Shafee Abdullah advised to act professionally


February 19, 2015

 Shafee Abdullah advised to act professionally

by Gurdial Singh Nijar@www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT Several interviews in national daily newspapers given by the lawyer engaged as a prosecutor, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, have reignited issues surrounding the conviction of Anwar Ibrahim.

SHAFEE ABDULLAH_DIALOG_FORUM

In a rather brutal attack on Anwar, whom he helped put away for a five-year jail term, Shafee implied that the accused would have been torn to shreds if he had testified, instead of giving his ‘evidence’ from the dock. He labelled Anwar a ‘coward with something to hide’.

I do not recall any such condemnatory remarks being ever made publicly by the former lawyers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers who conducted the prosecution at the earlier two judicial tiers – the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Such statements seem to be at odds with established ethical standards – as applicable to lawyers appearing as defence counsel or for the prosecution. Shafee was enlisted as a prosecutor only for this case – over the strenuous objections of Anwar’s legal team.

He remains a member of the legal profession and subject to the rules promulgated under the Legal Profession Act 1976. These Practice and Etiquette Rules 1978 have the force of law.

One particularly relevant rule forbids lawyers from publicising their feats. Rule 13 says that it is contrary to etiquette to solicit reporting of any matter in which a lawyer has been professionally engaged. The rationale for this is to prevent lawyers with money, or connections, or both from advertising themselves; and securing an advantage over other lawyers.

The Bar Council has in the past disciplined lawyers for infraction of this self-publicity rule.Secondly, a lawyer acting in his capacity as a prosecutor is a custodian of the public interest, as represented by the Attorney-General’s Chambers. He is there to present the evidence in an even-handed manner.

A lawyer has to act with fairness in a trial

The rules repeatedly make it clear that a lawyer is to act with fairness during a trial; not to insult or annoy witnesses with his questions. This must, perforce apply as well to situations after a trial.

It is not his role to overstate the case or seek vengeance, much less to savage an accused after he has been convicted. Shafee’s recent declaration that he is ready to swear to the guilt of the accused in a religious place is, with respect, way beyond a prosecutor’s professional brief.

Judicial history is replete with cases of miscarriages of justice occasioned by a prosecutor’s failure to appreciate the ambit of his role.

One such United Kingdom case was made famous by the award-winning movie ‘In the Name of the Father’, where convictions of eight accused persons were set aside when it was discovered, quite fortuitously many years after the conviction, that an over- zealous prosecutor had concealed exonerating evidence from the court.

This is not to suggest, for a moment, that the Anwar Sodom II case is similarly infected – although the defence maintains that it was precluded from presenting the full evidence on ‘conspiracy’.

A prosecutor must at all times be professional

It is to emphasise that a prosecutor must at all times maintain a professional and equanimous stance in the conduct of a case. And this must be clear at all times – not just before and during a trial – but crucially even after a case is concluded.

The rather brutal assault of the convicted Anwar goes beyond a self-congratulatory proclamation by Shafee of his forensic brilliance ‘if Anwar took the stand’ – predicated on an entirely hypothetical situation. (The Rules also forbid lawyers from referring to facts that they are unable to prove.)

It could be perceived (rightly or wrongly) as manifesting an implacable hostility to an accused. It leaves the public guessing as to how much of this could have influenced the conduct of the case – wittingly or otherwise.

Already leading members of the Bar, including several past presidents, have deprecated such conduct. Given the interest that this case has generated worldwide attention, would it not have been more prudent for this prosecutor to refrain from making comments that could needlessly erode the standing of the country and its judicial apparatus?

GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR is a law professor at University of Malaya.

Kassim Ahmad: Stay Granted vs JAWI!


January 14, 2015

Newsflash: Breaking News

Kassim Ahmad: Stay Granted vs JAWI!

by Din Merican

Last week January 6, 2015, Public Intellectual Kassim Ahmad was devastated that Judge Asmabi dismissed his Judicial Review application despite seeing all the illegalities committed by JAWI in breaching their own laws, the laws of other states and the Federal Constitution just to arrest Kassim Ahmad and abduct him to Kuala Lumpur.

