December 6, 2010
BREAKING NEWS: Mahathir’s Political Crony, Al-Toyol was charged at Shah Alam Sessions Court
Former Selangor Menteri Besar and Mahathir political crony, Dr Mohd Khir Toyo (Al-Toyol) has been charged with corruption, alongside Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Haryoni. Al-Toyol was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, with knowingly accepting a bribe, in form of two plots of land in Section 7, Shah Alam, for his mansion at a substantial discount from Shamsuddin.
Judge Azhaniz Teh Azman Azhanis then set bail at RM750,000.Can we expect more to come ? In PKFZ, where some UMNO big wigs are involved in a scandalous land acquisition deal, and in Tourism Malaysia, for example.–Din Merican
December 5, 2010
Bar Ragunath from the Bar!
On November 24, Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) exposed the Haj pilgrimage scandal involving Attorney-General (AG) Gani Patail and the former Malaysia Airlines Chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli’s proxy, Shahidan Shafie.
ACT 1: Enter Robert Phang
On November 30, Tan Sri Robert Phang Miow Sin, a member of the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) gave a press conference demanding AG Gani Patail to explain his conduct as exposed by RPK. Phang also accused AG Gani of selective prosecution and mentioned several cases including that of Lawyer Rosli Dahlan.
Phang said that Rosli had been victimised because he pursued civil and criminal actions against Tajudin Ramli. MACC’s apparent reluctance to take any action against Tajuddin and Shahidan raised a lot of suspicions, especially since report by the MD of MASKargo, Shahari Sulaiman, specifically mentioned Shahidan Shafie as Tajuddin’s proxy who orchestrated the police closure of the MAS case. Shahidan has his wheeling dealing tentacles everywhere in the law enforcement agencies. He is Mr Fixit.
Yet, AG Gani refused to allow MACC to withdraw the case against Rosli. According to AG Gani, he has absolute discretion under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution and there is nothing anyone can do about it. AG Gani flatly rejected the recommendation by MACC’s Chief Commissioner, Dato Seri Abu Kassim, to withdraw the charge against Rosli. Abu Kassim knew that the MACC is flogging a dead horse in Rosli’s case. Abu Kassim told Tan Sri Robert Phang, former Senator Dato William Lau and several others that the MACC did not want to drag Rosli’s case any further. But AG Gani Patail said NO. He wanted to teach Rosli a lesson as a signal to everyone else never ever to go against him.
ACT 2: Minister Nazri Aziz and the Mainstream Media
When Tan Sri Robert Phang gave his press conference on November 30, he was concerned that the MACC was being seen as a rubber stamp to all the wrongs committed by AG Gani Patail as accused by Dato’ Mat Zain Ibrahim, formerly OCCI KL, in his public letters. But the main stream media (MSM) - The Star, The NST, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian were extremely quiet, as if there was a news embargo to report against anything about AG Gani or Shahidan. The same MSM selectively chose not to report on Robert Phang‘s press conference. Those that reported, picked Phang‘s quotes very selectively.
Yet, the next day, the MSM widely publicised Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, YB Dato‘ Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz, slamming Phang for that press conference. Feeling hurt that Nazri had used some unMinisterial language on him, Phang responded with a biting press statement. Again, the MSM embargoed Phang’s press statement, which you can see in my previous posting. Phang is no old coot who only whines. To take on Nazri Aziz, a person has to be a “real jantan“. Those are not my words. Those are Nazri’s words whenever he challenges anyone. Now that Phang has retorted, we will wait and see whether Nazri barks and bites to see who is the real jantan between them!
To be fair to Phang, his retort to the Minister is legitimate. There was no necessity for Nazri to be over defensive by being offensive. The public has a right to know if AG Gani is compromised by his relationship to Tajuddin’s proxy. The public is entitled to know if AG Gani’s decision not to pursue action against Tajuddin is tainted by his close relationship with Shahidan. Is that an innocent social relationship? If it is, since when have they known each other? Did they know each other when the AG Chambers decided to close the MAS case?
