Holding MACC Accountable: The Case of Ahmad Sarbani and Rosli Dahlan

Holding MACC Accountable: The Case of Ahmad Sarbani and Rosli Dahlan

Din Merican Newby Din Merican

The Malaysian courts are full of drama. Last week, the Sodomy II Trial of Anwar Ibrahim had the nation transfixed when two legal giants, candidate AG Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah and former Federal Court Judge Dato Seri Gopal Sri Ram, battled it out on whether any sodomy took place or whether it was just a political conspiracy.

But let us not forget other equally interesting cases involving the the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which was established in January 2009. The MACC was supposed to be a fearsome anti-corruption body. Instead of being feared for stamping out corruption, the MACC gained infamy for causing deaths and fixing innocent citizens.

The first death in MACC’s custody was on  July 16, 2009, when Teoh Beng Hock was thrown out the MACC’s Selangor Office in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam. The second death was on April 6,  2011 when Customs Director, Ahmad Sarbaini bin Mohamad was said to have jumped out of the MACC’s office at Jalan Cochraine, Kuala Lumpur. These two incidents established the MACC’s reputation for throwing people out of high-rise buildings and getting away with it.

The Commission of Inquiry and Coroner’s Inquest of these two deaths did not produce satisfactory answers neither to the family nor to the public at large. Both Teoh Beng Hock’s family and Ahmad Sarbaini’s family have filed lawsuits to hold MACC accountable for these deaths.

The honorable thing to do would have been to apologize to their families. But under advice of Attorney-General Gani Patail who is the Government’s legal advisor, MACC chose to fight these out. That is how dishonorable our Government has become under A-G Gani Patail.


What I find surprising is that Utusan Malaysia is not settling with Rosli despite having admitted to its false story and wrong doing in a public apology. I find it equally astonishing that A-G Gani Patail seems to be outsourcing all his work to private lawyers like Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah and Tan Sri Cecil Abraham.image

If that is the case, the government might as well close down the A-G’s Chambers, hire Shafee as the Public Prosecutor and hire Cecil Abraham, the drafter of the late PI Bala’s Second Statutory Declaration in the Altantuya Murder case, as the Attorney-General. That may be cheaper for the taxpayers.image

Today, the trial against MACC for causing Ahmad Sarbaini’s death begun. See the MalaysiaKini report: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/280085

At the same time, another case against the MACC was supposed to take place this morning. This involved Lawyer Rosli Dahlan’s case against Utusan Malaysia and the MACC for conspiracy to fix him in 2007. Although Rosli’s case against the MACC was filed in 2009, A-G Gani Patail has resorted to all kinds of maneuvers to avoid going to trial. The same thing happened this morning when at the 11th hour the A-G asked the court to postpone Rosli’s trial.

That said, I sympathise with Rosli. I know that he had spent a lot of money to seek his redemption. And yet, he is being obstructed from having his day in court. If a lawyer of his outstanding credentials can suffer that fate, what chance do ordinary folks like us, and Kassim Ahmad, Azmi Shahrom, Adam Adli et. al have? The MACC and the A-G have deep pockets thanks to the Government of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Defending our Fundamental Liberties: The case of MAIS Outlawing SIS

November 2, 2014

Defending our Fundamental Liberties: The case of MAIS Outlawing Sisters In Islam (SIS)

by Din Merican

On  October  17, 2014, I wrote about the need to create a defence fund for Kassim Ahmad. Please READ :here

To me, the inhumane arrest, the abduction from Kedah to Kuala Lumpur and the unlawful charging of Malay Intellectual, Kassim Ahmad, is a sign of the erosion of our democratic principles; the erosion of Rule of Law; and worse still, the erosion of Justice when the civil courts turn a blind eye to the unlawful things being done by the religious authorities.

Of late, the civil Courts seem to abdicate their constitutional duty to check on the religious authorities by conveniently saying that the civil courts cannot interfere with the jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts.

