Former Malaysian Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin Charged in Major Anti-Corruption Crackdown

On Monday, Daim Zainuddin, the former Finance Minister of Malaysia, was indicted for not adhering to a mandatory asset declaration notice, as per the nation’s anti-corruption regulations. This charge is part of a broader sweep against corruption that involves high-profile political and business entities.

The assets in question reportedly consist of 38 companies, 25 properties located in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, and Kedah, along with several high-end vehicles, including a Rolls Royce, three Mercedes Benz cars, and a Jaguar.

Daim, who was a principal associate of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, entered a plea of not guilty. He faces a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to RM100,000 (approximately US$20,000) if convicted.

The 85-year-old, who held the position of Finance Minister from 1984 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2001, appeared in court in a wheelchair on Monday. His attorney mentioned health concerns while requesting bail. “I understand the charge and plead not guilty, opting for a trial,” he stated to Judge Azura Alwi.

The court granted him bail set at RM280,000.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, known for his reform-oriented agenda, has pledged to address high-level corruption. However, he has faced claims of utilizing the anti-corruption agency for political vendettas. Anwar has consistently maintained that he does not meddle in the agency’s investigations.