Shahidan Shafie: Mr Fixit and Tajuddin’s Proxy
As for Shahidan, he has a chequered and dubious past. He was charged for bribery when he was the OC Secret Societies in Johore. It would be unbelievable for the AG if he claims he did not know this. The MACC has this record on Shahidan. Shahidan’s cousin and adopted sister, Rizana Daud, is married to Tajuddin’s brother, Bistamam Ramli. Tajuddin made Rizana the Company Secretary of MAS when the plunder of MAS occurred. When Tajuddin left, MAS had accumulated debts amounting to RM8.8 billion.
Is the AG about to say that he did not know all that about Shahidan? Earlier on, RPK had produced eye witness accounts and photographs of AG Gani being beside Shahidan throughout his bereveament over his son’s death– from daylight to sunset. If that is not close relationship, what is then?
The AG: A Public Official?
That brings us to this issue – isn‘t the Attorney General a public officer? Isn‘t there a code of conduct that governs him as a public officer that the MACC should apply against him in evaluating the appropriateness of his conduct in consorting with Shahidan? If the MACC wants to take action against the AG, they can resort to Perintah Am Bab D (Tatakelakuan dan Tatatertib) Pegawai Kerajaan. But I am not going to teach the MACC to do their job. I pointed that out because there is a Malay proverb -“ Hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih“ ( where there is a will, there is a way.)
ACT 3: Sudden Appearance of Ragunath Kesavan, Malaysian Bar President
What I really wanted to say in this piece is about the behavior of the President of the Malaysian Bar, Ragunath Kesavan. He is a strange creature. Instead of focusing on his mandate to serve the interest of his legal fraternity, he dabbles in politics. coming from the President of the Malaysian Bar. His recent statement in defence of AG Gani’s conduct is echoing Minister Nazri’s statement. Why is that coming from the President of the Malaysian Bar?
In case you wonder what is the Malaysian Bar, let me explain. The Malaysian Bar is a body, like an association, that represents all lawyers in the country. To be a lawyer, you must be admitted to the Bar. The Bar is managed, governed and regulated by a committee that is elected by lawyers called the Bar Council, which is established under the Legal Profession Act. Ragunath Kesavan is the President of the Bar Council , which means he is supposed to voice out and protect the interest of his members – the lawyers in this country. Is he doing that?
We are now seeing a public spat between Robert Phang and Nazri Aziz. Phang wants AG Gani to explain his conduct, but Nazri says AG Gani owes no explanation to Phang whom Nazri regards as someone ordinary from the street. Phang has openly slammed AG Gani for victimizing Lawyer Rosli Dahlan. And Phang is not even a lawyer. He is not an office bearer in the Bar Council and he has nothing to do with the Bar. He is a social activist fighting for the cause of justice, and he sees injustice in the way Lawyer Rosli was treated.
Now should not that be the role of the Ragunath, President of the Malaysian Bar? Do we hear Ragunath issuing any statement to support Rosli as a member of the Bar? When an opportunity is created by Robert Phang, did Ragunath show his leadership of the Bar by articulating the misconducts of the AG with Shahidan? Sadly No!
Instead, we have the President of the Bar, Ragunath Kesavan, sounding apologetic, sympathetic and even defensive of AG Gani Patail. I am repulsed by the comments made by Ragunath to Malaysiakini’s Hafiz Yatim on December 3. When asked whether AG Gani should be made answerable, Ragunath said: “I am not sure whether Abdul Gani should answer them, but we feel it would depend solely on him to respond.”
Ragunath also said that he was aware of the photographs of AG Gani’s visit to Shahidan’s house posted on the Malaysia Today website, but then apologetically added that “There were many other people there, not only Abdul Gani, and this should not be an issue.” The AG spent more than a normal visiting hours at the funeral too !
When Ragunath was asked about any possibility of a relationship between AG Gani and Shahidan that would have prompted the “no action” against Tajuddin, Ragunath dismissed it as just a rumour. A rumour?! What is wrong with this man?
Ragunath also said that the situation between AG Gani and Shahidan differed from the VK Lingam/CJ Eusoff Chin affair and then added that – “In the present case, there is no proven link and that without such evidence, the Bar Council would not be critical about the allegations made against AG Gani.”