The civil High Courts which are vested with judicial powers in the Federation seemed intimidated by the religious authorities.  Is there something happening between the A-GC and the Judiciary that we should know? Judges like Dato Zaleha Yusof who had previously chided JAWI and JAIS are suddenly replaced by hard-line conservative judges to handle Judicial Review cases.

Challenge Kassim Ahmad intellectually

Challenge Kassim Ahmad intellectually

Before I digress, when I appealed that Malaysians should contribute to a fund to defend Kassim Ahmad, I stated that this fund is not exclusive to Kassim Ahmad but also for other similar persecutions that endanger our liberty and freedom; to secure a guarantee of our fundamental liberties.

I am happy to inform you that the fund has raised RM14,982.00. We should applaud the Malaysians who contributed. But I should also inform Malaysians that fighting legal battles with the authorities involve huge sums of money. In that sense, RM14,982 over two weeks is a paltry sum. It is not even enough to pay for the disbursements incurred for Kassim Ahmad, not to mention to pay the professional fees, which lawyers like Rosli Dahlan, Malik Imtiaz, Nizam Bashir , Fahro Azat and other like minded Muslim lawyers are prepared to waive.

Is Rosli Dahlan a deviationist just for defending Kassim Ahmad and acting for Marina Mahathir to sue ISMA?

Are Rosli Dahlan   Malik Imtiaz, Nizam Bashir  et.al deviationists ?


In other words, while these lawyers are providing their services Free of Charge, we Malaysians are not doing our part. We do nothing to fight for what we believe in. We are just deluding ourselves when we say that we love this country whereas we can’t even raise RM100,000 in that short time to fight for what we believe in.  we want to behave, then this country is going down a very slippery slope…fast!

So, Malaysians, come forth and contribute because recent events have shown that there is clear and present danger that more ominous things will come our way if we are lackadaisical about the ideals that we cherish. This country is going down the slippery road very fast because we do not care enough for those who are being persecuted for dissent (reasoned discourse).

I  used the Kassim Ahmad’s case merely to illustrate the  surreptitious  incursions by our religious authorities who can outlaw freedom of thought and ideas by a simple stroke of passing religious edicts called Fatwas which, when gazetted, suddenly become part of the laws of this country.

We all know that there are only 3 branches of government i.e. the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. We also know that making the laws  of this country is the power of the Legislature whether Parliament or the State Assemblies. We also know that when the Executive misapplies the law, the Judiciary will keep them in check as it is the last bastion of justice. That is what we know and that is what we think those who govern us should know too.

Yet, what we didn’t know is that the religious authorities in this country (and there are 14 of them as we have 14 states in the Federation of Malaysia)  can exercise all the powers of these 3 different branches of government. And, they do it in a very unique way without following any legal sequence.

 The religious authorities of this country can just pass sentence on people with different views as deviationists without notifying them or hearing them out. Then the religious authorities just pronounce this sentence as law in the form of Fatwas. Finally, all they have to do is to just arrest those people whom they have already passed sentence on by arresting them and getting a syariah court to convict them.

Thus, in Kassim Ahmad’s case, MAWI/JAWI which are the religious authorities in Federal Territories outlawed Kassim Ahmad by decreeing that his ideas and thoughts are “sesat dan menyesatkan”. That is how they justified sending their officers to Kedah to abduct him and bring him to Kuala Lumpur to answer religious offence charges. And, soon the Syariah Court will just convict Kassim Ahmad because the civil High Court Judges will not stay JAWI from proceeding in the Syariah Court.

