PETALING JAYA: It is akin to character assassination, Toh Puan Na’imah Abdul Khalid says as she slams a report quoting leaked documents on her family’s wealth stashed in offshore accounts.
“I refer to a news report published today in an online portal claiming that so-called “leaked documents” reveal an offshore trust worth hundreds of millions owned by our family,” the wife of Tun Daim Zainuddin said in a statement on Friday (Jan 19).
"This is reported in a sensational manner, intended to impute some form of wrongdoing or possession of ill-gotten wealth. We have made no secret of the fact that we own assets abroad.
"These were the product of legitimate business and investment activities, going back long before Daim joined politics in 1984. Indeed, no real suggestion of criminality is made by the authors of the report, which begs the question why such a report was published at all,” she added.
She said it is neither ethical nor right to taint anyone’s reputation by incorporating innuendoes and imputations with no evidence to back up the report.
“Isn’t this tantamount to character assassination under the guise of reportage?” she asked.
Further, in the absence of wrongdoing, is it justified to discuss anyone’s private financial holdings, whether those details are correct or not, in a manner calculated to suggest serious impropriety of some kind?” she added.
She said the news report had “undoubtedly intended” to fan the fires of prejudice, rumour and supposition against the family.
On Jan 18, an English daily quoted documents from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on records from a Cayman Islands financial services firm. It claimed that Daim’s family were beneficiaries of a trust holding assets worth US$52.5mil (RM146.21mil) as of 2020.
Last month, the MACC seized the family-owned Ilham Tower as part of its investigations.