Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Steve Shim, Haidar , in the matter of MGG Pillai v Vincent Tan; Another instance where Haidar tried to "lock the door".

In the matter of MGG Pillai v Tan Sri Dato' Vincent Tan Chee Yioun [2002] 2 MLJ 673 , the Federal Court was asked to set-aside its own judgment against Pillai for defamation of Tan, for ,amongst other reasons, apparent bias on the part of the then Chief Justice Eusoff Chin.

The issue of bias was based on photographs and other evidence which had come to light ,after being published on the Net, which showed Chin on holiday with counsel for Tan, VK Lingam, in the same matter.

So serious was this issue that the then minister in charge of justice, Rais Yatim, publicly chastised Eusoffe in the middle of 2000.

Eusoffe responded challenging Rais's powers, and when on to defend himself saying:

"You must remember, judges are not robots. They are human beings, they have to have friends because when they die, they have to be buried."

This entire episode was widely reported, both in Malaysia and internationally. It drew comment from the Bar Council, the Malaysian Opposition and even then prime minister Mahathir.

Against this background, Steve Shim (the other two judges, Norma Yaakob and Haidar Noor agreeing with him, decided , on the basis of the equitable doctrine of waiver, that because Pillai had taken his time in asserting Eusoff's bias, he had in effect chosen to give-up his right to assert bias.

In Steve Shim's words:


In the course of his submission, counsel for the respondent has raised the issue of waiver on the part of the applicant....... This complaint is premised on the following factual circumstances: that the applicant, from the date the judgment was reserved by the Federal Court on January 13, 1998 to the date of delivery of the said judgment on July 12, 2000, had taken 30 months to make the application to disqualify Eusoff Chin, CJ (Malaysia), that the application to disqualify was made some seven months after the judgment was delivered, making it a total of about 37 months of inactivity; that the applicant had admitted that the facts giving rise to an apprehension of bias on the part of Eusoff Chin, CJ (Malaysia) arose during the course of hearing.

The applicant offered two main reasons for the delay; namely, that he did not have full knowledge of the facts or circumstances giving rise to grounds of apparent bias on the part of Eusoff Chin, CJ (Malaysia); and ; that he did not have knowledge of his right to object or challenge the court's decision.

He waited until judgment was delivered months later......he only "sprung into action" and decided to complain about bias after he had lost the appeal. If he had not lost, it is quite certain that he would not have filed the motion. He wanted the best of both worlds. That, the law will not allow. The doctrine of waiver has militated firmly against him. It has acted as a bulwark against what can suitably be called an after-thought action.

The degree to which Steve Shim and the court appear to have extended themselves in justifying their decision is more apparent in this paragraph:

It is also significant to note that the applicant took another seven to eight months to file the instant application to set aside the decision of the Federal Court . His explanation for the delay was that he was unable to get any solicitors to take up the matter given the repressive tendency apparent at the material time. He cited the repression to include the prevalence of contempt proceedings being made not only against certain parties but also their counsel involved .I find this explanation difficult to comprehend. In my view, even given the perception of repression the applicant might have had, I am still unable to accept such an irrational explanation. Without recounting names, I would say that there were at least half dozen lawyers in the country who would not have hesitated to take up the challenge.

I know for a fact that Pillai had great difficulty getting anyone to represent him , given his financial circumstances.
Even the unschooled can see how much more difficult it would be obtaining representation when the case involves an allegation of corruption not merely at the Bench,but of the Chief Justice himself.

That Steve Shim and the court were prepared to assert that there were at least half dozen lawyers in the country who would not have hesitated to take up the challenge
of representing Pillai goes only to show how far the Federal Court was prepared to reach in order to not have to deal with the issue of corruption and bias within their own ranks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Is Haidar being asked to lock the doors again?

A three-man special independent panel has been formed to investigate and determine the authenticity of a video clip showing a senior lawyer purportedly brokering the appointment of judges. The panel comprises former Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor as chairman, National Service Council chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye and former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mahadev Shankar.
(The Star,26 September 2007)

Excerpt from the story Court reserves judgment on case by A-G against Bar Council man,8 June 1990,Straits Times

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman initiated contempt proceedings against Mr Manjeet on the basis of an affidavit filed by the Bar Council official.

