Rosli Dahlan: an emerging human rights and civil liberties lawyer


May 19, 2013

MY COMMENT: I  was attracted by RPK’s lastest article (May 18, 2014) on laywer Rosli Dahlan for several reasons. Foremost is that I have always believed that Rosli should take on some public role. RPK suggests that he should lead the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement. I couldn’t agree more.

Rosli-DahlanI know he is too modest to do anything for public fame. I know he does not feel that a person charged by the MACC should take on any public role. I know he has no political ambitions. But he must. It is no longer about him.

It is about the bigger cause for Malaysia. He has the knowledge, the experience and more importantly the moral compass to do the right thing. I have seen him throughout his criminal trial He was always calm, reflective, and collected with an abiding faith in justice.

I have seen him in action when he took on the mainstream media, the MACC and the Goverment in his civil suits. He won all them all. Lately, he sued A-G Gani Patail, former IGP Musa Hassan and several other big guns, calling them “Rogues in Government”.

Rosli has that quiet resolve to see things to the end. He is incorruptible. He does not crave for power nor wealth. He is not easily intimidated. In other words, he is beholden to no one except his deep personal piety to God which he does not shout about like PERKASA or ISMA.

He identifies with the common man in the street, understands their plight and fights for such causes with tenacity.  That is the kind of person that the MCLM needs to lead it. And for that, I join RPK in asking Rosli that he should show his patriotism by fighting for the rights of the oppressed Malaysian.

By the way, RPK also failed to mention one important case that Rosli handles. If I am not mistaken, its the UAE Sdn Bhd vs JAIS and MAIS ( read here )where these religious authorities tried to use the Land Acquisition Act to seize a 26 acre land owned by a chinese company on the pretext of building a 26 acre mosque.

I recalled asking Rosli why he would represent a Chinese company against the State Islamic Religious Authority which wants land to build a mosque for God. His answer was a curt : “Why Not?” Then he said “You can’t use religion or God’s name to rob someone of his land. God forbid!”.  There you have it.

So read on the following RPK article on the emergence of a civil rights lawyer, my friend Rosli Dahlan.–Din Merican

Rosli Dahlan: an emerging human rights and civil liberties lawyer

by Raja Petra Kamaruddin (May 18, 2014)

I would suggest that Rosli set up a special fund to fight these violation of human rights and civil liberties cases. He may be prepared to work free-of-charge for the sake of justice, human rights and civil liberties. However, I still feel a special fund should be set up.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWERimage

In November 2013, Rosli Dahlan filed a suit against A-G Abdul Gani Patail, former IGP Musa Hassan, and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Abu Kassim Mohamed in their personal capacity. Rosli also named MACC prosecution head, Abdul Razak Musa, its former prosecution head, Nordin Hassan, and Razak’s deputy, Anthony Kevin Morais, the MACC, the Malaysian Police, and the Malaysian government, as among the 11 defendants.

So there you have it. Rosli is practically taking on the entire Malaysian government for his arrest and assault and the lies they spread about his so-called ‘corruption’. Now that all the lies have been proven just that, lies, he is going to nail their balls to the wall and hang them by their dicks.

Further to that, Rosli sued the government-owned mainstream newspapers — Utusan Malaysia, NST, and The Star. You can read more about that story below.

For almost seven years, Rosli has been battling the government for what they did to him. And his only ‘crime’ was that he represented the number three in the Malaysian police force against the false allegation of corruption. The government had alleged that this police officer was corrupt and had accumulated assets worth RM27 million.

The MACC, however, did not charge this Police Officer for corruption. They eventually charged him for non-declaration of assets. And it was not for RM27 million but for a much lower figure. Rosli then represented this police officer and managed to prove that the police officer had, in fact, declared his assets, contrary to what the MACC alleged.

But why were they so bent on ‘getting’ this Police Officer, even if under fabricated criminal charges if necessary? Well, the answer is very simple. This Police officer investigated the abuse of power and corruption in Malaysia’s national airlines, MAS.

This  corruption went all the way to the top and involved those who walk in the corridors of power. And this resulted in MAS losing billions. And this, of course, has now been proven and even Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said this week that the only option left for MAS is to go bankrupt.

Anyway, this Police officer then sent the previous Prime Minister a letter suggesting that these criminals be prosecuted for their wrongdoings. And this was when they decided to get him. And when Rosli acted as this police officer’s lawyer they decided to get him as well. And now they are paying for the wrath of this lawyer who will take no shit from anyone and will fight back, never mind whomsoever he has to take on and what they will do to him for being so bold as to take on the Malaysian government.

Rosli is also Kassim Ahmad’s lawyer. You can read more regarding that matter here:

Former activist Kassim Ahmad charged with insulting Islam

Dr Mahathir: Kassim Ahmad’s arrest wrongly portrays Islam as ‘hard and unmerciful’

Kassim Ahmad: The hero we don’t deserve! 

