Malaysia Must Overcome Its Troubled Past

July 12, 2015

MACC may try to expunge ex-cop’s evidence in Rosli Dahlan’s case

May 26, 2015

Phnom Penh

MACC may try to expunge ex-cop’s evidence in Rosli Dahlan’s case

 by Ho Kit

Cecil AbrahamThe civil action commenced by prominent lawyer Rosli Dahlan against the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), formerly known as the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), is expected to take a new dramatic twist when the next witness, former Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Chief Ramli Yusoff takes the stand.

Last Friday, counsel for MACC Cecil Abraham notified the court of his intention to seek that Ramli’s Witness Statement be expunged from the Court record. Lawyers say that such a move is highly unusual and the Court will usually reserve its power to expunge matters considered scandalous, frivolous, vexatious or which are otherwise an abuse of process.

It remains to be seen which parts of Ramli’s Witness Statement are said to be liable to be expunged and MACC’s basis for doing so.

Speculation is that MACC may want to prevent certain details in the case from becoming matters of public record. Meanwhile, the Kuala Lumpur High Court heard on Monday the evidence of lawyer Harvinderjit Singh who told the High Court that the ACA had denied him access to his then client Rosli when the latter was arrested in October 2007.

“I went to ACA’s headquarters in Putrajaya between 4pm and 5pm as I was instructed by the partners from Rosli’s firm to find out two things, which were whether I could meet him, and when Rosli would be released from questioning,” he said during examination-in-chief by Rosli’s lawyer, Chetan Jethwani.

He said an ACA officer by the name of Sok One Ehsan, who was at the information desk, told rosli-dahlan1him that the senior lawyer was being questioned at the time.“I could not meet Rosli at that time,” he added.

Harvinderjit said he then later met deputy public prosecutor Kevin Anthony Morais at the office and sought answers from him as to when Rosli would be released.“I stopped him when I saw him at the lobby. Kevin told me that he will be released later at night,” he said, adding that Kevin also said to Harvinderjit that there was no need for the lawyer to be there.“However, Rosli was not released that night,” he said.

Rosli’s wife, Misni Aryani Muhamad, also testified, saying that she had brought food and clothes to the lockup for him to break fast and pray while under detention.

“I received a call from an officer after some time of waiting at the office,” she testified. “Rosli was on the phone.We only spoke briefly. After that, an officer came and took the food from me,” she said.

Misni said she later found out that Rosli did not get the food which she had brought him. Instead, he was given ‘stall food’ by ACA officers and suffered a stomach ache as a result.

She added she was told by two lawyers after midnight that her husband would not be released that night and that he would not be allowed to meet his lawyers either. “They said that Rosli would be charged in court (the next) morning,” she said.

Misni said upon learning that he was about to be charged, she broke down and cried. “When we reached home that night, I sought solace in prayers,” she testified.“I cried some more as I began to accept the fact that my husband was going to be charged,” she said.

The case is being heard before Justice Su Geok Yam.

MACC on Trial: Let the truth prevail!

April 11, 2015

MACC on Trial: Let the truth prevail!

by Din Merican

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) has been running the story on the Trial of Rosli Dahlan against Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and its officials which link provided below and the story is reproduced below in full:

Witness: MACC can be overzealous, unprofessional

Rosli Dahlan (new)


What is startling to me, and perhaps  to other readers of this blog, is that we first have an ex- Advisory member of the MACC Tan Sri Robert Phang revealing that the MACC is not independent and has been used by the A-G Gani Patail to fix trumped-up charges against Lawyer Rosli Dahlan.

Then we have ex-DPP Shamsul Sulaiman revealing more of A-G Gani Pataiil’s abuses in using the MACC to keep victimising Rosli. The fact that Shamsul was warned to stay away from the case shows the level of fear permeating within the A-G Chambers and the MACC of the A-G’s awesome powers. It became more glaring when ex-DPP Shamsul had to even seek the court’s protection that the evidence he gives in court should not be used to later persecute him. This is  even more worrisome.

It is troubling when witnesses are afraid to tell the truth in court for fear that the A-G would later charge them. Apparently, this had happened to Brig-Gen Dato Yassin when he gave evidence in the Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court before Judge Supang Lian. After giving evidence favoring Dato Ramli, Dato Yassin was charged. Readers will recall that Dato Ramli Yusuff was acquitted after Judge Supang Lian found that then IGP Musa Hassan had lied. Strangely, Musa was not charged for being an incredible witness whose evidence is to be disregarded.

