LETTER | Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) expresses full solidarity with activist Lalitha Kunaratnam who should be recognised as a whistleblower against the business interests of Azam Baki, the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Lalitha has written about Azam’s interest in two public-listed companies, indicating potential conflict of interest. Her articles were also supported by publicly accessible documents, thus lending them greater credibility.
PSM finds Azam Baki’s subsequent Letter of Demand (LOD) against Lalitha an unacceptable act of intimidation - and unbecoming of a public official in charge of combating corruption.
Any legal action brought against Lalitha at this time, and on this matter, can only be deemed to be an act aimed at silencing whistleblowers everywhere against exposing any potential wrongdoings of well-connected individuals.
PSM also finds Azam Baki’s defence that these shares were actually bought by his brother using his account unacceptable as well. The utilisation of family members to obtain shares in this manner should be seen as a loophole that can be abused by public officials to enrich themselves.
We must be strict and unwavering in preventing the abuse of power by all public officials. Any leniency given to Azam at this time will create unhealthy precedence, which can easily be exploited in the future.
Finally, PSM finds the statement of support by the MACC for their chief commissioner to be shockingly inappropriate. The MACC is not an organisation that should be engaging in such statements.
The MACC is not a political party, NGO or any such organisation for which this kind of show of support would be understandable.
The MACC is an organisation whose sole purpose is in combating corruption. For them to uphold any in their ranks at a time when corruption accusations have not been disproven is inappropriate.
We find the credibility and independence of the MACC have been compromised. Hence, we join in the calls of fellow activists, such as those in the Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) that an independent task force outside of the MACC must be set up to investigate Azam thoroughly and without bias.
Corruption has deep roots, particularly in a capitalist system detached from the oversight of the masses. We must recognise this and act accordingly if we are to combat corruption effectively.
All in solidarity with Lalitha Kunaratnam!
ARVEENT KATHIRCHELVAN is a member of the Parti Socialis Malaysia Central Committee.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.