(Teluk Intan, Sunday): The latest issue of Far Eastern Economic Review (cover-dated
11th July 2002) on “Mahathir's Remaining Goal” said that the
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad “intends to revamp Malaysia's
Finance Ministry before he hands over power in October 2003”.
It quoted “senior government officials” saying that Mahathir had told close aides in late June “that he wants to curb the powers of future finance ministers over contracts and government tenders” and described Mahathir's anger “when other ministers complained about Daim's insistence, since becoming minister in early 1999, on keeping control over contracts awarded by other ministries”.
A previous issue of Far Eastern Economic Review (cover-dated 27th June 2002) had referred to a seven-page letter to Mahathir by the former Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Ali Abul Hassan, whose renewal of tenure as the central bank head was blocked by the then Finance Minister Tun Daim, before Ali left office in April 2000 "detailing several instances where Daim intervened personally in transactions involving banks controlled by his close associates".
The FEER report referred to the institutions which Daim had favoured, including the International Bank of Malaysia or IBM (which Daim had previously controlled) and the sale of state-owned Bank Simpanan Nasional's merchant-banking arm to Perwira Affin Bank, which submitted a bid of RM17 million as compared to the bid by tycoon Quek Leng Chan of Hong Leong Group offering RM70 million.
calls for the establishment of a public commission of inquiry into all the
questionable and controversial decisions
and roles played by Daim Zainuddin as second-time Finance Minister involving
abuses of power and conflicts-of-interest, including the billion-ringgit
mega-bailouts like the MAS and Time dotCom scandals
using public funds.