It is scary to see the same scenario unfolding in Rosli’s trial. If witnesses feel intimidated and are fearful for their safety, then they will be afraid to tell the truth. Then the truth will never be known. Is that why we never get to know the truth of who killed Teoh Beng Hock? Is that why we never know who killed Ahmad Sarbaini?

The MACC has to account for these two deaths ‎but until now no one has been brought to book. In Ahmad Sarbaini’s case, the MACC could conveniently erase the CCTV recording of the events and the great Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah dismissed it as just an accidental erasure.

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan was fortunate that he was locked up in the dungeon of the MACC, otherwise he might also have been another dead body thrown off the MACC’s building!

I am worried for Rosli that if this intimidating tactic of the A-G and counsel Tan Sri Cecil Abraham are allowed to continue, then no witnesses will come forward to tell the truth. Then Rosli’s case will fail and we will never get to know of this conspiracy. No wonder, cases of this nature always fail.

I say to the MACC and the A-G, fight fairly. Don’t intimidate witnesses. Don’t frighten them. Let the truth prevail!

Why is MACC and Abu Kassim so dishonorable in the Trial of Rosli Dahlan?

April 6, 2015


Breaking News! Why is MACC and Abu Kassim so dishonorable in the Trial of Rosli Dahlan?

by Din Merican

 Abu KassimTake Responsibility and Apologise

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.

Politicians among 1,500 who own offshore companies

Politicians among 1,500 who own offshore companies – Malaysiakini

EXCLUSIVE: Top Malaysian politicians, their family members and well-heeled associates are among those owning secretive offshore companies in Singapore and the British Virgin Islands, according to an explosive cache of leaked documents.

They include former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s son Mirzan, Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin and Michael Chia, the alleged ‘bagman’ for Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.

The files, which were obtained by Washington-based International Confederation of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and examined by Malaysiakini,show more than 1,500 Malaysians owning offshore companies in Singapore – dubbed as the new Switzerland – as well as the British Virgin Islands (BVI), an international tax haven.

johor singapore causeway 070905

The ICIJ list comprises a curious mix of Forbes-listed tycoons, parliamentarians, retired politicians, civil servants and their spouses, members of royal families, famous and infamous businesspeople, underworld kingpins and even former beauty queens.

While some of the offshore companies carry out legitimate transactions, others are likely to be part of the RM871.4 billion estimated by Washington-based financial watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI) to have been lost through illicit outflows over a 10-year period.

In 2010 alone, GFI reported that close to RM200 billion of dirty money was siphoned out of Malaysia, putting the country second only to Asian economic powerhouse China in global capital flight.

The leaked ICIJ files provide secret records of offshore holdings of people and companies in more than 170 countries and territories.

“The hoard of documents represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organisation. The total size of the files, measured in gigabytes, is more than 160 times larger than the leak of US State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010,” says ICIJ.

However, despite the extensive data, this is not the complete list of all off-shore companies around the world. Indeed, it is only the tip of the iceberg.

Nevertheless, it allows members of the public, for the very first time, to sneak a peak into the secretive world of anonymous wealth.

Raja Nong Chik

According to the leaked documents, Raja Nong Chik, who is Lembah Pantai UMNO chief, is a prominent shareholder and director of RZA International Corporation, a British Virgin Islands entity incorporated on Aug 21, 2007, through Singapore.

The company is a mirror of Malaysian entity Kumpulan RZA Sdn Bhd, a 1997-founded company dealing in real estate and equities investment.


Raja Nong Chik set up the offshore entity with his father, Raja Zainal Abidin Raja Tachik, a number of his sisters and brothers as well as other family members. Most of them are also shareholders and directors of Kumpulan RZA Sdn Bhd.

Prior to his senatorship, Raja Nong Chik was a corporate figure who founded and managed an engineering firm for 20 years.

Contacted by Malaysiakini, the minister confirmed that RZA International was set up by his father, who will turn 96 this year, “for the purpose of holding legitimate offshore investments for the family”.

