KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin’s meeting with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday to record his statement about the sources of his wealth, has been postponed after the 85-year-old was hospitalised.
Utusan Malaysia reported unnamed MACC sources who said the interview was supposed to be held yesterday in relation to ongoing investigations about Daim’s wealth.
“We were informed that he was admitted to the hospital last week, so we have to set a new date,” one of the sources was quoted as saying in the news report published last night.
The Utusan report did not disclose why Daim was hospitalised or the details that led to him being questioned by MACC investigators.
Daim, a successful businessman and lawyer, was finance minister from 1984 to 1991.
He has been featured prominently and is said to be closely linked to former two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
National news agency Bernama reported that Daim and his company, Ilham Tower Sdn Bhd, filed a legal challenge last Wednesday against the MACC and the public prosecutor to stop ongoing corruption investigations based on the “Pandora Papers” – the findings by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in October 2021 based on its analysis of millions of leaked confidential documents on thousands of offshore companies, including those linked to politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories.
The MACC invoked Section 36(1)(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 to serve a notice to Daim to formally declare in a sworn statement all his assets, domestic and abroad within 30 days of June 7, 2023.
Section 36(1)(a) states that an MACC officer can issue a written notice to require the person to give a statement in writing on oath to identify all properties locally and abroad belonging to him or where he has an legal or equitable interest in and the date and method of acquisition, if he has reasonable grounds to believe based on investigation that any property held or acquired by any person is connected to or results from an offence under the same law.
Also named as applicants were Daim’s family – his four children Asnida, 62; Md Wira Dani, 45; Muhammed Amir Zainuddin, 28; Muhammed Amin Zainuddin, 25; and his wife Toh Puan Nai’mah Abdul Khalid, 66.
Daim has denied any wrongdoing in amassing his wealth and claimed the investigation to be politically motivated.