Rosli is also acting for Marina Mahathir in her case against ISMA and you can read about that case here:

Marina Mahathir sues Muslim NGO over Comango allegations

Further to that, Rosli is acting for Borders regarding its conflict with the Federal Territories Religious Department (JAWI), which you can read here:

After book ban lifted, lawyer pushes to get Borders’ employee off the hook

Borders manager to face syariah charge

Court says raid on Borders bookstore, seizure of Irshad Manji’s books illegal

Yes, Rosli takes on all the cases that no other lawyer will touch with a ten-foot pole and all which involve human rights and civil liberties violations. In fact, as if this is not enough, Rosli is even taking on cases that involve legal action against UMNO Ministers and Rulers.

Because of this Rosli has received threatening phone calls from people who curseKassim and Rosli and vilify him. They do not want him to represent people or organisations like Borders, Kassim Ahmad and Marina Mahathir who have ‘insulted’ or ‘challenged’ Islam.

What about your right to legal council and your right to a fair trial? Well, these people feel that anyone who ‘insults’ Islam should not be allowed a fair trial. Anyone who ‘insults Islam’ should just be rounded up and punished and not be allowed legal representation in a fair trial.

One such person who whacked Rosli is a very wealthy Malay who was Anwar Ibrahim’s treasurer during Anwar’s UMNO days and who made tons of money when Anwar was the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Yes, this is a man who became a multi-millionaire by abusing his power and by exploiting his relationship with Anwar. He is angry with Rosli for giving these people a fair trial for the crime of ‘insulting Islam’.

What does ‘insulting Islam’ mean anyway? I don’t know but apparently these people do.

Anyway, these are the cases that Rosli takes on and most times pro bono as well. This means Rosli is doing all this work free-of-charge and for the sake of justice, human rights and civil liberties.

I would suggest that Rosli set up a special fund to fight these violation of human rights and civil liberties cases. He may be prepared to work free-of-charge for the sake of justice, human rights and civil liberties. However, I still feel a special fund should be set up.

It is not so much the money that is the issue. It is more that we want to demonstrate our support to the cause. We talk so much about justice, human rights and civil liberties but we never lift a finger to help. We let others do all the work while we sit comfortably in our homes and just watch and do nothing.

If we can raise RM100,000 or RM500,000 or RM1 million that would be a very strong message we send to those who hide behind Islam and deny Malaysians justice, human rights and civil liberties. Why should we allow them to decide what we can and cannot say and do or what books should be allowed and which should be banned (even if they are Malay language Bibles that use Allah)?

I also think Rosli should set up a civil liberties movement or get involved in one of the existing civil liberties movements and take on more legal cases that violate our human rights and civil liberties. It is time Malaysians fought back and not allow extremists like Perkasa, Isma, and so on, to bring Malaysia to the brink of racial and religious strife.

I, for one, promise that if Rosli takes on this challenge I will be the first to contribute some money to the fund and I will bring these cases to the international stage through organisations like the Human Rights Watch in London.

So how, Rosli, are you up to this challenge?

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(The Malaysian Insider, 18 October 2013) – The senior lawyer who won a defamation suit against an English daily and the anti-graft body said today’s court decision has vindicated him.

Rosli Dahlan, who sued the New Straits Times (NST) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for defaming him in the “RM27 million Copgate Affair” in 2007, said although he was happy with the decision, he felt the defendants were not punished enough as they had shown no remorse.

“I am happy. The decision, to an extent, has vindicated me. But they should have been more severely punished as they have not shown any remorse at all,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.

“They knew my role in the case was merely as a lawyer but they still linked me to it.”

He said his win today was believed to be the first of its kind against the MACC where the anti-graft body was found liable to have defamed an individual.

This morning, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ruled in Rosli’s favour and ordered NST and the commission to pay RM150,000 each for defaming him in the Copgate Affair which saw former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusuff being charged in court and later acquitted for failure to declare ownership of company shares and interest in two properties.

Rosli, who acted as Ramli’s lawyer, was also charged and acquitted by the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur in 2011 for non-disclosure of his assets, which were said to be linked to Ramli’s case.

The MACC filed an appeal against the acquittal at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, but later withdrew it.

Rosli subsequently filed the defamation suit.

In her judgment this morning, Judicial Commissioner Siti Khadijah Badjenid said the article carried in NST was not only defamatory but also false.The sting of defamation, she said, was calculated to generate sensationalism.

While NST’s report had quoted MACC sources, the anti-graft body had denied leaking any information to the media.

But because MACC had uploaded the NST’s article on its website, the judge also found the commission liable.

“The MACC had breached Section 21(4) of the Anti-Corruption Agency Act in releasing confidential investigation to the media,” said Siti Khadijah.

“This had affected Rosli’s reputation, as he is also a lawyer from a reputed legal firm.”

She also ordered both NST and the MACC to pay RM35,000 each in costs. Rosli had earlier also slapped The Star and Utusan Malaysia with legal suits but both dailies have apologised for defaming him in 2007.

Today, he told The Malaysian Insider: “I could never understand why NST refused to apologise like Utusan and The Star. They knew the story was false.Both NST and MACC are liars. And when they were caught lying, they just blamed each other.”

