A towering man caught in a probe


PETALING JAYA: Tun Daim Zainuddin, 85, is a man who has walked in the highest corridors of powers and was once said to be as powerful as the prime minister himself.

As recently as 2018, the two-time finance minister was also named as the leader of the Council of Eminent Persons, which was formed to help the then newly-installed Pakatan Harapan government chart its course.

He was also known to be a close friend and confidante of then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Both of them are from Kedah.

Based on details from his 2018 biography Daim Zainuddin: Malaysia’s Revolutionary and Troubleshooter, Tun Daim’s first encounter with politics began in 1966 when he worked as a lawyer for Allen & Gledhill, the firm that had been appointed by the Federal Government to resolve the 1966 Sarawak constitutional crisis.

He was later appointed as a senator in 1980 and was elected to Parliament in 1982 as the Kuala Muda MP from 1982 to 1986 and then as Merbok MP from 1986 to 2004.

He served two terms as finance minister under Mahathir’s administration – from 1984 to 1991 and later from 1999 to 2001 before resigning from the post after a two-month leave of absence.

He has been credited with twice rescuing the Malaysian economy from near collapse while also being instrumental in restructuring Malaysia’s economy.

Construction of the iconic 274m-tall, 60-storey Menara Ilham began in 2010 and was completed in 2015, said to be at a cost of RM2.117bil. It was then the seventh tallest building in the country.

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