A-GC warns no investigation can be completed if Daim's judicial review bid is allowed

KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General's Chambers (A-GC) has warned that no enforcement agency in the country will be able to complete any investigation if Tun Daim Zainuddin is allowed to challenge the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's probe into him.

Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said if the court allows judicial reviews against the exercise of functions related to criminal investigations, it will open the floodgates to challenge every other exercise of such functions, potentially leading to chaos and public disorder.

"Those powers are investigative powers which cannot be challenged and if it is to be allowed it will hamper the investigative process.

"For every investigation, a judicial review will be filed. Hence, the investigation will not be completed," he said before High Court judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

Shamsul said this in his argument objecting to former finance minister Daim's application to challenge the MACC's probe into his financial dealings.

He said law enforcement agencies were vested with the power to issue an order to freeze a person's property upon the fulfillment of some conditions.

"It is submitted that the application for stay by the applicants is tantamount to restraining the MACC from exercising its investigative powers under the MACC Act.

"The issuance of a freezing order (for Daim's assets) is only made when an enforcement agency has commenced an investigation against the person and there is reasonable ground to suspect either that the person commits a terrorism financing offence, or that the property is the proceeds from an unlawful activity.

"This signifies how the issuance of a freezing order, like the rest of the discretionary powers afforded to the law enforcement agencies and parcel of a criminal investigation process," he added.

The applicants argued that MACC has no reasonable cause to investigate them under the MACC Act or the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The applicants are seeking a certiorari order against the MACC to quash all investigations instituted against Daim and his family members and all notices issued by the commission.

On Dec 23 last year, the MACC confirmed that it is investigating Daim over allegations of corruption and money-laundering.

The confirmation came about after the commission on Dec 18 seized 58-storey Iham Tower, a commercial property in the Kuala Lumpur city centre reportedly owned Daim's family.

Daim subsequently labeled the probe against him and his family a "political witch hunt".

He said neither he nor his family had been involved in any corruption or wrongdoing, adding that his efforts to establish what offences he allegedly committed to warrant the probe had been rebuffed by the MACC.

On Dec 30, MACC in response said the probe on Daim began in February 2023 based on information from the Pandora Paper.

MACC said as part of the investigation, it sent Daim a notice in June 7 last year, requiring him to declare all his assets whether inside or outside the country within 30 days from the date the Notice was issued.

The commission said Daim had applied for five extensions and he was granted the extensions on July 6, Aug 10, Sept 11, Oct 11 and the last on Nov 14 to declare all his assets.

As part of the investigation process, the public prosecutor had issued a Notice of Seizure on Ilham Tower on Dec 18, under Section 38(1), MACC Act 2009 (Seizure of immovable property).

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories