Anti-Graft Chief Faces Scrutiny From Malaysia’s Regulator Over Alleged Stock Holdings
Malaysia Regulator Asks Anti-Graft Chief to Explain Stock Trades
(Bloomberg) -- The Securities Commission Malaysia said it will seek clarity from Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission chief following public scrutiny over his dealings in securities, according to a statement Thursday.
Chief Commissioner Azam Baki had said Wednesday that his brother used his trading account to buy shares worth millions of ringgit. This was a week after a member of MACC panel quit over Azam’s alleged ownership of stocks, citing conflict of interest.
Azam maintained he had committed no wrongdoing, and that there were attempts to “erode public interest” in the graft agency that had been part of the international efforts to investigate the 1MDB scandal. “I had no interest or beneficial on the shares,” Azam said at a media briefing at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.
Still, Malaysia’s laws stipulate that all dealings in securities should only be done by the beneficial owner of the securities or by an authorized nominee, the Securities Commission said in the statement.
“The SC will be in touch with the parties involved, including Tan Sri Azam Baki, for an explanation and to verify statements made, as well as gather any relevant evidence,” the regulator said.
Azam was appointed to head the MACC last year, after his predecessor resigned following the change in government. He was previously the deputy chief commissioner (operations) and played a leading role in the investigations into former prime minister Najib Razak and the multi-billion ringgit 1MDB scandal.
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