THE Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) is against Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki’s questionable practice of holding excess shares and allowing family members to arbitrarily use personal stock accounts for transactions.

After their special meeting on Nov 24, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Advisory Board (ACAB) only recently released a conclusion, declaring that they are “satisfied with Azam’s explanation”.

This demonstrates an obvious lack of transparency and the intention of hastily concluding the case, especially if the decision is made after more than a month of deliberation.

Presently, there are five special committees above the MACC to ensure the transparency and integrity of all external bodies’ operations.

They are the Operations Review Panel, Special Committee on Corruption, Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel and Complaints Committee. However, the current practice of each oversight body “performing their duties within a designated territory” is under heavy criticism.

They are all unsuccessful in improving the anti-corruption activities of the MACC. In reality, they appear to exist just in name with several MACC officials allegedly abusing their power or engaging in fraud.

While it is fair to use internal advisory bodies like the ACAB to oversee MACC officials, the issue presently lies within the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. The Act does not specify whether its authority extends investigative powers against MACC officials, especially those suspected of wrongdoings.

Azam’s case is based solely on internal investigations and judgements of the ACAB. Therefore, this allows for the case to conclude quickly – and eliminate the need for an external, independent body to conduct a more thorough investigation.

It’s still debatable if their practice complies with the law.

KLSCAH advises that the Government must form a more credible Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) or a Special Parliamentary Select Committee due to obvious conflict-of-interest, and breach of Section 25 of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA).

This said committee must conduct an independent investigation into the matter from all angles, and amend the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 that gives the ACAB power to explicitly exercise investigation powers against anti-corruption officials involved in power abuse and strengthen the integrity and accountability of MACC officials.

Now, it is also necessary for Azam to temporarily step down as the chief commissioner of MACC while he is under investigation to maintain the credibility and professional image of the MACC.

The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) aspires to serve the country and society by ensuring that the voices within the Chinese community are heard while fighting for the benefits and rights of the community.

Retrieved from Focus Malaysia

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