Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Azam Baki has filed an RM10 million defamation suit against anti-corruption activist Lalitha Kunaratnam, who blew the whistle on his substantial amount of shares in several public-listed companies.

The suit was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court by law firm Messrs Zain Megat & Murad yesterday, Azam's counsel Megat Abdul Munir said in a statement.

In the filing, Megat said the suit is in relation to two articles Lalitha, who is also an independent journalist, had written for the Independent News Service (INS) news portal, on Oct 26 and Dec 15, last year.

"Instead of responding to our client's Letter of Demand issued on Jan 6, she (Lalitha) has through her lawyer, issued a press statement published on her Twitter account, claimed to stand by her publication and republication, the contents of which our client strenously maintains are defamatory.

"Our client is therefore constrained to file this suit before the expiry of 14 days from the date of the Letter of Demand to protect his good name, reputation and professional standing," Bernama quoted Megat as saying in the statement.

Azam had been under scrutiny recently after Lalitha, through the two articles in INS, alleged that he owned a substantial amount of shares in several publicly-listed companies.

He had later explained that his share account had indeed been used by his brother to buy stocks in the open market with the latter's own financing - a practise that is in violation of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991, which stipulates that it is unlawful to allow a third party to utilise one’s share trading account.

Following backlash over the matter, Azam has also refused to step down, saying only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can decide to terminate him.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Bernama, Twitter