MACC Unveils High-Stakes Asset Declarations: Mahathir's Son Faces Scrutiny Amidst Pandora and Panama Paper Revelations
12 Feb 2024
Young Sok Fun
A network tech by profession and a consultant. Passionate about writing
Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir, a prominent Malaysian businessman and the son of former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, is facing scrutiny from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The MACC has issued a notice requiring Mokhzani to declare all his assets, regardless of their location, within a 30-day period. MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki conveyed that Mokhzani was summoned on Friday at 11 am and emphasized the importance of listing both domestic and international assets.
The investigation stems from an opened case under the MACC Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing, and Proceeds from Illegal Activities Act 2001. The directive to declare assets is part of a broader effort by the MACC following revelations in the Pandora Papers and Panama Papers, which exposed individuals involved in offshore banking activities.
It's worth noting that Mokhzani's case is distinct from his brother Mirzan Mahathir, who also received a notice from the MACC on January 17, mandating the declaration of his assets within a similar 30-day timeframe. The MACC is actively pursuing leads arising from these high-profile leaks.
However, the MACC chief clarified that Mokhzani's case has no connection to his brother Mirzan Mahathir, thus establishing the independence of the investigations.
The Pandora Papers and Panama Papers are significant leaks that shed light on the financial dealings of numerous global elites. The Pandora Papers, released in 2021, implicated hundreds of influential figures in alleged tax avoidance and corruption, whereas the Panama Papers, published in 2016, revealed detailed financial and attorney-client information for over 214,488 offshore entities.
In response to these developments, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad expressed criticism on January 19, accusing the MACC of not investigating government supporters mentioned in the Pandora Papers, including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz, PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong, and the parents of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low. The complexity of these cases and their potential implications for high-profile individuals have brought attention to the ongoing efforts of the MACC in addressing corruption and financial improprieties.