PETALING JAYA: Economist Edmund Terence Gomez has resigned as a member of a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission panel after it failed to discuss reports implicating the top leaders at the anti-graft agency.
In his resignation letter, Gomez said disturbing questions had been raised about the “nexus between business and law enforcement” and a “conflict of interest” situation involving MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki and his alleged extensive ownership of corporate stock.
Gomez also said a former MACC Chief Commissioner was allegedly involved in a conflict-of-interest situation, “suggesting a trend in this institution that must be investigated promptly”
Gomez said he had written thrice to MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel chairman Borhan Dollah, to push the panel to discuss the matter. FMT is seeking a response from Borhan.
He had also written to the MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Abu Zahar Nika Ujang on three occasions, proposing that Abu Zahar raise the matter in the advisory board “only to find that Abu Zahar too did not respond to my request, to my disappointment”.
When contacted this evening, Gomez said he had sent in his resignation earlier today to Borhan.
Copies had been made available to the press for fear that, otherwise, the consultation panel chairman and the chairman of the anti-corruption advisory board would not act on the allegations facing Azam, whom he said he had named in his letter to safeguard the integrity of the anti-graft agency.
Gomez said he was first made aware of the allegations against Azam in articles published at a website and wrote two letters to Burhan about the articles.
“I stressed that the information that I had received was deeply troubling as it was based on extensive research. The author of these news reports had also listed her name, indicating she was available to discuss this matter with the panel,” Gomez said.
He said he was extremely disappointed that the advisory board had not met to discuss the matter, even after it was brought up in Parliament on Dec 14 and widely reported in the media.
He said Azam had yet to issue any public statement nor had he responded to statements by MPs on his business dealings.
Gomez told FMT that he is currently pushing for the panel’s response. “The letter was sent to the press to publicise this reluctance to act on an important issue. The press has to help us keep this matter in the public eye until an independent investigation is done. The prime minister should also act on this matter to protect the integrity of the MACC,” he said.
Allegations about a top MACC official were raised in the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 14 by a group of MPs from PKR, led by Sungai Buloh MP Sivarasa Rasiah. He called on the authorities to investigate the official, saying the investigation must be independent and should not be carried out by the MACC.
Gomez was appointed to the panel for a two-year term from June 1, 2020 to May 31 next year.
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