Daim fails in his bid to obtain leave for a judicial review to end MACC investigation into his wealth

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The High Court rejected Tun Daim Zainuddin’s application to obtain leave for a judicial review to end the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigations into his wealth and family and to prevent any charges that may result from them.

The court ruled that the applicants failed to prove that the issue fell within the purview of a traditional judicial review application and that the applicants failed to prove mala fide or bad faith in the investigation that is currently being carried out.

“The applicant has failed to establish with compelling evidence and prima facie proof that the decision or omission of the MACC’s investigative officers falls within the traditional grounds of a judicial review.

“In short, the threshold is not crossed.

“Since the applicants have failed to establish mala fide, this application for leave for judicial review must fail,” said Judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh when delivering his decision at the Kuala Lumpur High Court here.

The court expanded that mere suspicion of "mala fide" is insufficient and issuance of notices, seizure of assets, and freezing accounts were not done in bad faith.

The court also held that a stale offence is not a defence, when responding to the 85-year-old businessman's contention that the alleged commission of offences was over 22 years ago, long after he had left public office.

"Time does not run against the king," the judge said, referring to the Latin maxim nullum tempus occurrit regi.

Moreover, Malaysian law provides that there is no time limit for criminal investigation.

Responding to the former finance minister's claim that the charge was politically motivated, the court only held that this judicial review application was the wrong avenue to raise the issue.

Besides Daim, his wife Toh Puan Naimah Abdul Khalid and his children were the applicants for this judicial review.

Daim is a lawyer and businessman. He was finance minister of Malaysia from 1984 to 1991, and was reappointed to the same position in 1999 until he resigned from all Cabinet positions on May 31, 2001.

In his court filings, he said he has held no public office since then.

Daim also said he was appointed Umno treasurer in 1984 and resigned from the post in November 2001.

According to court documents, Daim and his family said they had in December 2023 complied with MACC’s notices, but that the MACC later continued further action such as a December 18, 2023 seizure of the 60-storey Ilham Tower and the land it is located on as well as raids on the same day of companies such as Ilham Tower Sdn Bhd and Ilham Baru Sdn Bhd.

Ilham Tower Sdn Bhd is the owner of Ilham Tower, and the company’s majority shares are owned by Ilham Baru Sdn Bhd which in turn is fully owned by Daim’s wife and two of his children.

Daim's name was listed on the Pandora Papers leaked by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in 2021 to have allegedly used offshore companies to hide ill-gained wealth.