On January 8, 2015, Kassim’s lawyer Rosli Dahlan filed his appeal to the Court of Appeal. On January 9 the lawyer filed a Stay Application to hold back the syariah prosecution from proceeding. On January 10, Judge Asmabi Mohamed heard arguments from Rosli Dahlan and Senior Federal Counsel Shamsol Bolhassan. Judge Asmabi orderd the court’s doors to be locked and declared the open court as her chambers. Reporters were barred from coming in.

Rosli further argued that the warrant of arrest issued by the Putrajaya Syariah subordinate court was in breach of the Federal Territory Syariah Criminal Procedure Code (FT Syariah CPC) and Kedah Syariah Enactments. Kassim, argued Rosli, was wrongfully charged before the Syariah subordinate court and hence the charges were also illegal.

Rosli  argued that the warrant of arrest issued by the Putrajaya Syariah subordinate court was in breach of the Federal Territory Syariah Criminal Procedure Code (FT Syariah CPC) and Kedah Syariah Enactments.Kassim was wrongfully charged before the Syariah subordinate court and hence the charges were also illegal.

Judge Asmabi also fixed clarification and decision to this morning January 14. However, this morning was also fixed for the Syariah Trial. The Syariah prosecutors refused to back down. They disregarded Rosli’s request for postponement. They insisted that he must come. But Rosli can’t be in two courts at the same‎ time, one in Jalan Duta and the other in Putrajaya.

Rosli laid down these facts to Judge Asmabi including the fact that JAWI instituted disciplinary action against Rosli for acting for Kassim in filing the Judicial Review. They wanted to disqualify him from ever appearing in the Syariah Court. They wanted to make sure that they do not have an opponent like him ever again.

Finally the Judge saw how oppressive JAWI can be.‎ Finally something pricked the Judge’s conscience after Rosli showed all the facts and the law that are all in Kassim’s favor and there was just no reason for the Judge to still rule against Kassim. Finally, Rosli’s perseverance paid off. And it helped that this morning reporters were in court to hear further arguments from Rosli and SFC Maisarah which clearly showed that the facts and the law were all in Kassim’s favor. Rosli was unmincing in his words in pointing out that the Federal Counsel had misled the court in the cases cited.

Just now at 12.30, Judge As‎mabi relented. She held that the civil High Court can stay JAWI and the Ketua Pendakwa Syarie from proceeding with the Syariah Prosecution in the Syariah Court. ‎Rosli thanked the Judge profusely and then ran off to go to the Syariah Court in Putrajaya. What drama!

Congrats to Kassim Ahmad. Congrats to Rosli Dahlan. And shame on you JAWI and the Ketua Pendakwa Syarie for acting in such oppressive way. In the end, that became JAWI’s undoing. In the end, the Judge had to look into her conscience and decided enough is enough. Kudos to Judge ‎Asmabi.

Much as the Judge did wrong in not granting the Judicial Review, she still had judicial wisdom and conscience not to perpetrate an injustice. Kassim Ahmad is 82 yrs old, frail and sickly. What good does JAWI achieve in doing all these? In the end, JAWI will only earn public displeasure and disapproval.

To Kassim and his lawyer, I say well done. I say your fighting spirit will help develop a more robust law. Your fighting spirit will inspire younger people that the history of Man has shown that you cannot imprison the mind.

That is what democracy is about. That is what the Rukun Negara states that Malaysia shall be a democratic society where pluralism of cultures and beliefs are embraced and liberal ideas shall flourish. Judges must therefore uphold the philosophy of the country and the Federal Constitution!. Hidup Malaysia!

READ: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/jawi-barred-from-acting-against-kassim-ahmad-rules-court-bernama

Justice is seen to be done : The case of Rosli Dahlan


November 24, 2014

Justice is seen to be done: The Case of Rosli Dahlan

by Din  Merican

‎My young friend Rosli Dahlan has been in the news a lot lately. He defends cases which most Muslim lawyers won’t want to even touch with a 10 foot pole. He was the Borders lawyer who successfully declared that s.13 of the FT Syariah Criminal Offences Act was ultra vires the Federal Constitution.

Then Rosli got embroiled in the Kassim Ahmad case and made a forceful argument exposing that JAWI acted illegally in arresting Kassim in Kedah and abducting him to KL.‎

What was more alarming to most Muslims was that he exposed that the Syariah Court is just an inferior court and even inferior to the magistrates court! But unknown to many, Rosli faces his personal tribulations alone.

