Saturday, February 05, 2022

Azam Baki - Termination in the Public Interest? Suspension pending Investigation? Result of police, MACC, LHDN investigation? Disciplinary Committee?

Azam Baki - What is the outcome of the police, MACC and other law enforcement bodies maybe even Income Tax(LHDN) investigations? 

All we have heard is the outcome of the Securities Commission investigation on whether Azam breached breached that one Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991? MALAYSIANS have a right to know whether he, Azam Baki, committed any crime?

Next, the is the question of Public Officer's MISCONDUCT - Has the disciplinary Board even started investigating? Or is it not even investigating ...maybe because no one has lodged a complain - if so, then where and how do Malaysians lodge complaints to get the investigation going..

See the MISCONDUCTS and the Disciplinary law that Azam Baki falls under? Know the misconducts so we can monitor police and public officers - PUBLIC OFFICERS (CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE) REGULATIONS 1993 

A public officer is duty bound to '..declare in writing to his Head of Department all properties owned by him or by his spouse or child or held by any person on his behalf or on behalf of his spouse or child...', and if a public officer after the 1st declaration, gets or disposes properties, he is supposed to '...that officer shall immediately declare such acquisition or disposal of property to his Head of Department....' Did Azam Baki do this or not? Being the Chief Commissioner of MACC, this 'Head of Department' may be the PRIME MINISTER (or who is it?)

Now, there is also misconduct relating to 11  Maintaining a standard of living beyond emoluments and legitimate private means, 12  Borrowing money, 13  Serious pecuniary indebtedness, 14  Report of serious pecuniary indebtedness,19  Making public statement - did Azam Baki violate any of this?

I draw attention to Regulation 43 PUBLIC OFFICERS (CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE) REGULATIONS 1993- and wonder whether Azam Baki ought to be subject to INTERDICTION/Suspension for 'a period not exceeding two months for the purpose of facilitating investigation against the officer...' 

43 Interdiction for the purpose of investigation

(1) Without prejudice to regulations 28 and 44, if an officer is alleged or reasonably suspected of having committed a criminal offence or a serious disciplinary offence, the appropriate Disciplinary Authority having the jurisdiction to impose a punishment of dismissal or reduction in rank on such officer may interdict the officer for a period not exceeding two months for the purpose of facilitating investigation against the officer.

Would not Azam Baki's continued presence in office may hamper investigations ...'  (b) whether the presence of the officer in the office would hamper investigation.'

(2) In deciding whether to interdict an officer under sub-regulation (1), the appropriate Disciplinary Authority shall take into account the following factors:

    (a) whether the allegation or the suspected offence is directly related to the officer's duties; and

    (b) whether the presence of the officer in the office would hamper investigation.

(3) If, during the period an officer is under interdiction-

    (a) criminal proceedings are instituted against the officer in any court; or

    (b) disciplinary action is taken against him with a view to his dismissal or reduction in rank,

the interdiction order made under sub-regulation (1) shall cease to have effect from the date such criminal proceedings are instituted or disciplinary action is taken against the officer; a...

The targeting and harassment of investigative journalist and human rights defender Lalitha Kunaratnam is wrong >>> Is the intention of the Malaysian government to DETER Malaysians from exposing possible wrongdoings and concerns ... (For the 1MDB issues, embarrassingly, the matter was exposed by foreign countries and/or citizens like Sarawak Report and Clare Rewcastle Brown)... 

Most embarrassing is the fact that Azam Baki is suing Lalitha Kunaratnam for RM10 million in damages - wonder whether a public officer can even sue a 'whistle-blower' without first getting government consent? ...more so when the expose was not really a personal attack not connected to the fact that he is the chief of the MACC... 

The question to ask here - is Azam Baki sending out a message to all 'whistle blowers', and even putting fear into witnesses that may have crucial witness in the investigations? Is this something when we are considering that 2-month suspension pending investigation? 'whether the presence of the officer in the office would hamper investigation.

It is also  disturbing that others who are seeking investigation of this case is also being targeted..

At this point of time, until tried and convicted, Azam Baki must be presumed innocent...BUT the investigations must proceed and make needed determination - did Azam Baki commit a CRIME? Did Azam Baki commit a serious MISCONDUCT?