However, the minister did not elaborate on the offshore investments made by his family through the company. He added that RZA International was de-registered in 2009.

“The company was not used to obscure activities of Kumpulan RZA Sdn Bhd, and neither was it used to circumvent taxes or hide transactions overseas,” Raja Nong Chik said in an email to Malaysiakini.

Mirzan Mahathir

Mirzan Mahathir, the eldest son of Mahathir, is also among those the ICIJ list as director and shareholder of three off-shore companies.

Mirzan’s major commercial vehicle in Malaysia is Crescent Capital Sdn Bhd, an investment holding and independent strategic and financial advisory firm. He is the company’s chairperson and chief executive officer.

mirzan mahathir

A Forbes-listed entrepreneur, Mirzan holds a non-executive director position in Philippines-based San Miguel group, which has raised eyebrows in Muslim-majority Malaysia, as beer brewery is a core businesses of San Miguel.

One of Mirzan’s offshore entities is called Crescent Energy Ltd, a Labuan offshore company incorporated on Dec 16, 2003, originally named Mainline Ltd and with an authorised share capital of US$12,000 (RM37,000).

Mirzan became a director and main shareholder six days later and the company was renamed Crescent Energy on May 16, 2008.

Another Labuan offshore company, Utara Capital Ltd, in which Mirzan is named as sole shareholder and director, was incorporated on Aug 19, 1997, with an authorised share capital of US$15,000.

The third company, Al Sadd Investments Pte Ltd. was also a Labuan offshore company. It was established on May 14, 2009, with an authorised share capital of US$12,000. Mirzan is listed as the sole shareholder and director of Al Sadd Investments.

Malaysiakini has approached Mirzan’s office for his comments on these offshore companies, but his aide said he was unable to respond on the matter as he was out of town.

Michael Chia

Another prominent personality on the list is Chia Tien Foh, who is better known as Michael Chia – the shadowy business tycoon allegedly linked to Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.

Chia, too, has three offshore companies in which he is listed as either as director or shareholder. One of them was CTF International Ltd , with ‘CTF’ seen as the initials of Chia’s full name. It was incorporated on April 18, 2007, in the British Virgin Islands.

CTF International gained notoriety when it was named by whistleblower website Sarawak Report of being a conduit in channelling millions of ringgit to a Hong Kong account allegedly linked to Musa.


However, Musa (left), has denied any business ties with Chia (right).

CTF was de-registered in 2008. The other two offshore companies owned by Chia are Ravenswood Development Ltd and Ark Capital Technologies Ltd.

In addition, Chia’s wife Yap Loo Mien and another woman, who is alleged to be his mistress, Yap Siaw Lin, also appear on the list as key shareholders in three separate British Virgin Islands entities.

Loo Mien owned two companies – Perfect Minds Incorporated and StarWater Corporation – while Siaw Lin owned Splendor Success Worldwide Ltd.

Malaysiakini contacted Chia through the address stated in his company registration documents for comments, but there has been no response.

Iron-clad secrecy

According to a former officer with of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), crooked Malaysians parked their money offshore to enjoy either significantly lower or even no taxes, and where the income is illegal, they are protected by a wall of secrecy.

Such ploys, said the officer who was a tax investigator, may not always succeed as Malaysia has a double taxation agreement, with close to 80 countries, that provides for the exchange of information on investigations involving the prevention or detection of tax evasion or fraud.


This includes Singapore, where some of the offshore companies are based.

The island republic has been labelled by Sarawak corporate lawyer Alvin Chong (right) as the “new Switzerland” in a recent video clandestinely filmed by London-based NGO Global Witness.

The retired officer, who worked with the IRB for more than 20 years, added that while the setting up of offshore companies was, in itself not illegal, such companies could be used to evade taxes.

“For example, a payment can be made for a seemingly legitimate service, like consultancy for the procurement of submarines, but it is paid to a company set up overseas, where the recipient pays a lower tax.

“Singapore and Hong Kong, with corporate tax rates of about 17 percent compared with Malaysia’s 25 percent, are popular parking lots,” he said, speaking on condition he not be named.

Tax evasion

One of the methods of tax evasion was explained by Chong in the Global Witness video – on how to avoid paying capital gains tax relating to Sarawak’s doggy land deals.

