Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin’s wife said her family has never concealed owning assets abroad earned from “business activities and investments” since before her husband became involved in politics.
Naimah Khalid was responding to Malaysiakini’s report on leaked documents on the existence of another offshore trust worth hundreds of millions of ringgit.
She claimed that the report was penned in a “sensational tone” to create the impression of wrongdoing.
“The fact is, even the writer did not suggest the existence of criminal elements so it begs the question why such a report was published.
“To tarnish the good name of a person with implied accusations and perceptions without furnishing credible evidence is wrong and unethical.
“It points towards character assassination under the guise of reporting,” Naimah added in a statement issued through her lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan.
Naimah also questioned if it was appropriate to discuss the private finances of an individual when no crime had been committed.
“This report will only fan assumptions, rumours and perceptions toward us or anyone else in a similar position. There is no doubt, this is the reason (the article) was published,” she added.
According to the latest documents, obtained by the Investigative Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) and shared with Malaysiakini, the trust was set up in the names of Naimah and Daim’s sons Muhammed Amir Zainuddin and Muhammed Amin Zainuddin.
The leak from a service provider from the Cayman Islands showed that as late as 2020, there were assets worth some US$52.56 million (RM244.06 million) held in ZA Star Trust, which is owned by the trio.
It also showed that ZA Star Trust received a loan of US$49 million (RM227.53 million) from Adam Zeta Trust but there are no details on what it was for or who owns Adam Zeta Trust.
The latest information eclipsed the assets owned in offshore trusts previously linked to Daim, where limited information only pointed to a value of under £25 million (RM148.26 million).
On Jan 10, MACC recorded Naimah, Amir and Amin’s statements to facilitate investigations into undeclared wealth held by Daim, following the Pandora Papers revelation by Malaysiakini and the ICIJ in 2021.
Previously, Daim claimed that he was the target of a witch hunt whereas Naimah suggested that the current administration is seeking to “settle old political scores”.
Daim, a teacher-turned-politician and corporate figure, said if he had remained in business instead of joining politics, the value of his liquid asset ownership alone would be more than RM50 billion. – Malaysiakini