Today, his own case came before the Court of Appeal. Some of you may recall that Rosli had sued the AG‎ Tan Sri Gani Patail, MACC Chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim, former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan and various officers of the MACC and AG Chambers including Dato Nordin Hassan and Dato Razak Musa (of Teoh Beng Hock fame). Rosli had faced many obstacles when the AG filed all kinds of application to prevent the case from coming to trial.

Readers will remember that A-G Gani Patail claimed that he had absolute immunity to do what he wants including fixing innocent citizens like Rosli. In that case, the High Court Judge Wazeer Alam Mydin Meera ruled that ” the claim of absolute immunity is anathema to modern notions of accountability”. A-G Gani was not happy and appealed to the Court of‎ Appeal. So, today was the A-G’s appeal.

before being made a judge, said he agreed that deliberate abuse of power by those holding a public office was misfeasance in public office.

As if it was not enough that Rosli had to face 3 Tan Sris, ‎A-G Gani Patail then engaged senior counsel Tan Sri Cecil Abraham to act for him. Many will recall that Tan Sri Cecil Abraham is implicated in the PI Bala case. That makes 4 Tan Sris against Rosli.

RD vs 4 Tan Sris

RD vs 4 Tan Sris

It seems that Tan Sri Cecil Abraham filed a last minute Written Submissions only yesterday at 3.45pm to throw Rosli’s counsel off guard. The appeal came on this morning.

‎In an apparent show of impartiality, Judges Dato Alizatul and Dato Nalini recused themselves when it was pointed out that Justice Alizatul had dismissed Rosli’s Judicial Review Leave application which challenged the very MACC notice for which he was charged and which the Trial Judge later held to be void notices.

At the same time, Judge Nalini recused herself after saying this is a high profile case involving A-G Gani Patail and she had sat in the panel that dismissed NST’s appeal when the High Court Judge Siti Khadijah Badjenid found NST and MACC liable for defamation and for breaching s.21(4) MACCA and ordered damages of RM300k to be paid by NST and MACC to Rosli.

I feel sorry for Rosli that he had to go through all these obstacles just to see his day in court to redeem himself. The incident happened in 2007. Today is 2014. It’s been 7 years and yet the case is not even anywhere near a trial date because A-G Gani Patail just does not want to face Rosli in court. That is what guilty people do, they do not want to face their Day of Judgement.

I also feel sorry for Rosli because his case is being treated like a joke when the Court of Appeal has now fixed the next hearing date on 1st April 2015 which is April Fool’s Day.

I say to Rosli- don’t be daunted.‎ God will protect you and will give you the last laugh. That’s how it has been for the last few cases where Rosli has won all the cases and the AG has been soundly beaten like in the Judgement by Judge Wazeer Alam. To the Justices‎ in our courts, I say to you – give the man the justice he deserves and don’t throw technical obstacles to protect these rogues in government. The higher titled they are, the harder you must come down on them. Let Justice be seen to be done!

Read this and don’t forget to help defend freedom:-

https://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/fund-for-kassim-ahmad-and-other-persecuted-activists/

Presenting YAM Tunku Zain Al’ Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz of IDEAS.


October 2, 2014

Presenting YAM Tunku Zain Al’ Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz of IDEAS.

I have chosen to present to you YAM Tunku Zain Al’ Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz of IDEAS. His views are interesting and should provoke some discussion among my readers who comment on this blog. His talking about fault lines in our country. Listen to the promising young personality from the Royal Family of Negri Sembilan and share your reactions to his talk. –Din Merican

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.

‘AMANAT MERDEKA’ by The Hon’ble Prime Minister of Malaysia


August 31, 2014

‘AMANAT MERDEKA by The Hon’ble Prime Minister of Malaysia

Najib2[Following is the English translation of the full text of speech delivered by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the 57th National Day address at Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysian Tourism Centre (Matic) in Kuala Lumpur on the evening of August 30, 2014.]

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh, Salam Sejahtera and Salam 1Malaysia, Beloved Malaysians,

1.Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks be to Allah, with His permission once again, wherever we may be in this country, we continue to be protected in peace, to celebrate the anniversary of our independence.