Let us be clear, that there are 2 kinds of interdiction or 'suspension' - one, the up to 2 months for the purpose of completing investigation ....and the 2nd if disciplinary proceedings start, etc...

In my opinion, SUSPEND HIM until investigations complete - more so because of his position as the Chief of MACC.

TERMINATION - well, according to the PUBLIC OFFICERS (CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE) REGULATIONS 1993 , there is TERMINATION if found guilty of serious misconduct warranting dismissal -

AND, there is another TERMINATION not because he is guilty of a CRIME or some serious MISCONDUCT, but because of PUBLIC INTEREST..


49  Termination in the public interest

(1) Notwithstanding any provision in these Regulations, where the Government finds or where representations are made to the Government that it is desirable that the service of an officer be terminated in the public interest, the Government may call for a full report from the Head of Department in which the officer is or has been serving.

(2) The report referred to in subregulation (1) shall contain particulars relating to the work and conduct of the officer and the comments, if any, of the Head of Department.

(3) If, after considering the report received under subregulation (1), the Government is satisfied that, having regard to the conditions of the service, the usefulness of the officer to the service, the work and conduct of the officer and all the other circumstances of the case, it is desirable in the public interest so to do, the Government may terminate the service of the officer with effect from such date as the Government shall specify.

(4) It shall be lawful for the appropriate Disciplinary Authority to recommend to the Government that the service of an officer be terminated in the public interest notwithstanding that disciplinary proceedings have not been carried out under any of the provisions of these Regulations; and the Government may so terminate the service of such officer.

(5) Notwithstanding anything in these Regulations and any other law to the contrary , in terminating the service of any officer in the public interest under this regulation, such officer may not be given any opportunity of being heard and an officer whose service has been terminated in the public interest under this regulation shall not for the purpose of Article 135(2) of the Federal Constitution, be regarded as having been dismissed, regardless of whether such termination of the service of the officer involved an element of punishment or was in connection with conduct in relation to his office which the Government regards as unsatisfactory or blameworthy.

This is what the PUBLIC OFFICERS (CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE) REGULATIONS 1993 says, although it may be unjust...

The problem is serious because Azam Baki is the big chief of MACC, not any ordinary officer - and he is the face of MACC - and doubts about his 'cleanliness' impacts the image of MACC.

The issue highlighted thus far is the issue of purchase of large amount of shares >>> the question of whether he immediately made the needed Declaration about the acquisition of property still remains unanswered.

Then, there is the question of where the monies came from? This too have yet to be answered - most of us, even the rich, do not really have such monies lying around to buy shares in that quantity? 

Worse, Azam Baki's own statement of denying ownership - saying that he allowed his brother to use his trading account. SC determination of no violation of that section that was only concerning ownership of the account - that section really did not deal on whether one could use your own account to buy/sell shares for another >>> this issue is so very connected to MACC work to investigate 'money laundering', etc...

When Azam Baki sues Lalitha Kunaratnam, more doubts arises, does it not - he who eats chili fields the heat (siapa makan chili dia rasa pedas)...If Azam Baki came out with a public statement clarifying the wrong statements about him, that would have been OK. Suing someone in court, or swearing on the holy book no more convinces anyone that he/she is innocent.

INNOCENT - did Lalitha even say that he committed any CRIME, or that he committed any MISCONDUCT - having read the said 2 articles, I do not see anything like this - I only hope I can have sight of Azam Baki's Statement of Claim to understand better the reason for the suit...

I am still at a lost as to what the MACC Act Special Committee on Corruption (chaired by Rais Yatim and entirely made up Parliamentarians) are doing - They are supposed to be advising the Prime Minister on any aspect of the problem of corruption in Malaysia;

They are not a Parliamentary Committee, bound by Parliamentary Standing Orders. etc > They are YDP Agung appointed committee. The PM may be confused and this Rais Yatim's commitee should be the most busy since this issue erupted in October 2021...Are they advising the PM to 'cover-up' after the SC said nothing wrong with the ownership of the trading account? Did they advice an investigation in view of Disciplinary Proceedings? Did they advice interdiction/suspension pending investigation? Did the advice termination in the public interest? Did they advice police/MACC/LHDN/...investigation to be speedy? Did they advice the PM on seeking the advice of the Attorney General? 

There has been some statements made by Rais Yatim that appeared in the media - was it his personal view, or was he communicating the official position of the Special Committee on Corruption.

