Daim’s spouse accused in expanding graft investigation; assets undeclared.

January 23, 2024
1 min read


– The wife of Malaysian politician Daim Zainuddin has been charged with failure to declare assets and has been banned from leaving the country.
– The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is conducting investigations into allegations of corruption linked to high-profile Malaysians named in the Panama Papers and Pandora Papers.
– Critics accuse Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of using corruption probes to settle scores with his political opponents.

The wife of veteran politician and businessman Daim Zainuddin, Naimah Abdul Khalid, has been charged with failing to declare her assets and has been banned from leaving Malaysia. This comes as Malaysia’s anti-corruption authorities target rivals of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has recently launched investigations into allegations linked to large data dumps on the finances of high-profile Malaysians named in the Panama Papers and Pandora Papers. The investigations have resulted in the seizure of a skyscraper owned by Daim’s family.

Naimah pleaded not guilty in court and has been released on bail, but her passport has been seized. If found guilty, she could face up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 100,000 ringgit. Critics have accused Anwar of using corruption probes to settle scores with old political foes, including Daim and his one-time political mentor turned nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad.

The defence counsel argued that Naimah is not a flight risk and may need to accompany her husband for treatment overseas. Naimah stated that the charge and ongoing investigation are part of a coordinated plot to tarnish Daim’s reputation and exact political revenge against him and their family. She accused Anwar of using state powers to target his political opponents while corruption charges against his own allies were dropped.

This development comes after a separate court heard an application by Daim and his family to challenge the MACC’s investigation into their wealth. Daim, a former finance minister, has denied any wrongdoing and denounced the MACC’s actions as unlawful and unconstitutional. The anti-corruption officials have also questioned Mahathir’s eldest son, Mirzan, over the sale and purchase of government-linked corporations and information leaks in the Panama Papers.

Anwar has defended the corruption investigations, stating that he needs public support for government reform and the fight against corruption. He dismissed allegations of political revenge and called for the full support of the people. However, Mahathir accused Anwar and his government of using the corruption crackdown as an excuse to ensure Mahathir is found guilty of a crime to hide the fact that his administration lacks majority support.

The political feud between Anwar and Mahathir has shaped Malaysian politics for over two decades, beginning when Mahathir sacked Anwar as his deputy in 1998 and later had him charged with corruption and sodomy. Anwar and his supporters argue that the charges were fabricated to end his political career, and he has been jailed twice. Anwar was released on a royal pardon in 2018 at the start of Mahathir’s second term as prime minister.

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