PM must act now after economist quit MACC panel, says Puad

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PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob must act now on allegations that a top Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) official owns shares worth millions of ringgit in two public-listed companies, an Umno Supreme Council member said today.

Referring to the sudden resignation of economist Edmund Terence Gomez from the MACC panel after it failed to discuss reports implicating top MACC leaders, Puad Zarkashi urged Ismail not to delay taking action.

“The prime minister must have the courage to act. He cannot adopt a wait-and-see attitude on this urgent matter,” Puad told FMT.

“It is time for him to intervene, seeing that no one dares to discuss the allegations made by Gomez.”

He said Gomez’s resignation would risk the integrity of MACC as it involved chief commissioner Azam Baki.

“There are three main concerns over this issue. Firstly, it raises the question of whether MACC is still capable of fighting corruption fairly and in a transparent manner.

“Secondly, does the issue of ‘involvement in business’ and ‘conflict of interest’ raised by Gomez have any basis or is true in any way?

“Thirdly, is MACC too powerful and cannot be scrutinised?” he said.

Puad said this and the earlier issue of the arrest of three senior MACC officers for abuse of power and malpractice over the loss of cash belonging to former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid, cannot be ignored.

In Gomez’s resignation letter, which he shared with the media yesterday, he said disturbing questions had been raised about the “nexus between business and law enforcement” and a “conflict of interest” situation involving Azam and his alleged extensive ownership of corporate stock.

According to Gomez, 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”.

He said he had written to both MACC’s consultation and corruption prevention panel chairman Borhan Dollah and anti-corruption advisory board chairman Abu Zahar Nika Ujang separately on three occasions, for some discussion on the matter but to no avail.

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