KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Tun Daim Zainuddin, former Malaysian finance minister, faced charges in the Sessions Court on Monday (29 January), for allegedly failing to disclose his assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
After the charge, made under Section 36(2) of the MACC Act, was read to him, the 86-year-old pleaded not guilty.
The offence outlined in Section 36(2) pertains to the willful neglect or failure to comply with a MACC notice, compelling the accused to provide a written statement on oath or affirmation regarding their assets.
If convicted, Daim could face a maximum five-year jail term and a fine of up to RM100,000 (approximately US$21,139).
The specific allegations against Daim include a claim that on 13 December last year, at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, he knowingly provided a written statement on oath that did not adhere to the terms of a MACC notice issued on 8 November of the same year.
This notice was served on him on 14 November.
Daim is accused of failing to declare ownership in 38 companies, seven vehicles, 19 plots of land in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, and Kedah, as well as six properties.
Additionally, he allegedly omitted to declare ownership of an Amanah Saham Berhad and Amanah Saham Nasional bank account.
Earlier, on 23 January, Daim’s wife, Na’imah Abdul Khalid, 66, pleaded not guilty in a Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to similar charges of failing to declare assets, including the multimillion-dollar Ilham Tower.
She faces a potential five-year jail term and a fine of up to RM100,000 if found guilty.
The undisclosed assets linked to Na’imah include Ilham Tower, companies Ilham Tower and Ilham Baru, two Mercedes-Benz cars, and several properties in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
In response to the charges, Na’imah asserted her innocence, stating outside the court, “No crime was committed by me, and I will prove this in court.” She claimed that the real crime was an attempt to tarnish her husband’s reputation and the misuse of state power for personal gain, rather than for the benefit of the people.
Na’imah was granted bail of RM250,000 with one surety and instructed to surrender her passport to the court.
The MACC initiated the investigation into Daim based on information obtained from the Pandora Papers leak in 2021, revealing hidden wealth held through offshore companies by world leaders, billionaires, and celebrities.
The investigation, opened in February the following year, identified Daim among the nine Malaysians disclosed in the Pandora Papers, while Na’imah’s name was not mentioned.
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