KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 8): The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang’s remarks to the press on Wednesday over MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki do not reflect the board’s views, ACAB members said on Saturday (Jan 8).
In a statement signed by six members of the seven-member board, they said Abu Zahar’s statement on the matter, including that there was no crime committed or conflict of interest in the case, was the chairman’s personal views.
At his press conference on Wednesday, Abu Zahar said that after a lengthy discussion following a meeting with Azam on Nov 24, 2021, the board found that Azam did not have any pecuniary or beneficial interest over the issue of purchased shares of the amount reported by the media and was satisfied with the explanation given by the MACC chief commissioner.
“We categorically wish to state that the board members in that meeting or at any time thereafter did not express such an opinion as Abu Zahar attributed to.
“We also wish to state that these comments were entirely Abu Zahar’s personal views,” the board members stressed.
The signatories were Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, Datuk Dr Hamzah Kassim, Datuk David Chua Kok Tee and Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff.
Members of the ACAB are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
It consists of seven members, including Abu Zahar, and among others has the role to advise the MACC on any aspect of the corruption problem in Malaysia and to scrutinise and endorse resource needs of the commission to ensure its effectiveness.
The statement on Saturday stated that prior to the press conference, the board members had a separate discussion with Abu Zahar and proposed that the matter be further referred to an independent committee — the Parliamentary Special Committee on Corruption or the MACC’s complaints panel.
“However, our views and proposals were not raised at Abu Zahar’s press conference.
"The ACAB has no investigation power as it is established as an advisory board.
“We need to provide this clarification in order to safeguard the integrity of the board and the institution,” the board members said.