By P Ramasamy

GEORGETOWN, Malaysia--It is shocking that PAS’ Secretary-General Takiyuddin Hassan can go to the extent of asking the government to put to rest the suspicions against MACC’s chief commissioner Azam Baki.

He said that since Azam had explained the allegations against him for buying shares on behalf of his brother Nazi Baki in 2015, it serves no purpose to drag the matter any further.

Takiyuddin  advised the government that furthering the debate about the guilt of Azam might destabilise the country.

The view of Takiyuddin, the former law minister, is not in congruence with that of Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, the party’s youth leader.

Fadhli called for Azam to step aside while the matter is being investigated.

Takiyuddin’s opinion is reflective of the stand by PAS national leaders on the embattled Azam.

Why they would not want an impartial investigation on the allegations against Azam remains to be seen.

It is not that PAS national leaders, there are others especially in the top echelons of the government who want Azam to be rescued.

Law minister Wan Junaidi defended the practice of public servants from trading in the share market on the grounds of their legality.

Whether such a practice is in line with the general orders of the public service remains in doubt.

The question is: why ministers are keen on protecting Azam from being investigated.

It is not that Azam is about to face the axe.

Those concerned with the galloping corruption in the public service are merely asking the government to have an impartial investigation of Azam.

The allegations are that he bought shares on behalf of his brother in 2016 and failed to disclose the information.

At first the  MACC’s advisory board cleared Azam, but some members have changed their mind since then.

Why are some of the ministers in the government eager to clear Azam from his alleged wrongdoings?

Did Azam have a special relationship with some of the ministers, particularly Wan Junaidi and Takiyuddin?

Were there any special favours done for them by the MACC and in general and Azam in particular?

Why are they so keen to let Azam off the hook even before a full and impartial investigation could commence?

Azam has not been found guilty yet, investigations are yet to commence.

But the way some ministers are coming forward to protect Azam gives some indication that he might have done something wrong.

There is utmost urgency for an investigation panel to be set up to ascertain whether or not Azam is guilty of the allegations.

Will the hibernating Prime Minister Ismail Saberi Yaakob act fast on the matter?

He must come to grips with the reality that Malaysia is anything but a “happy family”.

He should not be caught in a false and synthetic sense of hope as a result of the memorandum of understanding with the opposition.

People in the country are wondering whether there is an operating government in the country.

Even without a government, the floods might subside.

But not in the case of corruption or rampant corruption, there is a terrible need for government or authority.

I just cannot imagine the situation of citizens making arrests of those who might be guilty of corruption.