Finally, a responsible news portal. The Mole is known to be not a fan of SC's Zarinah Anwar, yet this report by them seems fair to me. Check out the comment by Transparency International (Malaysia) president Datuk Paul Low that they included in the report.
Here is The Mole's report (taken without permission).
KUALA LUMPUR - Whilst the investigation on the Sime Darby Bhd and
Eastern & Oriental Bhd acquisition is still ongoing and being
handled by the Securities Commission’s commissioners, many question the
fact that the SC's chairman, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, is still running the
show as usual.
highlighted this point recently in his blog, questioning why Zarinah
has not taken a leave of absence while the probe is taking place.
The blogger’s contention is that, apart from the commissioners who
are handling the investigation being Zarinah’s subordinates, the
involvement of her husband, the chairman of E&O, Datuk Azizan Abdul
Rahman, will likely be a part of the investigation as well. Hence, it is
a conflict of interest for Zarinah to continue to be at the helm of the
commission while the investigation is taking place.
It was also pointed out in the blog that the SC should instead
investigate whether there was any kind of insider trading because it was
understood that Azizan had bought shares way before the acquisition was
The Mole sent an email to the Securities Commission to find out whether the blogger’s report is something that could be considered.
We were asked to refer to a general press release, dated September 12, on the investigation of Sime Darby and E&O. Click here for the press release.
Asked when the investigation would be completed, an SC spokesman said
it is not known but the SC will make an announcement once it is done.
The Mole also contacted former KLSE president Datuk Salleh Majid, who questions why the investigation is not being done independently.
He said it is only fair for the investigation to be done by an
independent body. He cited firms such as Ernst and Young as well as
PricewaterhouseCoopers which may be able to investigate insider trading.
He also said the commissioners who are handling the investigation are
Zarinah’s subordinates, therefore it is fair to get an independent body
on this matter.
Meanwhile, Transparency International (Malaysia) president Datuk Paul
Low said that there is no need for Zarinah to take a leave of absence
while the investigation is taking place.
He said Zarinah has other things to do and as the chairman she still needs to be there.
“The Sime Darby and E&O case is not the only one that SC is dealing with right now,” he said.
“She had recused herself and I think that is sufficient, as long as
she is not part of the investigating body then there shouldn’t be a
Asked whether there will be a conflict of interest if Zarinah is
still around knowing that her husband is part of the investigation, Low
said that as long as the SC can deal with this fairly, and as long as
Zarinah is not involved in the decision-making, the investigation should
Commenting on the need to have an independent body investigate
instead of the SC, Low said it is the SC’s job as the regulator to look
into matters like this and there should not be any independent body.
“It is SC’s job as the regulator, let the commissioners do their job,” said Low.
It was reported that the probe into Sime Darby Bhd's acquisition of a
30% stake in property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O)
will be revealed once it is completed.
Zarinah's husband Datuk Azizan Abdul Rahman is the chairman of
E&O. Azizan accumulated some 450,000 shares in the company between
April and August this year.