Mr Tommy Thomas, Malaysia’s former Attorney General who is representing Mr Daim’s family, argued that the former politician was being subjected to an investigation under laws that were formulated after he had retired as a public official.
“Furthermore, Daim is already 85, and he may not remember events of 25 to 26 years ago, and this is unfair and may prejudice him,” Mr Thomas said.
Senior federal counsel Liew Horng Bin protested, arguing that there was no statutory limitation for the investigating authorities to investigate a purported crime and a ruling in Mr Daim’s favour would open the flood gates to halt other ongoing investigations.
Judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh said that he would deliver his decision on the suit on March 4.
CNA understands that the frail and diminutive Mr Daim, who suffers from kidney-related ailments, was admitted last Friday into a private hospital in the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
It took place just hours before he was scheduled to meet with MACC investigators to record a statement on the ongoing anti-graft probe, according to three senior government officials who spoke to CNA on condition of anonymity.
The sources noted that the MACC investigators had requested to record the statement from Mr Daim at the Assunta Hospital in Petaling Jaya since Saturday, but his medical team insisted that he was in no position to be questioned.
The situation remains unchanged on Tuesday, according to the sources. Executives from Mr Daim’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
The MACC’s move against Mr Daim is part of an anti-money laundering investigation that began in late May last year into a controversial corporate transaction valued at RM2.3 billion (US$500 million) in November 1997.
It involved publicly listed Renong Bhd and United Engineers Malaysia Bhd (UEM), two entities that were former cornerstones of the business empire tied to the one-time ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party.
Soon after the probe began, the MACC froze the bank accounts of companies connected to Mr Daim’s business and ordered him to declare his financial holdings and other assets belonging to members of his family.
Mr Daim has repeatedly rebuffed those demands and the faceoff took a nasty turn on Dec 21 when the anti-graft agency seized the multi-million dollar Ilham Tower, a prime commercial building in the capital Kuala Lumpur owned by Mr Daim’s family.
Since the seizure, the MACC has been turning up the heat.