In his affidavit, Mr Manjeet supported a motion by the Bar to send Tun Abdul
Hamid, the Lord President of the Judiciary, to jail for alleged contempt of court.

He referred to Tun Hamid's instructions to the then Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr Haidar Mohamed Noor on July 2, 1988, to lock the doors of the Supreme Court and not let any court staff be present at a special sitting to hear an application by former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas over his suspension.

Mr Manjeet accused Tun Abdul Hamid, who was then the Chief Justice of Malaya
and Acting Lord President, of attempting to prevent, frustrate and interfere with the special sitting on July 2.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The VK Lingam video-a prima facie case against some judges even if VK was speaking to the wall

Much has been said about the party at the other end of the line in the VK Lingam video.

Let us for the time being assume that the video was of someone speaking to the wall.

We can still, nevertheless, conclude with a high degree of certainty that the following was said:

One day I went to Vincent Tan’s house, I fired him at night in his house. I said bloody hell, if you don’t do this who will do it? All these people, Tun Eusoff Chin, Datuk Ahmad Fairuz, Tan Sri Zainol (?) all fought for …hat. Then he called Tengku Adnan. Tengku Adnan he said, saya bukan Perdana Menteri Malaysia lah, you know. If the old man doesn’t want to listen to me, go to hell.

There are some gaps in this transcript, so readers should listen to the original to ascertain for themselves that in stating the above, the person in the video was saying that Tun Eusoff Chin , Ahmad Fairuz and one Tan Sri Zainol all fought for Vincent Tan.

Therefore, from the above alone, there appears to be a prima facie case that former CJ Eusoff Chin and current CJ Ahmad Fairuz ("110% loyalty) promoted , indeed ,fought for the interests of Vincent Tan, in their official capacities.

Certainly, there is evidence even in the public domain, reproduced on this blog, to show more than one instance where both men have handed down judgements in favour of Vincent Tan that would be laughable if not for their consequences.

This prima facie conclusion then raises questions,the answers to which may come within the provisions of the ANTI-CORRUPTION ACT 1997 and/or the Prevention of Corruption Act 1961.

Therefore, it cannot be said out of hand as the AG has done, that the video discloses no criminal offence.

How a Fairuz decision in favour of a Berjaya Group man affected the entire Malaysian banking and finance industry

From the Asian Wall Street Journal,30 September 1992.Story by Stephen Duthie :

Malaysia's Supreme Court is grappling with an unusual, and potentially precedent-setting loan-default suit that threatens to revamp lending procedures of the country's financial institutions and to jeopardize their legal efforts to recover nonperforming loans.
The suit involves Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Bhd. and a little-known property developer, MAE Perkayuan Sdn. Bhd. Bank Bumiputra, the country's second-largest bank, filed suit in 1985 against the developer and its chief executive for failing to service interest payments on a M$4.5 million (US$1.8 million) overdraft facility. Bankers and their legal advisers had assumed the legal action was a straightforward case of a borrower defaulting on a loan.

That scenario quickly changed, however, when MAE Perkayuan and its chief executive, Datuk Mohamed Anuar Embong, countersued, claiming breach of contract. Few lawyers took the claim seriously, until the High Court Judge Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim in the city of Kuala Trengganu ruled in favor of MAE Perkayuan and Datuk Anuar.
At stake for Bank Bumiputra is a M$36 million loss, including M$3.9 million in funds withdrawn from the overdraft facility, nonpayment of interest since mid-1983, and nearly M$20 million in damages awarded by the High Court to MAE Perkayuan for loss of future profit and damages to the reputation of the company's shareholders. Besides Datuk Anuar, MAE Perkayuan's other shareholder was identified in court as the Sultan of the east coast state of Trengganu, who wasn't named in the suit.

But the potential stakes are higher for Malaysia's entire financial system. Kuala Lumpur-based lawyers say that an increasing number of counterclaims -- at least a dozen are believed to be pending -- are being filed by borrowers facing suits from banks seeking repayment. And most are citing Judge Fairuz's ruling as the basis of their claims, the lawyers add.