Special Committee on Corruption

The Committee is set up by the provision of law under section 14 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 (Act 694). The members of the SCC are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who shall be drawn from both the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The said section had also stated that none of whom shall be a member of the administration.

Terms of Reference of the Special Committee on Corruption
  1. To advise the Prime Minister on any aspect of the problem of corruption in Malaysia;
  2. To examine the annual report of the Commission;
  3. To examine the comments of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board as to the exercise by the Commission of its functions under this Act; and
  4. To seek clarifications and explanations on the annual report of the Commission and the comments of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board.

See earlier relevant post:-

Know the misconducts so we can monitor police and public officers - PUBLIC OFFICERS (CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE) REGULATIONS 1993- full text of this Regulations for your viewing pleasure

MACC under Parliament purview - Already is, and Parliament failed to act? Did Parliament fail/procrastinate in the MACC issue?

Parliament Select Committee on MACC (19th Jan) - Broadcast LIVE, and investigate comprehensively not just Azam Baki but also Borhan, Abu Zahar and Terence Gomez?

PUBLIC OFFICERS (CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE) REGULATIONS 1993PU(A) 395/1993 - Where is report of actions, offenders and punishment?

Malaysian Anti-Corruption 'problems', 5 check and blance mechanisms, silence of the Parliamentarians' Special Committee on Corruption? 

Hiding identity using others' share trading account, bank account? The Azam Baki case raises concerns

 Did the SC just say OK for others to 'secretly' buy shares under the name of others when they suggested 'innocence' of Azam Baki?


Cops quiz Azam Baki whistleblower
Alena Nadia
Published: Feb 3, 2022 6:07 PM

Updated: Feb 4, 2022 7:32 AM

Whistleblower Lalitha Kunaratnam gave her statement at Bukit Aman today over two stories she wrote that blew open a shareholding scandal that implicated MACC chief Azam Baki.

She said she was being investigated under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 and Section 505 of the Penal Code.

"The police report was lodged by MACC's senior assistant commissioner on Jan 7, a day after I received the letter of demand on Jan 6. I was asked about 83 questions - all of them I have answered to my best capability," said Lalitha (above, left).

The activist was present at Bukit Aman from around 2.25pm.

While Lalitha believed she could be called in for another round of questioning, her lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon explained that the police did not explicitly say this would be the case.

"Let the police investigate the matter in accordance with the law. I mean, look, the law is the law. It will be properly investigated. I'm very confident the police will do a good job," he said.

Additionally, he denied that Lalitha was shaken by the experience.

"No, she's not shaken up. She did very well. I mean, she answered the questions well and completely. She is not shaken up. She is tired. I think you have to accept that three and a half hours is a long time to be sitting in front of the police," said Manjeet.

On Jan 31, Lalitha was asked to be present at Bukit Aman over two stories she wrote that blew open a shareholding scandal that implicated MACC chief Azam Baki.

MACC chief suing Lalitha

Earlier this month, Lalitha officially responded in court against Azam's defamation suit linked to the issue of share ownership in two public-listed companies.

The activist's lawyers filed a memorandum of appearance at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Friday last week (Jan 21).

According to a copy of the court document sighted by Malaysiakini, counsel from law firm Ibrahim & Fuaadah filed the appearance on Lalitha's behalf, with the filing addressed to the court's senior assistant registrar.

Under civil action law in Malaysia, the filing of the memorandum of appearance means the defendant intends to respond to the lawsuit, such as by later filing a statement of defence.

The MACC chief commissioner is suing Lalitha in his personal capacity.

Azam had previously issued a letter of demand to Lalitha via his lawyers, demanding an apology and RM10 million in damages.

Lalitha has since said she stood by her reports and criticised the MACC's attempt to rope in the police to investigate her.

Azam came under the spotlight over his ownership of 1,930,000 shares in Gets Global Berhad (previously KBES Berhad) on April 30, 2015, worth around RM772,000 at the time.

His shareholding in Gets Global Berhad went down to 1,029,500 as of March 31, 2016, worth around RM340,000 at the time.

He also held 2,156,000 warrants in Excel Force MSC Berhad in March 2016.

The matter of his share ownership in 2015 and 2016 had raised questions on whether it was commensurate with his income as a public servant.


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