This practice of “outlawing” people and ideas which are  different from the ideas and thoughts of the religious establishments has become more serious when recently MAIS (Majlis Agama Islam Selangor) through the Mufti of Selangor gazetted a Fatwa  declaring that:

1. SIS (Sisters in Islam) and anyone else that practices Liberalism and Pluralism are deviationists;

2. All their publications are banned and can be confiscated;

3. MCMC are to censor and block their electronic media;

4. These deviationists can be compelled to corrective measures.

Read http://www.e-fatwa.gov.my/fatwa-negeri/pemikiran-liberalisme-dan-pluralisme-agama

Literally speaking, with one stroke of the pen, the religious authorities have “outlawed” the whole SIS Board, members, employees, contributors, supporters etc. They are condemned as deviationists without being duly notified nor to explain themselves. This is a clear violation of the Federal Constitution and the UNHCR Human Rights Declaration (which Malaysia is a signatory of that charter), that no one shall be condemned without the right to be heard.

Marina dalang LBGT?Is Marina Mahathir is a promoter of LGBT as accused by ISMA?

It is most alarming that without even specifically identifying the persons or publications, MAIS has practically declared every Muslim as potentially a deviationists. So, in effect, is MAIS also declaring that Tun Dr Mahathir and his daughter Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir (and her friends above), Dato Zaid Ibrahim and his son Ezra Zaid, academic Azmi Shahrom and anyone who supports them including the lawyers who act for them like Rosli Dahlan, Malik Imtiaz, Nizam Bashir  and Fahri Azzat also as deviationists?

Have they forgotten that it was Tun Dr Mahathir who promulgated Art.121(1A) into the Federal Constitution that gave them the powers that they now wield against him? Have they forgotten that Tun Dr Mahathir established the International Islamic University from which Rosli Dahlan and Malik Imtiaz graduated and are the very lawyers accusing these religious authorities of violating the Constitution? Are they now biting the very hand that created them and those that came from within their own fold?

Dr Mahathir said Jais needed to refer to the Quran to find out how to handle such situations instead of following the interpretations of some...

Dr Mahathir said Jais needed to refer to the Quran to find out how to handle such situations instead of following the interpretations of some…

The Third ban in that Fatwa is also worrisome. You now see a state Mufti directing MCMC to censor and ban internet social sites. Since when can a state Mufti have powers under the Multi Media Act to direct the MCMC to do anything? I suppose the MCMC Chairman Dato Shahril who is a Muslim can be charged by JAIS if he disregards the Mufti’s Fatwa?

The Fourth ban is very dangerous. In effect, it means that a deviationist can be detained in a corrective centre by the religious authorities until he disavows or recants his views, this is similar to being detained in prison indefinitely for contempt until the contempnor purges his contempt.

My Fellow Malaysians,  I have written this short piece to wake you up to the dangers that confront us. I appeal to you to come defend your rights. If you can see what I am seeing, then you will contribute to the Defence Fund which will be used not just for Kassim Ahmad, but also for such similar causes. So, please contribute generously to:

  Maybank Berhad A/C No 514011895152
  Swift code: MBBEMYKL

The Kassim Ahmad Defence Fund

October 17, 2014

George Town, Penang

The Kassim Ahmad Defence Fund: Fight Arrogance of Power and Defend Justice

by Din Merican

kassim ahmad1Kassim Ahmad Arrested in Classic Mossad Covert Style by JAWI

On  March 26, 2014, officers of the Jabatan Agama Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) went to the northern state of  Kedah. They stormed and broke into the house of Malay scholar and public intellectual, Kassim Ahmad and abducted him in a 5 hour van-ride to Penang and then put him on board a midnight Air Asia flight to KLIA bound for Kuala Lumpur. This was a classic Mossad covert style raid and kidnap which had to be done under the cover of darkness.

JAWI’s territorial limits is only the Federal Territory which is Kuala Lumpur and JAWI had transgressed that territorial limit. But, JAWI  was not bothered. JAWI then interrogated the 80- year old Kassim Ahmad overnight and then charged him in court the next morning for defiling Islam. By then Kassim’s wife had made her way down from Kedah to Kuala Lumur to bail him. But she was disappointed. They refused to allow her to post bail for him because they said the bailor must be a Wilayah Persekutuan resident. And because she is a Kedah resident, she did not qualify. This is one of the perverse things JAWI did. There were many more.

