Daim rues M’kini’s ‘obsession’ with him, says offshore trusts legit

He responds to Pandora Papers probe, revealing his offshore trusts and companies.

PANDORA PAPERS | Former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin has called out what he believes is Malaysiakini’s “unending obsession” with him, following the news portal’s report on his offshore trusts.

Daim, who sat on the Council of Eminent Persons under the short-lived Pakatan Harapan government, said not all the trusts listed belonged to him, but all his dealings are legitimate.

He said trusts are part of “estate planning” as he has retired from business.

As such, he contended that reporting which implies wrongdoing by innuendo and speculation is “unprofessional” and an attempt to discredit him.

Daim said some of the trusts mentioned in Malaysiakini’s reporting belonged to his children while others are linked to a Swiss bank he owned, ICB Banking Group, which he delisted after he found it tedious to be jet setting to meetings around the world.

The former minister also said he has always paid the taxes due for all investments and properties in any jurisdiction and that he was a “successful and wealthy” businessperson in his own right.

“I have been in business since the 1960s. It has been more than 60 years, a half-century since.

“I think some recognition should be given to a Malaysian who has successfully carried the flag for Malaysian businesses here and worldwide,” he added.

Below is his response to Malaysiakini, in full:

I am not sure what is the purpose of your article and the unending obsession that Malaysiakini seems to have with me.

The constant reporting and implying wrongdoing by innuendos and speculation are totally unprofessional and looks like a never-ending mission to shame and discredit me. I do not understand what is the motive on the part of Malaysiakini, and I do not wish to speculate.

If you cared to read your own KiniBiz reports on me years ago and my long reply to your publication, the issue of my involvement in business has been hashed and rehashed ad nauseum.

Be that as it may, and what bears repeating, is that I was a successful and wealthy businessman long before I entered politics, and this has been sufficiently documented.

Business was my first love, and politics was national service. After retiring from politics, I returned to business.

If I may add, when I returned to business, alhamdulillah, I have done quite well, too. But I’ve retired from business for some time already and trusts are part of estate planning.

I have also set up trusts for charity both here and overseas.

Any trusts set up by my children are for them to decide, and I have no knowledge of them. My children are old enough to manage their own lives and I do get involved; my eldest daughter is a grandmother.

Not all the trusts you mentioned (in Malaysiakini’s request for comment) are mine. There are many businesses here in Malaysia and worldwide with the name ICB, and I have no knowledge of them.

The ICB that I owned had operations in over 14 countries on three continents and was successfully listed in London. I delisted it when I realised I was getting too old to go globetrotting and when none of my children wanted to take over.

It is also pertinent to note that the business of banking is highly regulated and is strictly vetted in the various countries that my businesses operate in.

Read more : Politicians, ministers and M’sian uber-rich revealed in latest offshore leak

Any assets I have overseas, I purchased them decades ago. I have been buying properties overseas since the 1960s and well before politics. I have bought and sold through the years and those I have kept, of course, appreciated in value. They are professionally managed and give good returns.

Read more : Hidden riches of world leaders, billionaires exposed in unprecedented leak

I confirm that taxes have been fully paid in every jurisdiction where I do business and where income is earned.

As a final note, I have been in business since the 1960s. It has been more than 60 years, a half-century since.

I think some recognition should be given to a Malaysian who has successfully carried the flag for Malaysian businesses here and worldwide.

MALAYSIAKINI

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