1:31pm 02/03/2022
MACC, the paper tiger, is led by Azam, the toothless tiger
By:Mariam Mokhtar

Who should take the prize trophy for being the most clueless departmental head or minister? Should it be the MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki, or the de facto law deputy minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin?

Both Azam and Mas think that Malaysians are extremely dense, and that they can continue to pull the wool over our eyes.

Yesterday, Azam said that the MACC would not investigate Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz for his alleged role in the 1MDB scandal.

Why not?

What is the point of having an organization like the MACC, with its many sweeping powers to investigate corruption, being reduced to a mere paper tiger?

The small fish are caught in the net, but the big sharks appear to swim away all the time.

At the same time, Mas issued an extraordinary statement which only makes us question her suitability to be deputy minister.

She said the police were unable to complete their investigation on Tawfiq because the border between Singapore and Malaysia was closed.

If Mas wants to lie, she could at least try to be more convincing. Instead, her remarks make her sound pathetic.

Did she really imagine that the coronavirus had managed to sneak into cyberspace and paralyze all internet and web activities?

Did she think that the Singaporean authorities were very concerned about the spread of the deadly Omicron that they stopped all physical travels to and from the island?

More importantly, did she think that coronavirus could shut down all internet and Wi-Fi connections? Is Mas simply naïve, or does she think we are stupid?

Does she not wonder what we think of her when she comes up with these daft statements?

Azam said the police were investigating Tawfiq and the MACC had only been tasked to repatriate 1MDB funds from Singapore.

Can anyone remind us the original reason for setting up the MACC? If the MACC will only cherry pick individuals to investigate, then why bother setting it up?

If the MACC will not pursue Tawfiq, it makes us suspect that the authorities do not wish us to be exposed to further incriminating evidence.

How many other people will we find leading to, or from, Tawfiq?

Who issued the order to MACC to merely repatriate the money from Singapore? Did Azam question the person who issued this directive as this person appears to dismiss the important role which should be played by the MACC?

The Malaysian rakyat will never succeed in getting a truthful response from the authorities. Instead, we are fed several excuses why a particular head of department or minister cannot discharge his duties.

In November last year, the MACC announced that Singapore had repatriated to Malaysia around USD15.4 million in 1MDB-linked funds which had come from Cutting Edge Industries, a company owned by Tawfiq and his sons, Abdul Aziz and Aliff Ayman.

The Edge reported that transfers amounting to USD16.22 million (RM68.4 million) had taken place in 2008 and 2009, and were flagged to Bank Negara Malaysia in 2015 and 2016, when Singapore began investigating various 1MDB-linked transfers.

The funds were reportedly received by Iron Rhapsody Ltd, a company allegedly owned by Tawfiq and one of his sons. Iron Rhapsody is then alleged to have transferred the 1MDB-linked funds to Cutting Edge Industries.

As Tawfiq is the husband of former Bank Negara governor, what does this say about his wife?

She controls the flow of money to and from Malaysia. Was she aware of what her children and husband were up to?

It should be all the more important for Tawfiq to be investigated.

Investigating Zeti’s husband will probably open more cans of worms and both Azam and Mas know this. The myth that Zeti is squeaky clean will shatter.

Azam and Mas’ lack of action is inexcusable especially after former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner testified in a court in New York, and alleged that Tawfiq had been bribing various people.

There is no doubt that several high-profile individuals will be dragged through the mud with a proper investigation.

At the same time, Mas and Azam  are dragging their feet despite the importance of Leissner’s revelation.

Contrast the speed and efficiency with which the former Astro CEO Rohana Rozhan was investigated over a USD10 million mansion in London.

She was summoned twice to the MACC headquarters after the lurid allegations made by Leissner went public.

The rakyat are angry because the money that has been used to pacify a jilted woman belongs to them..

To appease a furious rakyat, Azam claimed that the mansion in London, together with other assets belonging to Rohana, had been frozen; but how does one “freeze” a mansion?

More importantly, how did Azam convince the British authorities to freeze Rohana’s  assets soon after he interrogated her, and yet he has refused to properly investigate Tawfiq for activities across the causeway?

So, how many people besides Zeti are Azam and Mas protecting?


  1. Malaysiakini: Azam Baki: MACC not investigating Zeti’s husband
  2. Malaysiakini: Leissner: Najib’s secretaries involved in third 1MDB bond issuance
  3. Malaysiakini: Rohana’s London mansion frozen, MACC to summon more individuals

(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)


Mariam Mokhtar


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