Prosecution objects to Na’imah’s application on MACC charge

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22: The prosecution has submitted a preliminary objection to Toh Puan Na’imah Khalid’s application to challenge the validity of the charge made against her for failing to declare her assets as provided under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.

In an affidavit-in-reply sworn by MACC Deputy Public Prosecutor Maziah Mohaide, the prosecution insisted that there was no need for the Sessions Court to refer the Constitutional question regarding the charge to the High Court.

She stated that the application submitted by Na’imah, who is the wife of former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, had no merit.

“The question raised by Na’imah is not a Constitutional issue nor does it violate any matter in the Federal Constitution.

“A person’s right to be protected from involving himself in an offence (privilege against self-incrimination) is not an absolute right under the law and it is not a right guaranteed under the Federal Constitution,” said Maziah in the affidavit.

According to Maziah, Section 36 of the MACC Act 2009 is a provision that authorises MACC officers to obtain information for investigation purposes.

 “This provision does not violate Article 5 of the Federal Constitution (liberty of a person) because when the applicant is given notice under Section 36, she has not been arrested or detained. Therefore, the issue of violation of Article 5 before the trial is premature,” she said.

Maziah said the provision also does not violate Article 8 of the Federal Constitution (equality)   because Section 36 does not only apply to the applicant but also to other people who are presented with a similar notice.

 “The applicant is treated equally under the law and there is no discrimination in the context of Article 8 when she is ordered to comply with the notice under Section 36. The actions by the MACC officers are the same as to any other person investigated under the MACC Act 2009,” she said.

Meanwhile, during the mention of the cases against Na’imah, 66.  and Daim, 85,  in the Sessions Court today, Judge Azura Alwi set May 21 to hear Na’imah’s application.

The judge also set May 9 for mention of a similar application filed by Daim.

The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutors Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry while the couple were represented by lawyer M. Puravalen.

Last Jan 29, Daim, whose full name is Che Abdul Daim Zainuddin, pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to three counts of failing to comply with a notice to declare his assets, which include several luxury vehicles, companies and properties in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Perak and Kedah.

About a week earlier (Jan 23) Na’imah was charged with a similar offence and the assets include Menara Ilham and several others in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

They were charged under Section 36(2) of the MACC Act 2009, which carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or a fine of RM100,000 upon conviction.