MAE Perkayuan was represented by Gopal Sri Ram.

And who is Datuk Mohamed Anuar Embong:

Environmentalists criticizing the development of a Malaysian island resort plan to challenge a proposal to sell the project to Malaysia's Berjaya Group Bhd. by raising the potential financial burden of environmental complaints at a shareholder meeting.
But Berjaya's Tan Sri Tan, one of Malaysia's more active entrepreneurs, has cultivated robust political connections, and the resort project enjoys the support of the royal family of Trengganu, the state that incorporates Pulau Redang. The executive chairman of Redang Island Resort, Datuk Mohamed Anuar Embong, is associated with the Trengganu royalty.

(Source:Berjaya Faces Environmental Challenge
AP-Dow Jones News Service,17 June 1992
The Asian Wall Street Journal)

According to lawyers involved in the case, the Supreme Court yesterday largely upheld a lower court decision which ruled in favour of an alleged loan defaulter, after it had countersued Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Bhd on grounds of breach of contract.

The Supreme Court, comprised Lord President Tun Abdul Hamid Omar, Datuk Edgar Joseph Jr and Tan Sri Eusoff Chin.

"It does set a dangerous precedent," said Tommy Thomas, a senior Kuala Lumpur lawyer representing state-owned Bank Bumiputra, the country's second largest commercial bank.

Echoing a widely-held view by local bankers and corporate lawyers, Mr Thomas said the judgment could open the floodgates to more counter claims against financial institutions.

Mr Thomas said the Supreme Court's three-member panel of judges unanimously upheld the lower court's decision that Bank Bumiputra had breached its contract with the developer. But several aspects of the High Court's ruling were overturned by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court cut down damages awarded by the High Court to M$5.3 million. Mr Thomas said MAE Perkayuan was also ordered to pay Bank Bumiputra a total of M$4.3 million, made up largely of the amount drawn down from the overdraft facility, including interest charges.

This, he said, leaves the bank with an outstanding liability of about M$1 million in the case.

The Supreme Court also threw out an award of M$5 million granted by the lower court to the Sultan of Trengganu, which MAE Perkayuan identified as a shareholder of the company.

"It wasn't a total victory, but a substantial victory for Bank Bumiputra in this case," said Mr Thomas when commenting on the judgement read to lawyers from both parties by the Supreme Court's Registrar in chambers.

By Leslie Lopez,8 April 1993,Business Times Singapore); NO GROUND IN LAW TO EXEMPT LOAN REPAYMENT',By S. Sivaselvam,13 April 1993,Business Times)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ahmad Fairuz-how he suffered for the country

No don't worry, Datuk, I know how much you suffer for Tun Eusoff Chin. And Tun said Datuk Ahmad Fairuz 110% loyalty. We want to make sure our friends are there for the sake of the PM and the sake of the country.

Not for our own interest, not for our own interest. We want to make sure the country come first. Well, you suffered so well, so much you have done. For the election, Wee Choo Keong, everything. How much, no body would have done all these.
-VK Lingam

For The Election

The High Court ....declared the election of Bukit Payong state seat in Terengganu in the 1990 general election null and void.

Justice Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Halim said that the court was satisfied that the election process was not carried out in accordance with the law.

In the election, PAS candidate Haji Baharuddin Mohamad defeated National Front candidate Mazlan Awang by a majority of 17 votes. Haji Baharuddin obtained 4,163 votes.

The case was brought to court following a petition submitted by Mr Abdul Hamid Mamat on Dec 19 last year against Haji Baharuddin. He named the Election Commission as the second respondent and the Returning Officer for the Bukit Payong election the third respondent.

In his petition, Mr Hamed claimed that the polling station chief at polling centre No 2 at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pasir Panjang had allowed a woman to cast the vote on behalf of her husband.

The judge said that the polling station chief at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pasir Panjang had failed to use his discretion in determining whether Mr Hassan Mamat was really unable to vote himself and had to ask his wife to vote on his behalf.

He said that the officer only took for granted that Mr Hassan was paralysed,
without any confirmation from a medical specialist.

