January 26, 2024
KUALA LUMPUR – Graft investigators have been given the go-ahead to charge Tun Daim Zainuddin, and while they claim to have notified him, the former finance minister’s wife insisted this did not happen.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said the agency had wanted to bring Daim’s case to court since last week, after getting the consent of the Attorney General’s Chambers.
However, this cannot be executed yet as the 84-year-old Daim is in hospital.
Azam said his officers had communicated with Daim’s lawyers to inform them of the matter.
However, Daim’s wife, Toh Puan Na’imah Khalid, denied having been notified that graft prosecutors were going to charge her husband.
She said Daim was prepared to face “this political charge in the hospital itself” if necessary.
“We were only told that a statement was to be recorded from him.
“Only today, reading the news reports, have I discovered that Daim is to be charged,” she added.
When asked about this, Azam remained firm that the MACC had informed Daim’s lawyers of the matter.
He said the MACC has not been given a clear explanation as to why Daim was admitted to the hospital and what his health issues were.
“Doctors have not been really forthcoming when my officers queried,” the MACC chief added.
Azam said Daim would still be brought to court to face charges.
“For now, we will observe the situation. But eventually, we need to bring him to court,” he said.
Na’imah, on the other hand, said insinuations by Azam that Daim was somehow evading being charged by getting hospitalised were “false and mischievous”.
“Particularly offensive are his disparaging remarks against the dedicated and professional doctors of this hospital,” she said.
Na’imah said her husband was prepared to face charges.
“Let me state unequivocally that Daim is prepared to face any charge, anywhere, and will vigorously defend himself in accordance with the law.
“He has been warded and is undergoing treatment.
“Subject to the permission of the hospital and medical team, Daim is prepared to face this political charge in the hospital itself.
“We will leave this to Azam and the MACC to decide,” she said.
Earlier, the MACC said it had opened an investigation paper in February last year based on information from the Pandora Papers.
As part of the investigation, a notice, issued on June 7 under Section 36 (1) (a) of the MACC Act, was sent to Daim.
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 that Daim had applied for five extensions, which were granted on July 6, Aug 10, Sept 11, Oct 11 and Nov 14 last year.
On Dec 18, the anti-graft agency issued a notice of seizure on Ilham Tower, owned by his family.
On Tuesday, Na’imah claimed trial at the Sessions Court for failing to declare assets.