According to Bernama, the Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali was quoted as saying that King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had consented to Mr Azam’s reappointment. His contract was extended by a year.
Mr Anwar, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, noted that Mr Azam was appointed as chief commissioner of the country’s anti-graft agency during former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.
Mr Azam was appointed in March 2020 after his predecessor Latheefa Koya resigned following the fall of the short-lived PH government at that time.
Mr Azam’s recent contract extension raised eyebrows, with critics pointing out that he had previously been embroiled in a controversy surrounding his alleged ownership of millions of ringgit in shares despite a RM100,000 (US$22,200) cap on equity holdings for civil servants.
According to Free Malaysia Today (FMT), the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance’s (MUDA) Selangor chapter expressed their disappointment over the contract extension, particularly since the party and PH leaders had joined the #TangkapAzamBaki, or #CaptureAzamBaki, rally in January last year when the controversy arose.
“The issue is not resolved and the investigations into PH leaders who were involved in the protest have yet to be wrapped up, but Azam has been (given a contract extension) by the new government,” it reportedly said last Thursday.
Following reports of Mr Azam’s alleged ownership of millions of ringgit of corporate stock in 2021, Mr Azam reportedly said last year that he gave his brother permission to buy shares using his account in 2015 and that his superiors were informed of the matter.
Local media subsequently reported that the Securities Commission and an MACC advisory panel cleared Mr Azam of wrongdoing.