Kassim and RosliUpon advice from his lawyer, Kassim Ahmad filed a Judicial Review to challenge JAWI’s actions. Judicial Review is a special type of legal action where the civil High Court is empowered to review the conduct of public authorities and public bodies from acting in an illegal manner. Because it is a special type of legal suit, a person like Kassim will need a special permission (Leave) to file a Judicial Review.

In Malaysia, defiling Islam is a serious syariah criminal charge. The state of Terengganu even issued a fatwa declaring Kassim Ahmad a Murtad (Apostate). But JAWI did not do that because if it did, then JAWI cannot proceed with the Charge against an apostate as an apostate is, by definition, not a Muslim.

So, what was this serious charge about? Kassim is charged for purportedly delivering an academic lecture at the Perdana Foundation officiated by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed. There you have it, this whole covert style prosecution is just about an academic lecture.

Most Muslims in Malaysia, including Judges, will become a bit troubled to show sympathy to anyone who is charged with defiling Islam. So, Kassim’s attempt at getting Leave was rejected because the High Court Judge, Justice Dato Zaleha Yusof, said that the civil courts do not have jurisdiction over a religious body. That seems to be a lame excuse. But never mind.

Kassim had to appeal and  the Court of Appeal agreed with him and directed the High Court to hear the Judicial Review. The Attorney-General’s Chambers then asked for more time to file affidavits for the Religious Minister, JAWI and the Syariah Prosecutor who are the Respondents in the Judicial Review. And this is where JAWI again shows its incoherent behavior as reported by Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini. It would appear JAWI wants to bring about a collision course between the civil court and the syariah legal systems.



Syariah Courts are located in the same complex as the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court called the Palace of Justice. Anyone who has been to the Palace of Justice will admire its beauty as a Palace. But then, can this beautiful Palace also serve its main function to deliver Justice?

If the Syariah Court insist on proceeding with the syariah criminal trial against Kassim whereasAzmi Sharom 3 there is a Judicial Review pending that has been ordered by the Court of Appeal, then the Syariah Court is courting problem. I suggest the Syariah Judge should introspect if that is what he wants to do- cause a crisis.

Until then, we Malaysians can only show our displeasure to these antics by JAWI by supporting Kassim Ahmad’s cause. We can do that by contributing to his defence fund. We can create this fund to support Kassim Ahmad and all other persecutions that endanger our liberty and freedom. In supporting Kassim Ahmad and others like Azmi Shahrom, we are securing a guarantee of our fundamental liberties.

To show your support, please send your contribution to this Maybank Account No: 514011895152.


Copgate suit against Utusan, MACC finally fixed

October 10, 2014

Rosli Dahlan’s Faith in the Malaysian Justice System is unshakeable?

by Din Merican

Yesterday, Malaysiakini’ s Hafiz Yatim drew our attention to the fact that, finally, Lawyer Rosli Dahlan’s RM50 million law suit for the conspiracy committed against him by the MACC and Utusan Malaysia will be going to trial.

Rosli Dahlan (new)His Quest for Justice shouldn’t be in vain

Most of us were not aware that Rosli’s law suit was twice denied from proceeding by two High Court Judges, namely Justice John Louis O’ Hara and Justice Hew Siew Kheng. Only because Rosli persevered by appealing to the Court of Appeal not once but twice that he was able to get the case back on track.

It is like the deliberate derailment of a train. Any lesser person would have crumbled. But not Rosli. He is truly an idealist. His faith in the judicial system is unshakeable like his faith in religion and Allah. And he pursued with what he believed to be his right to seek redemption and justice in a court of law.

The Nasty TrioAnd even as he succeeded to put that case on track, he has been denied from consolidating that case with another RM50 million law suit that he filed against A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail, former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan, current MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim and former MACC Director of Prosecution, Dato Nordin Hassan, who was recently elevated to the position of a High Court Judge.

