April 6, 2015
Breaking News! Why is MACC and Abu Kassim so dishonorable in the Trial of Rosli Dahlan?
by Din Merican
This morning, the trial of Rosli Dahlan against Utusan Malaysia, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and 15 Other Defendants was supposed to start before High Court Judge Datuk Su Geok Yam. The courtroom was packed with reporters, Rosli’s wife and family and MACC officers. Also seen were Dato Ramli Yusuff and Tan Sri Robert Phang.
Judge Su noted that a majority of the Defendants including Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim and Kevin Morais, the source of all these problems, were absent. Instead the MACC appeared through 6 counsels including 2 paralegals. The most notable was that MACC is no longer represented by the Attorney General Chambers but by private senior lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham.
Now, that’s an expensive switch! In a turn of events, counsel for Utusan Malaysia informed the court that they want to settle the case and want to make a public apology to Rosli Dahlan in open court. This is great!
Utusan has crumbled even before the trial starts. Judge Su invited Rosli to come forward and sit in one of the counsel’s chairs while Rosli’s wife, family and friends then listened attentively to senior Legal Manager and company secretary of Utusan Encik Shirad Anwar reading the following public apology in open court: “
1.On October 12, 2007, while the Muslim community were preparing to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri, we had published a news article about the arrest and prosecution of Lawyer Rosli Dahlan with the title “Police Lawyer failed to declare asset charged in court today” (“the Article”)
2. Shortly after the publication of the Article, upon demand by Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, we had among others, on April 15, 2008, published at page 4 of Utusan Malaysia newspaper, an unconditional and unreserved Public Apology to Lawyer Rosli Dahlan (hereinafter referred to as the said Public Apology”), the contents of which are as follows.
3. That we had made several allegations which were untrue against Lawyer Rosli Dahlan as follows:
3.1. That he is a Singapore citizen who carries out legal practice in Malaysia, whereas he is truly and indeed a Malaysian citizen;
3.2. That he has breached the laws of the country by refusing to make an asset declaration, whereas he had indeed made the said declaration;
3.3. That he had hidden the asset of a Senior Police Officer who was under investigation by the ACA (Anti-Corruption Agency), whereas he never did that;
3.4. That he is of malevolent character and had acted deceptively in his dealings to frustrate the ACA investigations, whereas he had always fully co-operated with the ACA and his actions were always within the requirements of the law.
3.5 Our said article has given a totally wrong depiction of Lawyer Rosli Dahlan as a foreign lawyer who had acted in a manner contrary to the proper behaviour and ethics of an advocate and solicitor.
3.6 We acknowledge and expressed our deepest regrets that the said article was written and published in a sensational manner to generate publicity which exceeded the parameters of ethical journalism surrounding the investigation of YDH Dato’ Pahlawan Haji Ramli Haji Yusuff who at that time held the post of Director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department of Police Di-Raja Malaysia.
4. We hereby again, upon request and with the consent and express agreement of lawyer Rosli Dahlan, repeat the contents of the said Public Apology referred to above and hereby again unconditionally and unreservedly apologise to lawyer Rosli Dahlan for our said untruthful article and we regret the damage that we have caused to him.
5. We further acknowledge that lawyer Rosli Dahlan has been conclusively discharged and acquitted by the court from all charges made against him by the ACA which is now known as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The question on everyone’s mind is why then is MACC not apologising? Why waste taxpayers’ money engaging expensive Cecil Abraham to defend a wrong that was committed to an innocent professional? I say to MACC – be honorable. Own up, apologise and pay up! Don’t waste the Courts’ time and taxpayers’ money to defend yourself.