACC investigated the source of income?” Lim further asked.

SC’s statement yesterday was issued just a day after the commission said it had wrapped up 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.

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

The regulator’s summary of its investigation drew strong criticism.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on government Agencies had also 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.

The MACC chief commissioner is also being investigated by the MACC Complaints Committee.


Category: Malaysia

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