Mr Hamed also alleged that the polling station chief at another polling centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Atas Tol, had rejected or allowed to be rejected a marked ballot paper under the name of Mazlan.

Justice Ahmad Fairuz said that the testimonies of the petitioner's witnesses
were strong enough to show that the failure of the polling station chief to comply with the procedure had resulted in an error of law.

He said the testimonies of the election commission officers on the way they had conducted the process of counting the votes in the Bukit Payong state poll were ridden with unnatural possibilities.

The judge said that failure to observe the law by polling station chiefs was

a serious matter that could affect the election process. The aim of the law was to ensure a clean process of election and the court would not compromise on the matter.
(Source:Bukit Payong election ruled null and void ,
2 March 1992,Straits Times)

Wee Choo Keong

DAP Member of Parliament Wee Choo Keong lost his Bukit Bintang parliamentary seat yesterday when the High Court declared that he was not eligible to contest in the last general election because he had committed a criminal offence in committing contempt of court.

Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Halim, however, held that as the election in that constituency was properly conducted, there was no reason for the court to nullify it and order a by-election, Bernama reports.

With Wee's disqualification, the seat goes to Dr Lee Chong Meng of Barisan Nasional who polled the next highest number of votes in the constituency.

(Source:Business Times Spore,3 August 1995)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

VK Lingam: other matters , other judges,other associates.

Other Associates
A) Derek Chin, Berjaya Group/Corporation
Much has been said about VK Lingam and Vincent Tan of the Berjaya Group/Corporation and their dealings with the judiciary.
An important issue that yet to be addressed is the question of where evidence of their dealings in this regard might be found.
The answer may be in the person of Derek Chin Chee Seng, a long-term legal adviser employed by Berjaya Group/Corporation. He has been known to have extensive communications with VK Lingam personally.

Other Matters, Other Judges

A) Siti Mariam Othman
The Federal Court today maintained the costs of RM600,000 which it had ordered the Bar Council to pay lawyer Datuk V. Kanagalingam over a failed disciplinary complaint.

The sum of RM600,000 as a "getting up fee" was maintained by Federal Court deputy registrar Siti Mariam Othman, who heard the review in chambers today. (Getting up means research and preparation for the trial.)

The council had applied for the review after Siti Mariam awarded the costs to Kanagalingam, better known as V.K. Lingam, on May 7.

(Source:National Court maintains costs of RM600,000 to lawyer
17 July 1999,The New Straits Times)

b) Azmel Ma'amor (previously mentioned),Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Zainun Ali
The High Court today allowed with costs an appeal by lawyer Datuk V. Kanagalingam against the Advocates and Solicitors' Disciplinary Board decision that there was merit in two complaints of alleged misconduct lodged against him by the Malaysian Bar.

Judge Datuk Azmel Ma'amor, who sat with Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Datuk Zainun Ali, set aside the board's decision, which had also recommended an investigation into the complaints.

Kanagalingam was represented by V. Sithambaram and Wong Kee Tem and the Malaysian Bar by Datuk Bastian Vendargon.

He had also applied for a stay to stop the Malaysian Bar's tribunal from inquiring into the complaints.

The matter before the Appellate and Special Powers Division of the High Court was scheduled for hearing last Monday.

However, Judicial Commissioner Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim postponed it to Thursday pending this appeal.
On June 18, Kanagalingam obtained from the High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) an interim stay for the tribunal to conduct the investigation. The Malaysian Bar on Aug 6 last year lodged two complaints of misconduct.

The first was that he did not reply to four letters - dated Aug 27, 1998, Sept 29, 1998, Oct 7, 1998 and Nov 16, 1998 - sent by the Bar to him and therefore had committed a breach of Ruling 10(b) Part H of the Ruling of the Bar Council 1997.

The second complaint was in relation to an allegation in The Star dated Aug 31, 1999, pertaining to a pending civil suit.

(Source:18 November 2003,New Straits Times)

c)Pajan Singh Gill,Rahmah Hussain and Hashim Yusoff

The Malaysian Bar today failed in its bid to set aside a High Court verdict allowing lawyer V. Kanagalingam's appeal against a decision by the Advocates and Solicitors' Disciplinary Board pertaining to complaints of his alleged misconduct.

