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PSC members protest against postponed Azam hearing

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 17/1/2022 FMT Reporters
(From left) Azis Jamman, Chan Foong Hin, Khoo Poay Tiong and William Leong, members of a parliamentary oversight committee, said MACC chief Azam Baki was in contempt of Parliament. © Provided by Free Malaysia Today (From left) Azis Jamman, Chan Foong Hin, Khoo Poay Tiong and William Leong, members of a parliamentary oversight committee, said MACC chief Azam Baki was in contempt of Parliament.

PETALING JAYA: Four members of a parliamentary select committee (PSC) that was to hear Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Azam Baki today have protested against the meeting being postponed by the committee chairman.

The four MPs said he should have presented himself to the committee. “Azam Baki is clearly in contempt of Parliament when he blatantly disregards parliamentary calls” to present himself before the committee, the four MPs said in a statement.

They said he should have made his explanations to the members, and they also disputed the reasoning behind his request for a postponement, which was made to committee chairman Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman.

The committee has oversight over government agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department. Azam is embroiled in a controversy over his large shareholdings in public-listed companies.

The four protesting MPs are Azis Jamman (member for Sepanggar), Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu), Khoo Poay Tiong (Kota Melaka) and William Leong (Selayang).

They disputed Azam’s contention, made to Latiff, that the meeting violated the provisions of the Standing Orders, and that the subject of his share dealings was sub judice because he had already filed a defamation suit against a reporter.

The MPs said the hearings were covered by parliamentary privilege.

The MPs also disputed his contention that the meeting was unnecessary as the matter was under investigation by the Securities Commission Malaysia.

They said: “The jurisdiction of the PSC is to determine whether there is an effective mechanism for conducting investigations and disciplinary action into the matter. The jurisdiction of the PSC is to identify the available sources of power and whether they are adequate.”

In addition, Parliament has the powers to call any witness to testify and Azam was in contempt when he disregarded a parliamentary summons.

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