July 22, 2024

Malaysian anti-corruption agency seizes ex-finance minister Daim Zainuddin’s 60-storey building

According to a notice by the MACC, the anti-corruption agency seized the tower after it found an offence under the MACC Act 2009.

“Take notice that according to Section 38(5) of the MACC Act 2009, whereby anyone that goes against this notice or carry out any actions that is against this notice, has committed an offence that can be fined no more than twice the amount of the said value, or 50,000 ringgit (US$10,789), or whichever higher amount, and can be jailed for a period no longer than two years,” the notice read.

The agency placed the notice in a local media advertisement dated December 18.

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A staff member in Menara Ilham said that despite the MACC seizure notice, it was still “business as usual”.

“No comments. But it was business as usual,” the unnamed staff member said briefly.

A receptionist at Element Hotel, which operates out of the building, also said the hotel was operating as usual with rooms available.

Attempts to get Daim’s comments on the matter is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based Channel News Asia (CNA) quoted financial executives close to Daim as saying that the seizure was effected on Thursday after Daim’s refusal to submit to MACC’s petition to declare his and his family’s financial holdings.

CNA claimed that Daim told MACC officials that he had nothing to do with the Renong-UEM deal and in early December, the former finance minister was told by MACC that he would no longer receive any extension.

It was reported that Daim maintained that the deal which involved UEM acquiring a 33 per cent interest in Renong was purely a corporate transaction between companies that were governed by their respective managements, board of directors and shareholders.

Former Malaysian finance minister Daim Zainuddin. File photo: AP

As at press time, The Star was trying to reach out to MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki.

Menara Ilham, built at an estimated cost of US$580 million, is located in the prime commercial and high-rise residential property area around the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

In May this year, MACC had said it was gathering information involving alleged misappropriation of 2.3 billion ringgit (US$496 million) by a former minister and a businessman.

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Sources said the probe was a continuation to the disclosure of confidential documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICJ), also known as the Pandora Papers, over transactions carried out at offshore financial centres.

The Pandora Papers refer to millions of leaked documents made public in 2021, which allegedly revealed offshore accounts of present and past leaders from around the world, including presidents, prime ministers, billionaires, and prominent businesspeople.

This article was first published by The Star

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