FORMER finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin has hit out at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations on him and his family.
In a statement on Thursday (Dec 28), Daim broke his silence over the matter and noted that up to this day, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki has yet to inform him of the offence that he had allegedly committed.
“As a former senior member of the government, and out of respect for the investigative process, I have kept silent until now.
“However, the prime minister and MACC have not shown the same respect for the process with their continuing uncalled-for comments and statements leaving me with no choice but to respond to protect my reputation and good name.”
Referring to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s latest tirade against him on Dec 22 where the prime minister had said “it is an open secret. Someone had reaped so much wealth”, Daim said such a statement is “a reckless and unsubstantiated insinuation” that he is guilty of some “unspecific offences”.
“This amply shows his animus against me. It is also highly inappropriate and an abuse of power for a prime minister to interfere or influence an ongoing investigation by making blatant public insinuations of guilt,” he said, adding that he had consulted his lawyers on the matter and will take appropriate action in due course.
“Unacceptable, unprofessional, suspicious”
Daim went on to say that it is “unacceptable, unprofessional and suspicious” that Azam had resorted to making various prejudicial comments against him, in public while the investigation is still ongoing.
He noted that as head of the organisation, Azam must also be held responsible for a slew of “source” news leaks on the purported investigation.
“These so-called ‘sources’ can only be coming from within the MACC as they purport to reveal details of said investigation,” Daim remarked.
“The purpose of the leaks is clearly to justify their high-handed actions against me and to paint myself as a corrupt person and offender. Not being told of the offences against me, I am in no position to answer them or defend myself.”
Daim also said he had, since the beginning of this investigation, extended the fullest cooperation to the anti-graft watchdog and regularly communicated with them via his lawyers.
“As such, it is patently false for the MACC ‘sources’ to claim I have not made a proper disclosure of the financial details demanded by MACC. I reiterate that all that was asked for in writing by the MACC was disclosed and followed the law,” he asserted.
“But it is not only that which concerns me. I am deeply concerned about the fairness and integrity of our institutions.
“The institutions must be protected for the sake of the nation. It is in the highest public interest that the investigative and prosecution process is not tainted and subverted by bias, unfairness, or political motives. This will affect every Malaysian.
“In remembering the oath of office they both swore to uphold, Anwar and Azam must respect the rule of law and due process and act accordingly.”
Last week, the MACC seized the Ilham Tower, a 60-storey building owned by Daim and his family.
The MACC had said it had seized the tower after it found an offence under the MACC Act 2009 had been committed.
The seizure was reportedly linked to an anti-money laundering investigation that began in late May into a corporate transaction worth RM2.3 bil in November 1997.
The transaction involved publicly listed Renong Bhd and United Engineers Malaysia Bhd (UEM).
The anti-graft agency is also reportedly looking into Daim’s businesses and how the corporate figure had obtained all his assets. – Dec 28, 2023
Main pic credit: The Star