I am not too bothered about my fate, says former finance minister

KUALA LUMPUR: After he was charged in court, former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin trained his guns on the government and criticised it 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 for charges of failing to disclose his assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday.

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

His wife, Toh Puan Na’imah Khalid, then requested that the media refer directly to the statement.

Daim, 85, wrote that honesty, integrity and good governance have eroded.

He said that 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,” the statement said.

“But now, we are under the shadow of an administration that is abusing its powers while betraying all the promises of reform,” he said.

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

“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 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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