Daim pleads not guilty for failing to declare assets

From finance head to courtroom

29 Jan 2024 10:08am
Former finance minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here today to a charge of failing to comply with a notice from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) by not declaring 70 of his assets and one bank account in December last year.
Former finance minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here today to a charge of failing to comply with a notice from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) by not declaring 70 of his assets and one bank account in December last year.

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin was charged in the Sessions Court here today with failing to comply with a notice to declare his assets, which include several luxury vehicles, companies and properties in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Perak and Kedah.

Daim, 85, whose full name is Che Abdul Daim Zainuddin, seated in a wheelchair placed next to the dock, pleaded not guilty to the charge before Judge Azura Alwi.

"I understand the charge, pled not guilty and claim trial,” he said.

He was charged with failing to declare his assets by deliberately giving a written statement under oath that did not comply with the terms of the notice dated Nov 8, 2023, sent to him by an officer of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) with the rank of Commissioner on Nov 14, 2023, to do so.

The offence was allegedly committed at the MACC Headquarters, Putrajaya, on Dec 13, 2023.

The charge, framed under Section 36 (2) of the MACC Act 2009, provides a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to RM100,000, if convicted.

The assets comprise Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASB) and Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN) bank accounts, seven luxury vehicles such as a Rolls Royce Royce 2 Axle Rigid Body, three Mercedes Benz, a Jaguar XJS HE, Austin Morris Austin and Ford Prefect

The assers also involve 38 companies, namely Ibu Kota Developments Sdn Bhd, Maya Seni Holdings Sdn Bhd, Menara Ampang Sdn Bhd, Dream Cruiser Sdn Bhd, Landbelt Corporation Sdn Bhd, Kenari Teliti Sdn Bhd, Fnq Advanced Materials Sdn Bhd, Kota Tandop Development Sendirian Berhad, Alun-Alun Resort (M) Sdn Bhd, Dasar Seroja Sdn Bhd, Gigantic Promotions Sdn Bhd, Jupiter Alliance Sdn Bhd, Inayat Realty Sdn Bhd, Suasa Urus Sdn Bhd, Avillion Berhad, Meridian Haven Sdn Bhd, Avillion Vista Hotel Sdn Bhd, Vast Access Sdn Bhd and Fortune Valley Sdn Bhd.

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Also in the list are Reliance E-Com Sdn Bhd, Admiral Marina Berhad, Golden Envoy (M) Sdn Bhd, Mela Lifestyle Sdn Bhd, AVI SPA Sdn Bhd, Avillion Hotel Group Sdn Bhd, RPB Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, Genius Field Sdn Bhd, Festive Place Sdn Bhd, Avillion Suite Hotel (PD) Sdn Bhd, Taman Unik Sdn Bhd, Admiral Cove Development Sdn Bhd, Nesline Sdn Bhd, RPB Development Sdn Bhd, OS Resources Sdn Bhd, Avillion Hotel (Kl) Sdn Bhd, Avillion Hotels International Sdn Bhd, Admiral Hill Hotel Sdn Bhd and Reliance Shipping & Travel Agencies (Perak) Sdn Bhd.

The property also includes 25 condominium units, houses and hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Kedah.

Last Jan 23, Daim's wife, Toh Puan Na'imah Abdul Khalid, 66, was charged in the same Sessions Court with failing to comply with a notice by not declaring her property including Menara Ilham and several properties around Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Prior to that, Nai’mah and her two sons were summoned to the MACC headquarters to record their statements in connection with the commission’s investigation against Daim, who is also a businessman.

According to MACC, the investigation into Daim was initiated based on information obtained from the Pandora Papers, which disclosed details related to confidential documents of wealthy and influential individuals worldwide hiding their wealth through offshore services or companies outside of their countries.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin offered bail of between RM250,000 and RM500,000 and an additional condition that the accused surrender his passport to the court and also report himself at the MACC Putrajaya office once a month.

He also requested all parties not to make any comments regarding the case pending its disposal.

"The matter is now in the court and we understand the freedom of expression of Malaysians. However, it has limits and to avoid making subjudicial comments," he said.

According to Wan Shaharuddin, he was not seeking a ban or a 'gag order', but advice from the court so that the accused does not comment on the case until the matter is disposed of.

Lawyer M. Puravalen, representing Daim, when applying for a minimum bail, said his client had kidney problems and suffering from a minor stroke.

"He suffered from a fungal infection in his eyes, leading to the removal of one of them. He is practically homebound," said the lawyer and also requested that his client not be subject to additional conditions due to his health condition.

Judge Azura then set bail at RM280,000 with one surety and did not impose any additional conditions considering the accused's condition.

"Regarding the issue of comments, I understand and feel that all parties are mature enough not to comment on this case. The case is in court now and I request both parties not to make any comments that is subjudicial to the case," she said and the court set March 22 for mention.

Also appearing for the prosecution are DPPs Ahmad Feisal Mohd Azmi, Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry and Maziah Mohaide, while Puravalen was assisted by lawyers Nizamuddin Hamid, N. Rajesvaran and Sachpreetraj Singh.

The proceeding was also attended by Daim's family members including his wife, Na'imah, and Muar Member of Parliament Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. - BERNAMA