Federal Court judges Datuk Pajan Singh Gill and Datin Paduka Rahmah Hussain and Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hashim Yusoff, in unanimously dismissing the Malaysian Bar's appeal with costs, agreed with the submissions of Kanagalingam's counsel that the disciplinary board's decision was appealable to the High Court under Section 103E of the Legal Profession Act.

Justice Hashim, who read out the nine-page judgment, said the court found no reason to interfere with the findings of the court below.

The Malaysian Bar had appealed against the High Court's verdict delivered on Nov 17, last year, to allow Kanagalingam's appeal against the Disciplinary Board's decision that there was merit in two complaints of alleged misconduct lodged against Kanagalingam by the Bar.

The High Court had also set aside the board's recommendation that a tribunal be set up to investigate the complaints.

The Malaysian Bar on Aug 6, 2002, lodged two complaints of alleged misconduct against Kanagalingam.

The first was that he did not reply to four letters sent by the Bar to him and therefore had committed a breach of Ruling 10 (b) Part H of the Ruling of the Bar Council 1997 and the second complaint was in relation to an allegation in the Star dated Aug 31, 1999, pertaining to a pending civil suit.

Bernama Daily Malaysian News)

A good lawyer?One that is a pariah dog(mongrel) that can bite

There was once a corporate knight named Eric Chia,who is supposed to have said , "when I look for a lawyer I look for a pariah dog that can bite, not some pedigree dog that can only look and sound good."

This writer would like to first acknowledge the work of other bloggers, particularly Jeff Ooi of Screenshots( and Dr Anwar Ibrahim of

I should like now to add the following.

An investigation into VK Lingam and others named in the video clips would require an investigation into all matters involving Lingam.
These would include matters which have involved the VK Lingam satellite firms ie firms that act under his direction and which receive and act on briefs that VK Lingam considers too small or inconvenient to deal with.
These include:
a) V.Sitahmabaram & KT Wong of V.Siva& Partners; represented VK Lingam in VK Lingam v. The Bar Council

b) V. Sivaparamjothi; his brother and running mate

c) Rutheran Sivanagnam of M/S R.Sivanganam & Associates


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More on Zaki Azmi-A commercial conflict of interest,and the matter of Aki and Baby(otherwise known as Zaki and Norhayati)


As reported by Bernama:

Railway engineering specialist Emrail Sdn Bhd aims to get a piece of the pie in the northern and southern double-tracking railway projects that have been revived by the government.Its chairman is Tan Sri Zaki Azmi.

Formerly known as TIME Salam Engineering, Emrail had refocused its core business from a diversified portfolio to become a specialised railway engineering company in which Zaki has a 58 percent stake. The other substantial shareholder of the company is engineer and entrepreneur Tan Sri Hari Naryanan.

Zaki said revenue last year was not so good "as we hardly made any money out of the Rawang-Ipoh project because of the initial delays in the project.

"My employer is only the government as nobody else builds rails."

Clinching the contracts is essential for Emrail as track construction is the company's bread and butter activity, he explained.
21 April 2007,Bernama Daily Malaysian News)

And now, that affair of the heart,otherwise known as the invalid marriage in a textile shop:

New Straits Times , 9 August 2005:

Tan Sri Zaki Azmi has resigned as deputy chairman of the 19-member Umno disciplinary board...Zaki, who was appointed to the post on Feb 7, quit following reports of his controversial divorce from his second wife, Nor Hayati Yahaya, 32.

"Considering that members of the disciplinary board are of the highest integrity, I have made this decision following reports in the media.....
(Source:New Straits Times, 9 August 2005, By Zubaidah Abu Bakar, (English)

From the New Straits Times, 24 September 2005:

Prominent lawyer Tan Sri Zaki Azmi sent his second wife some 100 SMS messages a day during their courtship and allegedly promised he would stand by her always.

Nor Hayati Yahaya, 32, raised these points to challenge an application by Zaki to the Syariah court to declare their marriage invalid.