What I was alarmed at is the fact that, here is a senior lawyer whose playground is the courts and the very court system almost let him down. What I was deeply disturbed at is that there seemed to be an unseen hand which, firstly, did not want his case to even see its day in court. And then, when there seems to be an impartial Judge like Dato Nik Hasmat and Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, again the case is removed and sent to another Judge.

I am sure the new 4th Judge of his case, Justice Yang Ariff Dato’ Su Geok Yiam will be fair to Rosli and give him the justice that he so much deserves regardless that one of the defendants is a sitting Judge Dato Nordin Hassan.

That, however, begs the question– should Nordin have been elevated to be a Judge when there is a lawsuit that named him as a perpetrator to subvert justice? That fact is already proven when Rosli was acquitted and the Courts ruled that the case against him was a sham. That is the impression I get from reading Hafiz Yatim’s report yesterday.

I have seen my young friend and lawyer Rosli Dahlan devastated and down so many times before when the odds were against him that I am compelled to caution him not to be too idealistic, not to be naïve in believing that he can get justice when he wins his case.

I wish to only point out to Rosli that as much as he believes in the justice of the God of Islam,  it is the spokespersons of Islam like Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah (JAWI) and Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) who are the persecutors of Borders’ Nik Raina, Malay scholar Kassim Ahmad and prolific publisher Ezra Zaid (son of Zaid Ibrahim). The custodians of the law are the very persons who abused it with impunity.

So, before Rosli suffers another heartbreak from his faith in religion and God, I just wish to quote to him an old Roman saying : “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the philosopher as false, and by the rulers as useful.”– Seneca,  2000 years ago

Now read what Malaysiakini reported (below). Fighting Whitehall is tough business. Those in it are fighting you using taxpayer’s money and the court’s time. Let us pray for Rosli that his faith win God and religion will not forsake him.

To Justice Dato Su Geok Yam (right),  I say say please administer justice as it is your job. Here isdato_su_geok an opportunity for you to do the right thing. Stop the persecution of a lawyer who has the guts to fight Whitehall in order to regain his dignity and honour. I have been following Rosli Dahlan and Ramli Yusoff over a number of years and attended their court proceedings, and have reported their fight for justice on my blog when the mainstream chose to ignore them. The time for closure is long overdue . Justice must again be seen to be done.


Copgate suit against Utusan, MACC finally fixed

by Hafiz Yatim@www.malaysiakini.com


After a slew of judge changes, the RM50 million civil suit lawyer Rosli Dahlan filed against Utusan Malaysia and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over what is known as theCopgate affair‘ has been fixed for hearing for five days from Nov 10.

This follows questions surrounding the arrest and charge leveled against Rosli on the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri seven years ago, on which he had been fully acquitted and cleared.

The trial will be heard before Justice Su Geok Yiam, who will be the fourth judge to hear the matter. The dates were decided yesterday the following case management of the matter before Justice Su.

The matter was initially fixed before Justice John Louis O’Hara, who then struck off Rosli’s suit. Rosli appealed and the Court of Appeal agreed with him and reinstated the suit and fixed before another judge.

Lawyer disallowed to give oral evidence
The case was then moved before Justice Hue Siew Kheng, who repeatedly asked the matter to be resolved amicably and quickly, but even then she disallowed Rosli from giving his oral evidence.

On appeal to the Court of Appeal, Rosli successfully set aside Justice Hue’s order and the case was brought before another judge, Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad. However, Justice Nik Hasmat was also taken off the case at the last minute, and it has now been brought before Justice Su.

Gani PatailRosli had also tried to consolidate this suit with another separate RM48 million suit he had filed against attorney-general (AG) Abdul Gani Patail (left), former inspector-general of police (IGP) Musa Hassan and MACC chief commissioner Abu Kasim Mohamad for malicious prosecution and public misfeasance.

This action he filed separately and together with former Commercial Crime Investigation director Ramli Yusof, who was implicated in the ‘Copgate affair’ and has also filed a RM128.5 million claim.