2.Unlike in previous years, when the message was recorded and broadcast over the television, tonight I have chosen to speak live to hundreds of people present on the eve of independence, to express the spirit of patriotism and the burning desire of the nation’s struggle, from eye to eye, from heart to heart, especially for all of you who are here representing the people of Malaysia.

3.The reality is that every independence begins with a noble struggle and unparalleled sacrifice, especially by the Malay Rulers and palace, political leaders and the people.

4.In this respect, if we look at the history of our nation, we were colonialised for four and a half centuries, beginning with the fall of the Malacca Malay Sultanate at the hands of the Portuguese in 1511 until the British administration. The colonialists came in succession to reap the benefits and to suppress the natives, up until independence on August 31, 1957.

5.Looking back at history, everyone must remember that this country originated as the Federation of Malay States, and subsequently united with Sabah and Sarawak.

6.With reference to this episode, we hear rumblings and unsavoury voices which question why the date of the formation of Malaysia is not the same as the date of independence; why September 16, when in the Peninsula, it’s August 31.

7.In this matter, we have to study what was really worked out by the special commission which was assigned to conduct a referendum among the people of Sabah and Sarawak in the process of the formation of Malaysia at that time.

8.For the information of the public, the later date came about due to technical reasons, because the Cobbold Commission had to wait for verification from the United Nations on the majority agreement through a referendum before finalising its report. As such, September 16 was fixed as the day for the formation of Malaysia.

Beloved Malaysians,

9.Going from there, this year, we celebrate the 57th anniversary of independence and the 51st year of Sabah and Sarawak having been with us as one Malaysia. Long live Malaysia, long live Malaysia!

Beloved Malaysians,

10.As such, we are thankful for the common history between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, which are separated by the South China Sea, as well as the bond of brotherhood of all Malaysians from Arau in Perlis to Semporna in Sabah and Ulu Lachau in Sarawak, that cannot be broken; in fact, God willing, it will be strengthened further.

11. Hence, as soon as the 13th general election was over, to symbolise the new mandate received by the government, I did not hesitate to appoint a number of ministers and deputy ministers from Sabah and Sarawak in respect of the support given by our brethren there to the Barisan Nasional (BN).

12. Now more than one year has passed. The number of representatives from Sabah and Sarawak in the government is an important yardstick in determining the next course for our beloved Malaysia.

13. I had stressed in my major addresses over the past more than one year that the present government has a huge responsibility in prioritising the interests of the people, particularly the Malay and Bumiputera communities, Muslims and non-Muslims, who represent more than 70 per cent of the Malaysian people, by 2020.

14. So, whatever the opposition tries to do though incitement and accusations, we are steadfast in our agenda to empower the people.

Beloved Malaysians,

15. Recalling our pre-independence history, the complexities surrounding our quest for Merdeka had caused some apprehension among certain quarters on our choice to do it our way. But it can be seen that we have turned our plural society into an asset for prosperity and an ingredient of success at the highest level.

Beloved Malaysians,

16. We plan and leave the rest to God; this country had faced and weathered numerous challenges. Yet our Merdeka heart, Merdeka soul and Merdeka spirit shine through, such that we are able to rise above all and acquire success, our own way. Well done, Malaysians! Well done, Malaysians!

17.For instance, when the nation gained independence, the poverty rate was over 60 per cent. It dropped to 1.7 per cent in 2012, where hardcore poverty was almost eradicated.

18.When I took over the leadership and administration of the country in 2009, the 1Malaysia concept of ‘People First, Performance Now’ was introduced, based on the National Transformation Policy or NTP. The framework encompasses the bigger national transformation agenda, which began with the Government Transformation Programme or GTP, Economic Transformation Programme or ETP, Political Transformation Programme or PTP, Community Transformation Programme or CTP, Social Transformation Programme or STP and Fiscal Transformation Programme or FTP.

19. The results, in five years, were numerous achievements, which have been acknowledged internationally and which I have outlined in my speeches and reports.

20.The national economy showed a very encouraging trend in the second quarter of 2014 with a gross domestic product growth of 6.4 per cent, compared to 4.5 per cent in the corresponding period in 2013, the highest ever recorded since the fourth quarter of 2012. This makes our achievement the highest among the Asean countries for the first half of 2014.

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/node/28407