PETALING JAYA: The findings of the inquiry into the share ownership of top graft buster Azam Baki by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) were not referred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) as there was “no breach” of the share trading law to prosecute, said an insider.

“All prosecuting power in the country is under the AGC. So, agencies like Bank Negara and SC, even though they can prosecute, have to seek approval from the AGC first.

“But this case is not the same… because they’re saying that there is no breach. If you want to take action, you want to prosecute and go to court, of course you have to first go to the AGC.

“But in this case, it stops here. The SC has done an inquiry and they found that he did not commit a breach,” said the source.

Azam, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief, has been embroiled in a share trading controversy after allegations arose that he owned millions of shares and warrants in public-listed companies.

In defending himself, Azam had said “the shares were bought by my brother who borrowed my name”. Azam also said all the shares were later transferred back to his brother.

On Tuesday, the SC said it had completed its inquiry into the matter and could not “conclusively establish” that a breach had occurred under Section 25 (4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (Sicda).

The SC’s statement on Tuesday seemed to provide more questions than answers, and in a clarification the following day, the regulator said it had arrived at its decision after “independent evidence” found that Azam was the named account holder and had control of the said trading account.

Wednesday’s statement also said that Azam had operated the account that he had opened, in that he had “given instructions to buy, sell and transfer securities” from the said account.

This led to questions over whether Attorney-General Idrus Harun had studied the SC’s findings.

It is understood that the SC’s investigation was based solely on Section 25(4) of Sicda, which states that a trading account must be opened in the name of the beneficial owner or authorised nominee.

In its Jan 6 press statement to announce it would look into the allegations against Azam, the SC also noted that Section 29A stipulates that all dealings in securities shall be effected only by the beneficial owner of the securities or an authorised nominee.

Noting that documentation to show trading would be derived from brokers, the source dismissed talk of Azam’s brother being a nominee as claimed by certain parties.

The source also pointed out that Bursa Malaysia rules clearly stated that authorised nominees were financial institutions and “not individuals”.

“So the brother cannot be an authorised nominee,” said the source. “Azam was the one who gave instructions to his remisier to buy, to sell, to transfer. So no one else was operating that account except for him.”

Leave a Reply