Daim Zainuddin Under Probe For Missing Old Umno Billions

MACC, acting on the directive of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, was apparently probing former leaders including one time Finance Minister II Daim Zainuddin and former dictatorial Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. They may have unlawfully retained reported Old Umno billions in assets!

Commentary And Analysis . . . The elephant in the room, on former Finance Minister II Tun Daim Zainuddin and past leaders including dictatorial former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, can only be the reportedly mysterious billions in Old Umno assets which allegedly went missing after the party was declared unlawful on 4 February 1988. Daim, at one time, was Umno Treasurer.

MACC, acting on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s directive, has apparently been probing former Umno leaders who may have retained the old party’s reported billions in assets. The Anwar unity government could do with Old Umno’s missing billions as state revenue. In law, Old Umno assets must be distributed among party members including Mahathir, Daim and Anwar.

Under the Definition in international law, national law being read as compliant, money laundering remains the accumulation of capital beyond what’s legitimately possible during lifetime. Such assets can be frozen by civil action, seized and forfeited as state revenue. Again, Daim’s case isn’t criminal but civil action on money laundering assets. It’s about impossible wealth not possible to be accumulated within lifetime except by being party for illegalities.

If civil action was challenged, criminal suits would be instituted.

The former finance minister risks being fined, jailed, and jailed further in default on fine, if criminal case was instituted on money laundering assets.

The alleged money launderer, based on recent precedent, can surrender 40 per cent of impossible wealth without prejudice i.e. with no admission of liability. Taxes would be due on the 60 per cent retained by the alleged money launderer.

Having said that, it would be politically inexpedient if the government allows Daim 60 per cent of the Old Umno assets. Also, in law, the ownership of “secret profits” lies with the principals i.e. the government and/or companies. In “secret profits”, the principal sum would have been used for making money. Daim, in law, can’t keep “secret profits” as the government and/or company remains the owner.


Briefly, it was in the media that something happened before 2003 when Mahathir stepped down after long goodbye. There was estrangement between the outgoing Prime Minister cum Finance Minister and Daim.

There were all sorts of reports in the media, and rumours, after Daim stepped down as Finance Minister II. Mahathir, it appears, never trusted bosom pal Daim with the Finance Ministry. It’s not known what Mahathir feared. It could not have been about Bank Negara’s gold reserves and holdings in SDR (special drawing rights) and basket of foreign currencies. It may have been Daim being privy to Mahathir’s deepest and darkest secrets.

Old Umno

Some reports hinted that Daim was sacked, that Mahathir and him were not on speaking terms, that the former Finance Minister could not leave the country, that he was under house arrest, and that he claimed that the Old Umno assets were his for the taking and/or keeping. Daim allegedly denied Mahathir the full listing of Old Umno assets. Later, there were reports that Mahathir and Daim settled the Old Umno assets between themselves.

There were several media reports which alleged that Daim had billions in RM500 and RM1K notes in Taiwan. The notes had been demonetised in the wake of the 1997/1998 Asian Currency crisis which saw Anwar being sacked as Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Deputy New Umno President.

Anwar swore, at international media briefing, that he would drag Mahathir and Daim in particular to justice for abuse of power, conflict of interest, and criminal breach of trust arising from “deriving personal benefits” i.e. based on bribery and corruption.

Black Book

Mahathir himself, who never had much grassroots support among those originating from the Archipelago, reportedly keeps thick black book on everyone’s sins. It explains Mahathir routinely taking to the media and describing the Archipelago Muslim as lazy, shameless, and carrying “inferior genes”. Mahathir first made the claims in “The Malay Dilemma” penned in 1969.

Mahathir was most comfortable with loyal non-Muslim cronies and Muslim like himself originating from the Indian subcontinent. These included the descendants of Arabic and Turkish speaking mercenaries and fortune hunters in south India. Umno moneybag Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary from the Yemeni community in south India remains case in point.

At the same time, in contradiction in terms, Mahathir denied Indian heritage except for “spoonfuls of blood (Indian)”. “Otherwise, I am Malay,” he told the media after attacking India for allegedly “invading and occupying Kashmir”. The Definition of Malay in Article 160(2) wasn’t about “blood” but “form of identity”. The Constitution, being colour-blind, cannot get into “race”, genes, and geographical origin.

Mahathir, shooting himself in the foot, said with straight face that he doesn’t know from which part of India the family came. Mahathir’s family tree is in “Mahathir . . . Profile In Courage”, the biography written by J.V. Morais who also hails from Kerala in southwest India. Morais founded the “Who’s Who in Malaysia” annual publication.

In law, the Constitution cannot be seen as going against itself.

Already, several Articles in the Constitution have been rendered redundant after Article 153 ceased existence in 1972 when the 15 years sunset clause allowing discrimination ended.

The redundant Articles include 160(2) on form of identity and Article 3 which originated as abberation in law. Article 152 was rendered redundant by Bahasa Malaysia eclipsing Bahasa Melayu.


It’s unlikely that Anwar wants assets, no matter how acquired, held by Muslim individuals, families and/or companies, lest there’s political fallout on the affirmative action programmes. So far, except for Riza Aziz — Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s son — and Datuk Ahmad Maslan, no Muslim had assets seized by civil action. The duo had assets seized before the Anwar government was installed in late November 2022.

There are reports that Mahathir and Daim, fearing the worst, may have been involved in the “Dubai Move” for bringing down the Anwar unity government. No one can escape Karma, the law of cause and effect. In Islam, sunnatullah is God’s law on cause and effect.

Again, Dubai or no Dubai, Anwar has eyes on the Old Umno assets allegedly held by Daim, Mahathir and others. — NMH

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