Daim maintains innocence, wants his day in court

KUALA LUMPUR: Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin has reserved comment on the charge of failing to declare his assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) but criticised the administration for not living up to its promises of reform.

“I don't wish to say much about this political charge against me.

“I am not guilty, and I look forward to my day in court,” he said in a statement after claiming trial to the charge at the Sessions Court here on Monday (Jan 29).

At first, the two-time finance minister tried to read out his statement in the court lobby but his voice was too low to be heard.

His wife Toh Puan Na'imah Khalid then requested the media to refer to the statement instead.

ALSO READ: Daim charged with failing to declare assets, claims trial

In the statement, Daim, 85, said honesty, integrity and good governance have been eroded.

He said independent institutions like the MACC, Attorney-General's Chambers and Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) have been made tools for pursuing political opponents.

“Like many others who wanted a new Malaysia, I had come out to support Pakatan Harapan and Anwar Ibrahim in 2018. Then, the nation was under the shadow of the 1MDB scandal.

“But now, we are under the shadow of an administration that is abusing its powers while betraying all the promises of reform – a wolf in sheep's clothing that cries reforms but does the polar opposite," he said.

Daim also expressed his worries about the state of the country.

ALSO READ: Daim: I amassed my wealth through legitimate businesses

“In my twilight years, I may no longer have the physical strength, but my convictions have not wavered.

“I am not too bothered about my fate now. Let (them) throw everything at me.

“I ask you, Malaysians, to do what you can to protect and to save this country. Do not hesitate or fear to stand... A government is accountable to its people, not the other way around.

“As the saying goes, ‘For evil to triumph, it's only necessary for good men to do nothing.’ You deserve the better Malaysia that was promised,” he said.

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