Nor Hayati challenged these points in her affidavit. She said there was a discussion between them where she had allegedly asked: "Is it true Aki (Zaki) will let me go if something goes wrong?" Zaki allegedly replied : "Of course not. After all the difficulties of getting married with baby (Nor Hayati), Aki will not leave baby like that." In her sworn statement, Nor Hayati said it was not true that she badgered Zaki with text messages, saying that it was the lawyer who inundated her with between 30 and 100 SMS messages a day. She also attempted to paint the picture that it was Zaki who did much of the wooing during their courtship.

She also charged that Zaki's action in burning their marriage certificate was mala fide (in bad faith), and applied to the court for a copy of the certificate to ascertain if it had been issued in Malaysia or Thailand.
(Source:100 SMSes a day and vow to stand by her ,By A. Hafiz Yatim
24 September 2005,New Straits Times)

AND FINALLY,New Straits Times, 18 April 2006:
The Lower Syariah Court today annulled the second marriage of prominent lawyer Tan Sri Zaki Azmi with Nor Hayati Yahaya.

Judge Mohd Zaim Mat Yudim said the court could not recognise the marriage, which had been performed by a Thai kadi at a textile shop in Perlis last May. In a judgment delivered in chambers, Zaim said the court had verified that the marriage was not legal and therefore it could not be registered by the religious authorities here.
(Source: Lawyer's marriage annulled,18 March 2006
New Straits Times)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

UMNO's Zaki Azmi -a better qualified candidate for the Federal Court one cannot find....

Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi will today(5 September 2007) become the first lawyer to be appointed directly to the Federal Court.




Records on file with Hong Kong's registrar of companies show that on Feb. 3, 1997, Zaki Azmi, a senior partner in Malaysian law firm Rashid & Lee, became a director of Hottick. He was joined on the Hottick board by another Rashid & Lee senior partner, Abdul Rashid Manaff, Salehuddin, Virata and Abdul Hamid Abdul Manaff, Rashid's brother. Rashid & Lee is Renong's longtime legal adviser and principal solicitor. The firm's Abdul Rashid has, for years, served as a personal legal adviser for Halim.
Halim's legal associates had ready access to Malaysian bank credits to make the NSC purchase. Hottick immediately borrowed US$800 million from Malaysia's four biggest banks through their offshore subsidiaries on the Malaysian island of Labuan. One of the four was Bank of Commerce (Labuan) Ltd., which is controlled by 18%-Renong owned Commerce Assets Holdings Bhd. As security for the loan, Hottick pledged its 1.55 billion just-purchased NSC shares to the Malaysian banks.

(Source:Malaysia Renong Asset/Liability -4: Director Of Hottick
19 January 1998,Dow Jones Asian Equities Report)

For more on the Hottick affair-see

b) The Pharmaniaga affair
Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee chairman Mohamed Azman Yahya has been appointed as Pharmaniaga Bhd's chairman and director effective immediately.

According to an announcement, Azman replaces Tan Sri Zaki Azmi, 56, who has resigned with immediate effect. At the same time, two company directors - Md Anwar Hj. Mamood, 49, and Dr Teoh Kim Loon, 47 - have also resigned from their posts.

(Source:CDRC's Azman appointed Pharmaniaga chairman.
By Michelle Kuan. 15 November 2001,The Edge)

c) An affair of the heart

Zaki seeks to annul marriage
(By A. Hafiz Yatim ,6 August 2005,New Straits Times)

KUALA LUMPUR, Fri. - Three months ago, prominent lawyer Tan Sri Zaki Azmi took a second wife quietly in a ceremony in a textile shop in Perlis.
Both he and Nor Hayati Yahaya, 32, agreed to burn the original marriage certificate to hide the marriage from his first wife.

In his statement of claim filed on July 26, Zaki said that Nor Hayati and he were married in May this year in a ceremony presided by a kadi from Thailand.

After the ceremony, both the newly-weds signed a form, which was written in Jawi and Thai. He sought legal advice after the divorce and was told that his marriage may not have been legal under the local Syarak and Syariah law.

The 59th Federal Territory Consultative meeting states that a marriage performed by a Thai kadi outside his jurisdiction in Thailand is considered void.