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COMMENT | ‘My brother did it’ – remembering a dark day for integrity

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

- Winston Churchill

COMMENT | Six months ago this week, political economist Edmund Terence Gomez quit as a member of the MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel. What started off as a ripple turned into a tidal wave culminating in street demonstrations calling for the resignation of its head honcho, Azam Baki.

In his resignation letter which was made public on Dec 27 last year, Gomez said disturbing questions had been raised about the “nexus between business and law enforcement” and a “conflict of interest” situation involving Azam and his ownership of corporate stock.

The matter would have ended there but Azam announced at a media conference that he allowed his share trading account to be used by his brother. Maybe at that time, he was not aware that this was admission of sorts that he breached the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act (SICDA).

But the Securities Commission found that the trades were executed by Azam himself and not any third party.

To put it crudely, he was caught with his pants down for having lied to and misled the public previously by claiming “my brother did it”.

Nevertheless, he was exonerated by the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairperson Abu Zahar Ujang, while the prime minister and members of his cabinet maintained an elegant silence on the matter as if it was a trivial issue.

Far from it - Section 10 of the Public Officers Regulation (Conduct and Discipline) 1993, all public servants must declare...

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