Malaysia's former finance minister Daim to be charged by anti-graft agency, Latest World News - The New Paper

Malaysia's former finance minister Daim to be charged by anti-graft agency

PETALING JAYA – Former Malaysian finance minister Daim Zainuddin is set to be charged in court next week, said Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Azam Baki on Jan 25.

The head of the anti-graft agency said the charge would come after the commission was informed that Tun Daim had been discharged from hospital on Jan 25.

“Currently, the investigation officer is still deliberating on the charge against him at court,” Mr Azam said, as quoted by news site Sinar Harian.

Earlier, the MACC said it had opened an investigation paper in February 2023 based on information from the Pandora Papers – documents leaked in 2021 that revealed offshore assets held by politicians and public figures worldwide.

As part of the investigation, a notice issued on June 7 under the MACC Act was sent to Mr Daim, who served as finance minister twice between 1984 and 2001.

It said it had requisitioned that a written and sworn statement be made by him to declare all his assets, whether inside or outside the country, within 30 days from the date the notice was issued.

The MACC said Mr Daim had applied for five extensions, which were granted on July 6, Aug 10, Sept 11, Oct 11 and Nov 14 in 2023.

The anti-graft agency issued a notice of seizure on Ilham Tower, owned by his family, on Dec 18.

Mr Daim, 85, is a close ally of former two-time prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

On Jan 23, Mr Daim’s wife Na’imah Abdul Khalid claimed trial at a Kuala Lumpur court for failing to declare her assets to graft investigators.

She pleaded not guilty, and directed a message to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, saying “power is brief and there is always a reckoning for those who abuse it”. Datuk Seri Anwar has been accused of using the MACC investigation to go after his political foes.

Separately, Malaysia’s top cop has denied an accusation by Tun Dr Mahathir that he was treated like a criminal during questioning by the police a few days ago.

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Razarudin Husain, said the police were just carrying out their duties as part of their investigations into remarks made by the former premier about the Indian and Chinese communities in Malaysia.

“We will continue with the investigation. This is a police investigation; we need to complete it because if we don’t, then we would be seen as biased,” said Mr Razarudin on Jan 24, adding that the police would need three to four days to complete their investigation paper on Dr Mahathir before handing it over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Dr Mahathir had on Jan 23 claimed he was being treated like a common criminal for voicing his opinion.

In an interview with Indian-based channel Thanthi TV, Dr Mahathir had allegedly questioned the loyalties of the Indian and Chinese communities to the country.

He said the communities did not speak the local language but enrolled their children in their own schools, and spoke their own language, such as Tamil, at home. – THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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