FORMER finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin finds himself at the center of a controversy, accused of corruption and money laundering following revelations from the Pandora Papers leak.
Daim, a successful businessman even before entering public office four decades ago, is now vehemently denying any wrongdoing, labelling the ongoing investigation as a “political witch-hunt”.
“It’s public knowledge that Daim was a very successful businessman prior to joining the government in 1984. He was already widely referred to in the media as a tycoon and multi-millionaire before taking public office 40 years ago.
“Now, a campaign of disinformation and misperception is being relentlessly held to give the depiction that he is corrupt just because he is very wealthy,” Daim’s wife Naimah Khalid told reporters before entering the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters for questioning.
She also added that such logic meant that every successful businessman in Malaysia would be subject to the same accusation.
“We know that at the end of the day, we will be vindicated.”
Daim’s two sons were also present during Naimah’s statement to the press.
Last month, MACC seized the 60-storey Ilham Tower, reportedly belonging to Daim and his family, under Section 38(1) of the MACC Act 2009, which deals with the seizure of immovable property.
MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki later confirmed that the agency is investigating Daim for alleged corruption and money laundering.
Naimah further accused Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of having a personal vendetta against her husband, claiming that the PM accused Daim of possessing illegal riches without providing any evidence. She stressed that the office of the PM should not be used to damage individuals’ reputations through insinuations or thinly veiled accusations.
“We know Anwar might not like Daim, but surely he should respect the principle of innocence unless guilt is proven in a court of law. Today it is my family, tomorrow who knows who will be victimised.”
Moreover, the Pandora Papers leak revealed that assets jointly held by Daim’s family or known business associates amounted to at least EUR£25 mil (approximately RM141 mil).
In response to the Pandora Papers revelations, Daim asserted that trusts are part of estate planning and all his dealings were legitimate with all taxes duly paid. – Jan 10, 2023
Main photo credit: Malay Mail