MACC opened an investigation paper on Daim in February 2023 based on information from the Pandora Papers.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today said its ongoing investigation into former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin is based on the country’s anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws, stressing that it is an independent body.
The MACC referred to Daim’s recent statement on the MACC probe against him, noting that his statement had caused public confusion and misunderstanding and that it wishes to correct the facts regarding the matter.
“Firstly, the MACC never raised or issued any official statement accusing Tun Abdul Daim of having committed any wrongdoing,” the anti-graft agency said in a statement today.
The MACC went on to say it had opened an investigation paper on Daim in February 2023 based on information from the Pandora Papers.
(The Pandora Papers are findings released in October 2021 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) 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 said a notice under Section 36(1)(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC Act) was on June 7, 2023, handed over to Daim, which required him to make a written declaration of all assets owned by him whether in Malaysia or abroad and in the form of a sworn statement within 30 days of the date of the MACC notice.
Malay Mail’s checks of Section 36(1)(a) show that an MACC officer can — if he has reasonable grounds to believe based on an investigation that any property held or acquired by any person is connected to or results from an offence under the same law — 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 a legal or equitable interest in and the date and method of acquisition.
The MACC today also said Daim had requested extensions for the asset declaration five times, and that the extensions were granted five times this year (July 6, August 10, September 11, October 11 and November 14) for him to declare all assets owned by him.
“As part of the MACC’s investigation process, the Public Prosecutor has issued a notice of seizure for Menara Ilham on December 18, 2023, under Section 38(1), MACC Act 2009 (Seizure of Immovable Property),” it said.
It added that Daim is being investigated under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, as well as Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amlatfpuaa).
The MACC said that those who are investigated could still clear their name if they are charged in court, and they remain presumed innocent during investigations.
“However, based on the legal principle of ‘presumption of innocence’, a person who is investigated is considered innocent until proven guilty, and that individual has the opportunity to clear his name if this case is tried in court,” it said.
The MACC also stressed that it is an “independent commission which acts professionally” according to the laws and regulations, and that it is also monitored by five independent oversight bodies.
“In line with that, MACC urges all to not make any speculations about that case and to allow investigations to be carried out undisturbed,” it concluded.
The MACC statement comes after Daim broke his silence in a statement on Thursday regarding the probe against him and the seizure of Menara Ilham.
Among other things, Daim had denied any corrupt act or wrongdoing by him or his family and claimed that the MACC investigation was a “political witch-hunt” against them.
Daim also said he had given full cooperation to the MACC since the investigation began, saying it is false to claim that he had not properly disclosed the financial details demanded by the MACC and that he had disclosed all that was asked for in writing by the MACC and in accordance with the law. – MMO