I was aghast upon Ragunath’s answers. This man is an embarrassment to the Bar, which had gained so much respect during the tenure of its previous President, Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan. Either he is a political moron, or he has a personal agenda. There are so many things that he could say about as to the proper conduct of a public officer like the Attorney General. He could refer to the Perintah Am Bab D (Tatakelakuan dan Tatatertib) Pegawai Kerajaan which is clearly applicable to AG Gani Patail:
BAHAGIAN II TATAKELAKUAN
4.(2)Seseorang pegawai tidak boleh—
(a) membelakangkan tugas awamnya demi kepentingan peribadinya;
(b) berkelakuan dengan sedemikian cara yang mungkin menyebabkan kepentingan peribadinya bercanggah dengan tugas awamnya;
(c) berkelakuan dengan apa-apa cara yang mungkin menyebabkan syak yang munasabah bahawa—
(i) dia telah membiarkan kepentingan peribadinya bercanggah dengan tugas awamnya sehingga menjejaskan kebergunaannya sebagai seorang pegawai awam; atau
(ii) dia telah menggunakan kedudukan awamnya bagi faedahnya sendiri;
(d) berkelakuan dengan sedemikian cara sehingga memburukkan nama atau mencemarkan nama perkhidmatan awam;
(e) kurang cekap atau kurang berusaha;
(f) tidak jujur atau tidak amanah;
(g) tidak bertanggungjawab.
All Ragunath had to do was to tick any of the above limbs that would apply to AG Gani Gani in his relationship with Shahidan. In case his frozen brain is still uncertain which limb is applicable to AG Gani Patail, now let me help him – tick “All of the above“. Truly, AG Gani Patail’s conduct breeds more than just suspicion that he had been compromised.
Ragunath could also have alluded to the fact that the AG’s post is that of a Federal Court Judge as provided for under Art. 145(1) of the Federal Constitution. That would subject AG Gani to some analogy to the Judges’ Code of Ethics as provided for in Art.125(3B) of the Federal Constitution where a Judge can be removed for conduct unbecoming or for causing disrepute to the judiciary. This would include consorting or fraternizing with people of ill repute or disrepute or people of dubious reputation :This Code of ethics may be cited as the Judges’ Code Of Ethics 1994
Judges’ Code Of Ethics 1994 (amended in 2000)
2. 2. (1) This Code of Ethics shall apply to a judge throughout the period of his service. (1) This Code of Ethics shall apply to a judge throughout the period of his service.
(2) The breach of any provision of this Code of Ethics may constitute aground for the removal of a judge from office.
3. 3. (1) A judge shall not –
(a) Subordinate his judicial duties to his private interests’ ;
(b) Conduct himself in such manner as is likely to bring his private interests into conflict with his judicial duties;
(c) Conduct himself in any manner likely to cause a reasonable suspicion that:
- He has allowed his private interest to come into conflict with his judicial duties so as to impair his usefulness as a judge; or
- He has used his judicial position for his personal advantage;
(d) Conduct himself dishonestly or in such manner as to bring the Judiciary into disrepute or to bring discredit thereto;”
Look Ragunath, I am not a lawyer, but I am not too lazy to read or too dishonest to say things just to please certain people. I say to you, stop playing politics when it affects the life and well being of the people you are sworn to protect. You are the Bar’s President, yet you behave so shamelessly in defence of AG Gani instead of defending your fellow brother at law, Rosli Dahlan. There is a Malay proverb to describe your betrayal of your brother lawyer- “Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi”.
Let me say this to you also. I have been attending Rosli Dahlan’s trial from Day 1. In the beginning there was not even a representative from the Bar Council. After I started writing and after RPK publicized the shenanigans in court, then only the Bar started sending its representative. I suspect Ragunath did not want to miss out on a great show. Yet, not a single statement has been issued by Ragunath Kesavan on the matter. And now he comes to AG Gani’s defence. Now he echoes Nazri Aziz’s stand. What game is Ragunath playing? This Malay proverb aptly applies to Ragunath – “ Sokong membawa rebah”.
This man is playing politics and one day I will tell you why. For the time being, I urge that lawyers bar Ragunath from the Bar! He should be put on the carpet for his indiscretion.