PM decides if Azam remains MACC chief, says lawyer

PETALING JAYA: It is the prime minister who decides whether under-siege Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki remains in that office, a lawyer said.

Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said Section 5 (1) of the MACC Act states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the prime minister, appoint a chief commissioner of the anti-graft agency.

“As a constitutional monarch, the King must, on the advice of the prime minister, appoint or remove the MACC chief from that office,” he told FMT.

Rafique said this in response to a statement, reported by Sinar Harian yesterday, quoting Azam as saying that only the King could ask him to resign.

“The MACC chief got it wrong on his appointment under our written law (MACC Act and the Federal Constitution),” he said.

He said Article 40 of the Federal Constitution states that the King, in the exercise of his function, must act based on the advice of the Cabinet or a minister.

Rafique said even the appointment of an attorney-general, be it involving a civil servant or a contract officer, is based on the advice of the prime minister as provided for under Article 145 (1).

“He, too, can be removed from office by the King on the advice of the prime minister,” he said, citing the case of former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali.

There have been repeated calls from several quarters for Azam to resign in light of the recent revelation of his alleged extensive ownership of shares in a public-listed company.

However, at a special press conference last week, Azam denied any wrongdoing and said his brother used his trading account to acquire the shares.

The Securities Commission is investigating the case.

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