PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has defended the decision to extend Azam Baki’s contract as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner.
Anwar said he was satisfied with Azam’s performance.
“I gave MACC and the attorney-general the complete freedom and authority to carry out their duties.
“And they have carried out their duties satisfactorily,” he said at a press conference here.
Anwar said Azam had carried out his duties in an impartial manner, which was evident in the fact that a “minister’s office” was searched as part of an investigation.
“Never before in history has a minister’s office been searched for an investigation due to the actions of his officers. In view of this, his (Azam’s) services will continue,” he said.
On May 10, Putrajaya extended Azam’s contract by one year. His tenure had been due to end on May 12.
However, the extension was criticised by several quarters, with Selangor Muda saying it was ironic as Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders had joined the #TangkapAzamBaki rally in January last year when controversy arose over Azam’s ownership of an extensive number of shares.
Azam was appointed MACC chief commissioner on March 9, 2020, following Latheefa Koya’s resignation after the collapse of the PH government.
In late 2021, he made the headlines following allegations that he owned shares and warrants.
He denied any wrongdoing, but several watchdog groups and PH leaders called for an investigation to be opened into the matter.
Azam was also reported to have been queried by three different MACC committees over the matter, but then law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the issue was resolved after the Securities Commission Malaysia decided that there was no case.
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