The Attorney-General tried to have their suit struck out, but KL High Court judicial commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera ruled the top legal officer in the country was not immune to legal action.

However, the A-G’s lawyers were successful in getting both cases to be heard separately, although the facts and witnesses are the same, and the matter is now stayed following the AG’s appeal.

Five-year wait for hearing!
Rosli, a partner at the law firm Lee Hishammuddin Allen and Gledhill, filed the suit against Utusan Malaysia and MACC in 2009 for defamation, assault and false imprisonment leading to his charge in 2007, of which he was acquitted years later.

By then Utusan Malaysia had issued a public apology to Rosli admitting that it had sensationalised and falsified its report and “acted beyond the parameters of ethical journalism”.

Besides Utusan Malaysia, Rosli named 15 defendants including Abu Kassim, who was then MACC’s number two officer, officers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara and the government as defendants.

Being a director of several large multinational companies and a trustee of an international charitable organisation, Rosli claimed their actions have affected his integrity and good reputation.

His involvement came to light after he tried to help Ramli, who was then entrusted to get rid of the illegal money lending syndicate including a leading underworld figure named Goh Cheng Poh or Tengku Goh, who was allegedly linked to then top cop Musa.

When Goh was placed under restricted residence, the AG’s Chambers did not want to act for the Commercial Crime Department headed by Ramli to challenge the suspect’s habeas corpus application, resulting in Rosli being roped in to draft the affidavits for Ramli, his arresting officers and former Deputy Home Minister Johari Baharom.To make matters worse, Rosli had acted for Malaysia Airlines in several of the national carrier’s international disputes.

 Ramli who was then the number three officer in the police force had also investigated the airline’s losses and had recommended to then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that action could be taken against former MAS chairperson Tajuddin Ramli for the losses, where if the A-G failed to do so, the Police are up to the task.This allegedly led to the purported fabrication of charges on Ramli being labeled as the ‘RM27 million cop‘ as well as charges leveled on both him and Rosli. It was previously reported that Rosli was later successful in his defamation suit against New Straits Times and the MACC, where both the daily and the MACC were ordered to pay a total of RM300,000, and the decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal.Rosli’s defamation suit against The Star resulted in the MCA-owned daily having to settle with an apology and payment of undisclosed damages to him last year, in order for him to withdraw the suit.


Rosli Dahlan wins Appeal against NST and MACC

September 17, 2014

Rosli Dahlan wins Appeal against NST and MACC

By Din Merican

rosli-dahlan2Unknown to many, this morning, the Court of Appeal presided by JCAs Clinton Albert, Hameed Sultan and Nalini Pathmanaban today heard NST’s appeal vs the High Court Judgment of Judge Siti Khadijah Badjenid which held NST and MACC liable for defamation vs Lawyer Rosli Dahlan and ordered NST and MACC to pay RM150, 000.00 each to Rosli (total RM300,000.00). The counsel for NST was Harjinder Kaur and counsel for Rosli was Chetan Jethwani and Parvinder Kaur.

The High Court had found that The NST and MACC had authored and published false news about Rosli by reporting that he was investigated and charged for hiding the assets of Dato Ramli Yusuff which they had dubbed as the RM27million Cop story.

Previously, Utusan Malaysia and The Star newspapers had published public apologies and paid damages to Rosli for publishing similar false stories.. Yet, The NST refused to apologise to Rosli. The NST’s misconduct was further aggravated by the fact that the NST’s reporter, V Anbalaga, had claimed that he had obtained the information from the MACC who wanted the news to be leaked, whereas during the trial the MACC denied leaking any information. Judge Khadijah had found that the MACC had breached s.21(4) of the ACA Act by leaking confidential investigation information.

What was comical about the whole thing was that the MACC even republished the NST article on its website and later claimed that the MACC Publication Unit did not know about the case but just adopted the false NST story. During the trial witnesses for NST and MACC blamed each other just to avoid liability. That is how these liars behaved when they are caught lying!

