Following its non-action against MACC Chief Azam Baki, SC has rendered SICDA as impotent and broken!
The decision by the Securities Commission (SC) to not take any action against Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki for his open breach of Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA) reeks of double-standards and has put doubts on whether the body is capable to perform its statutory duty without fear or favours.
Worse, it also has serious repercussions towards Malaysia’s capital market with investors further losing confidence towards Malaysia’s integrity as a viable investment destination.
In a statement yesterday, DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng criticised SC for its inability to conclusively establish that Azam Baki committed a breach under SICDA after initiating investigations on 6 January 2022. This is despite Azam Baki publicly admitting to an offence under Section 25(4) of SICDA by allowing his brother to conduct proxy share trading.
Suruhanjaya Sekuriti Malaysia (SC) tidak dapat memastikan secara muktamad Ketua Pesuruhjaya SPRM Azam Baki telah…Posted by Lim Guan Eng on Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Section 25(4) of SICDA outlaws proxy share trading by providing that a trading account must be opened in the name of the beneficial owner or authorised nominee.
Furthermore, Azam was also revealed to be a significant holder of warrants in the public-listed company Excel Force MSC Sdn Bhd as of March 2016, when he was head of the MACC Investigations department. Buying millions of shares in public listed companies is a clear violation of the RM100,000 cap on equity holdings to be held by civil servants.
Guan Eng also pointed out that the SC has also failed to disclose whether Azam’s brother had a share trading account at the same time and more importantly, the source of funds for the purchase. The Bagan MP further questioned whether the inaction against proxy trading made by Azam Baki means that individuals that were charged for a similar offence in the past will have their fines returned, asserting,
“If the SC is unable to act on proxy share trading then it should also explain action taken against at least 3 individuals who were charged and penalised under Section 25(4) of SICDA with millions of ringgit in fines in the past. This is clearly double-standards. Is SC going to return the fines they have paid and apologised for prosecuting them?
Meanwhile, the MP for Kepong, Lim Lip Eng also expressed his disappointment at the SC’s decision. In a statement today, Lip Eng imposed two questions towards the body regarding its probe outcome on Azam Baki’s trading account:
- How many offenders had been charged or given compounds for breaching Section 25(4) of SICDA since its implementation?
- Can any individual now allow his or her trading account be used by relatives and friends, free of charge or with a fee, without fear of being in violation of SICDA?
The Kepong MP further elaborated that if the SC is unable to reply both questions with a clear yes, then it’s a clear no; hence putting serious doubts over the integrity of SC with its inaction against MACC Chief Azam Baki for such a public violation of SICDA.
In the same statement, Lip Eng also said that he is appalled by Azam Baki’s refusal to attend an inquiry into his shares ownership by the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSC) on Agencies Under the Prime Minister’s Department. Furthermore, the MACC Chief’s claim that attending the PSC inquiry would be sub judice to a defamation suit that he filed against whistleblower Lalitha Kunaratnam makes zero sense, especially since he attended an inquiry set up the SC. – The Rocket.