According to the former tax officer, offshore companies often include many layers of ownership through nominees to camouflage and “water down the link” to the original owner.


As such, he said the act of setting up offshore companies in tax havens often raises red flags.

“Someone can say that their company is set up at the British Virgin Islands, for example, but the money they use to set up the BVI company, or more importantly, the operations channeled through these tax havens could raise suspicion as being not genuine and invite an IRB probe,” he said.

“If the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), IRB or the police want information from their Singapore counterparts, for example, the latter are obliged to give, at least under the Malaysia-Singapore DTA (double taxation agreement),” he said.

But most tax havens are not signatories to DTA agreements and they operate outside international law.

Moreover, it is also up to the Malaysian authorities to decide whether to pursue the case and seek the necessary information from their counterparts abroad.

Aidila Razak, Kuek Ser Kuang Keng, Wong Teck Chi and Steven Gan contributed to this report.


MACC: What more evidence you need ?

Video expose implicates Sarawak CM, kin in alleged land graft

A new video implicates Taib and his family in shady land deals.KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — An international activist organisation provided today video proof of shady land deals in Sarawak that implicates the state’s Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family, with parts of the clip aired on the Al-Jazeera news channel at 10am.

In a covert investigation, Global Witness (GW) captured on video dealings with Taib’s cousins and several other intermediaries to acquire thousands of hectares of forest land that the London-based activist said revealed the systematic corruption and illegality that lay at the heart of Malaysia’s biggest state.

“This film proves for the first time what has long been suspected — that the small elite around Chief Minister Taib are systematically abusing the region’s people and natural resources to line their own pockets,” said Tom Picken, forest team leader at Global Witness, in a statement released today.

“It shows exactly how they do it and it shows the utter contempt they hold for Malaysia’s laws, people and environment.”

In a 16-minute video clip, GW investigators, who posed as foreign investors, recorded snippets of their conversation with Taib’s cousins and lawyers, to purchase the land for hefty profit and which the environmental campaigner said would displace thousands of the indigenous people living there.

A recorded conversion with sisters Fatimah Abdul Rahman and Norlia Abdul Rahman — who are the daughters of the state’s former Chief Minister Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub and first cousins with the incumbent CM — provided a very telling glimpse into the means of how business is conducted in Sarawak to enrich the ruling elite.

Fatimah: Ample Agro belongs to my family, but my sisters, the four elder ones are in the company. The Land and Survey Department, they are the ones who issue this licence… Of course it’s from the CM’s directive but I can speak to the CM very easily.

GW: Can you?

Fatimah: Yes.

GW: And you think he’ll agree?

Fatimah: Yeah, he was the one who gave us the land. He’s my cousin [laughs]. His mother and my father are sisters and brothers, siblings. He’s my cousin so it’s quite easy.

The sisters said they were owners of 5,000 hectares of land given to them for a nominal sum by Taib, and which they were looking to sell under their company, Ample Agro, which they admitted to be a shell company.

GW: You’re proposing basically, Ample Agro, which is your company OK, sell your company, rather than the land. And your company owns the land?

Norlia: Yes… I bought that company as a shell company for this land.

Their lawyer, Alvin Chong, was also recorded in the video telling the GW “investors” how to evade real property gains taxes.

Another lawyer, Huang Lung Ong of Huang & Company Advocates, was also recorded trying to sell land for his uncle, a prominent businessman in Sibu, Datuk Hii Yii Peng, said to have close ties with Taib, saying that at least 10 per cent of the sale price would have to go to the chief minister as commission.

In its statement, GW alleged that senior government officials and a timber company executive said it was standard practice in Sarawak for companies to pay a personal fee to Abdul Taib in return for approval of timber and plantation licences.

London lawyers representing the chief minister have denied the allegations, the NGO reported.

“The Government of Sarawak issues licences for land in very controlled circumstances,” the law firm, Mishcon de Reya, was quoted as saying. “This is an administrative exercise, not political patronage.

“Our client never demands or accepts bribes for the grant of licences and leases.

“He has not issued any ‘directive’… illegally to benefit his cousins.”

Taib, 76, has been Sarawak chief minister for 32 years, having taken office in March 1981.

His personal wealth has stirred much controversy, with detractors alleging he gained much of it through dubious means.