Last week, the senior vice-president of corporate surveillance at Bursa Malaysia Bhd was cruelly attacked and had to undergo surgery after suffering up to 20% burns as a result of being splashed with acid.
The incident occurred in the heart of the country’s financial centre in Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, as the victim left his office during peak hours, in broad daylight. Eyewitness accounts have it that two men on a motorcycle smashed his car window and splashed acid into the vehicle, and onto him.
At press time, the victim was unable to give the police a statement as his condition did not permit it, but investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the attack could be related to his surveillance work at Bursa Malaysia.
The attack has caused quite a stir among those in the regulatory bodies. While the case is being investigated under Section 326 of the Penal Code for causing grievous hurt, the authorities should also look at the companies being investigated by the victim, dig deeper and take the necessary steps — however harsh — to send a strong message that such actions will not be condoned.
Corporate fraud, which is usually the subject of investigations by Bursa Malaysia, involves millions, in stark contrast to how much it would take to hire someone to intimidate and deter an official from carrying out his duty.
It cannot be overemphasised that the police have to get to the bottom of the matter and prosecute the culprits and those behind the attack.
Bursa must also do whatever is necessary ensure the safety and security of its staff involved in high-risk cases or tasks.
If the case is dropped or justice is not seen to be done, it will set a dangerous precedent and send the wrong signal to market participants.