During the hearing this morning, the Court of Appeal Judges asked why the MACC did not appeal if they did not do any wrong to Rosli and if the story that was published on the MACC website was true. They also questioned NST’s lack of remorse by appealing when MACC did not appeal.

Judge Hamid Sultan asked why the NST started and popularised the RM27milion story when the charge against Rosli and Dato Ramli did not mention any amount at all. Judge Hamid Sultan also said there was no basis for stating that amount or that story which was false and indicated malice on the part of the NST- “News cannot add on untrue stories,embellished it to be a fairy tale. Only real news enjoy any privilege.”

Judge Linton Albert said- “The Sting of the Defamation is that you stated he hid RM27milion or that he was charged for RM27milion when that was totally untrue!” When Court resumed at 12.50pm, the Chairman of the Panel dismissed NST appeal and ordered NST to pay cost of RM20,000.00 to Rosli Dahlan.

Rosli Dahlan may lose license over the letter to Prime Minister

September 8, 2014

What has Rosli Dahlan done to deserve this kind of treatment from JAWI? Is it because he chose to write at his client Sdr. Kassim’s instructions to our Prime Minister with regard to his prosecution. It is normal for any citizen to communicate with the PM. After all, JAWI is under the Prime Minister’s Department.It is the appropriate channel for this purpose.

I have been trying to figure out the real motivation behind this move. My feeling is that JAWI is attempting to prevent this very competent lawyer from representing Sdr. Kassim. If this is the case, this action is more serious than I originally thought. It is wrong to deny Sdr. Kassim his right to be represented by a lawyer of his own choice. Good sense must prevail to ensure that justice is upheld under Syariah Law. Otherwise, the  Syariah court will be seen to be acting against the cause of Justice, thereby tarnishing its image further. –Din Merican

Rosli Dahlan may lose license over PM letter

by Haiz Yatim@www.malaysiakini.com

Rosli Dahlan, the lawyer representing scholar Kassim Ahmad, is in a quandary following complaintsrosli-dahlan2 lodged by the Federal Territory Islamic Department (JAWI)) to the Syarie Lawyers Committee.

This is over Rosli’s letter dated June 13, which he and his firm wrote and sent to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, and copies handed to Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir and JAWI dated June 13, warning of a possible constitutional conflict if JAWI is allowed to continue prosecuting Kassim.

He alleged that JAWI’s action in arresting Kassim  in Kedah, without informing the authorities there and bringing him back to the capital, may constitute a violation as Kedah has its own religious department and what he said was not declared illegal in that state.

Following the PM and Mukhriz not looking into that possible violation, the scholar filed a judicial review application at the civil High Court contending the charge. JAWI’s Chief Prosecutor then complained in a letter sent to the committee on July 8, that this could be deemed as interference against Kassim’s prosecution.

Jawi’s letter to the committee was sighted by Malaysiakini where it issued a show-cause letter dated Aug 14, asking Rosli to explain his conduct in issuing the letter to Najib and Mukhriz.

Conflict of interest

Kassim AhmadChecks on the web on the committee revealed its members included the Chief Syarie Judge, the Attorney-General or his representative and the Chief JAWI prosecuting officer, two members appointed by the committee and a registrar. As JAWI’s Chief Prosecuting Officer is also the complainant in the case, it may bring in conflict within the committee when it hears the application.

Rosli, who is a syarie lawyer since 1988 before the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territory) 1993 was enacted, also acted for Borders store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, where his opposite number is the JAWI Chief Prosecuting Officer. Hence, sources deemed the action by JAWI as also trying to stop Rosli from representing the two.

In the Borders case, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had struck out the Syariah charge where it is deemed unconstitutional as JAWI had taken action on Nik Raina before the book by Canadian author ‘Allah, Liberty and Love’, was banned. The Borders matter is still pending decision at the Court of Appeal following JAWI’s appeal.