No ulterior motive in investigation, seizure of Menara Ilham, says Anwar

No ulterior motive in investigation, seizure of Menara Ilham, says Anwar

Prime minister says enforcement action shows MACC willing to do its duty no matter what an individual’s standing.

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) move to investigate and seize Menara Ilham in Kuala Lumpur demonstrates that the country’s enforcement system does not protect anyone involved in corruption regardless of their standing, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

He called on all parties to understand and give space to the investigative body to carry out its duties, even if the case may involve any influential, high-ranking or powerfully placed individual.

Anwar said that the justice and enforcement systems must set an example and dare to act against big corrupt people as it is a matter of integrity.

“Let the MACC do its job and it doesn’t matter what anyone’s standing may be,” he said, pointing out that the public are wary of selective investigation, especially when it seems that “small fish”, or ordinary low-level people, are caught for alleged improrities while influential individuals who have high standings appear untouched.

“Let there be an investigation so that leaders (in society) are not seen to be protected by those in power,” he said. “It is the MACC’s responsibility to carry out its duty and investigate.”

He was speaking to reporters after conducting Friday prayers at the Kota Damansara Mosque in Petaling Jaya.

He stressed that the investigation should not be considered to be associated with any form of ulterior motive by the current government administration.

On the other hand, the prime minister insisted, the investigation proves that the anti-graft agency is commited towards carrying out its tasks without regard to any individual’s background or the influence of certain parties.

It was reported yesterday that the MACC had seized the multi-million-dollar Ilham Tower, a key commercial property owned by the family of ex-finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin.

The action followed Daim’s alleged refusal to comply with petitions from MACC regarding the disclosure of his family’s financial holdings. It is also a component of an anti-money laundering inquiry initiated in late May.

The investigation reportedly focuses on a corporate transaction worth US$500 million (RM2.3 billion) in November 1997, which involved publicly listed Renong Bhd and United Engineers Malaysia Bhd (UEM). Both entities were previously integral components of the business empire associated with Umno.

Daim served as Umno treasurer between 1984 and 2001.

Commenting further, Anwar said that the issue of wealth being associated with certain leaders is not a new thing.

“It is not a public secret. Someone who became loaded with such huge fortunes. Let there be an investigation so that the (government) leader is not seen as protecting a big corrupt person.

“We do not represent a system with cracks. Our system must exemplify the courage to act on big corrupt (people),” he added.

“Whether it (an allegation) is true or not, let the process be carried out and then the judiciary will decide,” he said.

– The Vibes, December 22, 2023

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