SHAH ALAM: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has warned former finance minister Daim Zainuddin that he would have sleepless nights should Anwar become prime minister.
Anwar said Daim would be the last person who would want to see him appointed prime minister, especially since Anwar had taken over at the finance ministry from Daim in the 1990s.
“He would have sleepless nights!” said Anwar to reporters covering the PKR national congress here today.
Anwar’s comment about Daim came in response to an interview Daim gave the Malaysian Insight last week, in which Daim suggested that Anwar should retire, to give younger leaders a chance.
“When I talked about the Pandora Papers and all these financial scandals, people using their office to amass wealth, squander billions… he has to answer. He should not take it personally…but he has to answer,” Anwar said.
“I don’t want to be personal with him… But he shouldn’t think that I can be frightened if I choose to expose these scandals,” said Anwar.
“For that reason, Daim had something personal against me. That is his problem. But I don’t expect him to be in any way sympathetic or supportive (of me).”
Daim, who was head of an advisory council to prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the Pakatan Harapan government of 2018-2020, was among several prominent people named in the Pandora Papers, an international leak of data about people with offshore accounts.
Others named included finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the family of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.
Anwar said many people did not dare talk about the “excesses of personalities” involved in corruption scandals such as 1MDB or those linked with the Pandora Papers, which he has asked to be investigated or debated in Parliament.
He said people who had squandered the nation’s wealth were treating Malaysians as fools. They must pay back to the people, he said.
“You cannot go around and say we want good governance, ridding the country of corruption, when you have benefited from deceit, squandering public funds and using your position.
“Now whether MACC or the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) proceed with any investigations, it would be entirely up to them. I know how the system works,” Anwar said.
He said people were afraid of how many of such people there were.
“How many of you (reporters) are prepared to report this?,” he asked. “I would doubt it, because they are powerful, they have billions at their disposal, and they can make or break (you). That’s what they think.
He said he had friends who told him that he could not afford to provoke certain people or expose their scandals because of their influence and power, both in the media and banking system.
“I (told them) you are discussing with the wrong person,” he said. “Don’t think I can be intimidated if I choose to expose these scandals.”