Rosli was arrested in 2007 and charged in court a day before the Hari Raya celebrations while Ramli was charged a month later.

http://www.malaysia-today.net/rosli-dahlan-an-emerging-human-rights-and-civil-liberties-lawyer/

Borders bookstore manager fails to get charge against her dropped


Borders bookstore manager fails to get charge against her dropped

BY RITA JONG
October 07, 2013

A customer in a Borders bookstore in Kuala Lumpur. – Reuters pic.

Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, the manager of Borders bookstore, has failed in her attempt to get the charge against her for distributing a ‘banned’ book by Canadian author Irshad Manji dropped.

Syariah judge Abdul Walid Abu Hassan dismissed the application after ruling that the civil High Court’s judicial review decision in finding the charge groundless, should not be used to interfere in Syariah court proceedings.

He said Nik Raina has not been tried and it was up to the Syariah prosecutor to prove their case whether the book was against the Islamic law (Hukum Syarak).

The judge then stayed the trial pending appeal by the prosecutor in the judicial review.

Nik Raina, 36, was accused on June 19 last year of distributing Manji’s Bahasa Malaysia translation of the book titled “Allah, Liberty and Love”.

She was alleged to have committed the offence on May 23 last year at the Borders bookshop at Level 3, The Gardens Mall, in Mid Valley City.

On March this year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur found the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) to have acted illegally in raiding the bookstore and seizing the books.

The High Court also found that it had acted illegally in charging Nik Raina in the syariah court. – October 7, 2013.

MORE TO COME.

Court lifts ban on Irshad Manji’s book


September 5, 2013

Home Affairs Ministry’s Ban on Irshad Manji’s Book removed

by Hafiz Yatim@ www.malaysiakini.com

NONEThe Home Ministry’s ban on the book by controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji titled ‘Allah, Liberty and Love’ has been removed.

This follows Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Justice Zaleha Yusof’s decision to allow ZI Publications Sdn Bhd’s application for judicial review today.ZI Publications, the publisher of the Malay translation of the book, had sought to quash the Home Ministry’s ban against the book as sales of the English version had been in the market over a year prior to the translated version.

UPDATED

ZI Publications and Home Ministry

by Hafiz Yatim @http://www.malaysiakini.com

The Home Ministry’s ban on the Bahasa Malaysia version of controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji’s book ‘Allah, Liberty and Love’ has been lifted.

This follows Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Zaleha Yusof’s decision today to allow ZI Publications Sdn Bhd’s application for judicial review on the Bahasa Malaysia version.

NONEIrshad Manji’s (right) book was banned by the Home Ministry on May 29, 2012 and the ban on the English version remains.

ZI Publications, the publisher of the Malay translation of the book, had sought to quash the Home Ministry’s ban against the book as sales of the English version had been in the market over a year prior to its translated version ‘Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta’.

Justice Zaleha in her broad grounds reasoned that the English text has been on sale in the Malaysian market for a year and had not cause any disruption to public order. She asked if it is true the book was prejudicial to public order, then why was no action taken to ban the English version when it was first circulated.

“Why was the prohibition made only when it was translated to the national language?As I understand it, the root of the respondents’ concern is it would result in religious confusion as the authority decided to ban the book only when it was translated into Bahasa Malaysia.Does this mean that only the Malay speaking readers will be confused while English readers would not?”

Argument fortified

Lawyer Nizam Bashir who appeared with K Shanmuga for ZI Publications, said this fortified their argument that the sale of the Malay translated version would not result in untoward events.

Nizam indicated that the judge is expected to write the full grounds later.
NONEIn their judicial review application, ZI Publications helmed by Ezra Zaid (right), had named the Deputy Home Minister, Home Minister and the government as respondents.

The company claimed they were not allowed any opportunity to voice their views before the Deputy Home Minister’s ban on the printing, importing, producing and selling of the book last year.

They further claimed that the book only contained opinions in the form of brief summaries criticising current approaches in the administration of the religion, which were not harmful.

The ban, they alleged, was null and void as it was inconsistent with Article 10(1)(a) and 8(1) of the federal constitution, related to freedom of speech and expression. They are seeking to have the order declared nullified, with costs.

Besides this case, ZI Publications had also filed another judicial review application to challenge the power of the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department to prosecute them in the Syariah court citing it limited the company’s freedom of expression.

It was also reported that the Home Ministry and Federal Territory Islamic Department (JAWI) had been ordered by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to drop the syariah charge against Borders Gardens store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz for distributing the book.

Justice Zaleha Yusof had ruled that JAWI’s raid on March 23, 2012 predated the ban order issued by Home Ministry and that the prosecution of Nik Raina amounted to retrospective enforcement.

Nik Raina’s withdrawal of the charge was supposed to be heard at the KL Syariah High Court on August 28, then postponed to September 3 and postponed again to September 13.

This resulted in the Lawyers for Borders issuing another letter dated September 3 to the court and JAWI, expressing the hope that there are no more postponements as any judge could hear the matter.