Mahathir is using Haniff Khatri to give the courts the runaround

TTF: “Tun is not perturbed in the event that he would be charged, but if they want to charge then just charge, do not come and take the time of the senior statesman.”

These were the words of Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla (see news item below), a man who has been representing Dr Mahathir Mohamad in various capacities apart from being his legal counsel. In most of these capacities, the core mission has always been to mislead the people of Malaysia through propaganda and the dissemination of untruths.

For instance, on the 18th of September 2016, Khatri told newsmen that a 1993 amendment to the Federal Constitution allowed the Agong and state rulers to impose “checks and balances” on the three main branches of government. The lawyer said this when ‘debunking’ claims by another lawyer, Syahredzuan Johan, who correctly stated that the King lacked jurisdiction to sack the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Syahredzuan was responding to claims that the Agong had the moral obligation to sack a sitting Prime Minister if the majority of Malaysians so wished it. Khatri was just as aware as Shahredzuan was that the claim was fraudulent and somewhat vexatious. But that was what he was in court to do – to cloud public perception with innuendo and jargon that served to do very little other than to keep the spotlight away from truths.

Yes, both Mahathir and Khatri are abusing the Malaysian system of justice.

Let us take the lawsuit Dato’ Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Anina Saadudin brought against Najib together with the former premier as another case in example. On the 23rd of March 2016, the trio filed a suit accusing the Prime Minister of misfeasance of public office. In response, the Prime Minister filed an application to strike the civil suit out on grounds that the elements of tort misfeasance and breach of fiduciaries in public office as claimed were non-existent.

A month later, the High Court struck the suit out after ruling that the Prime Minister was “not a public officer in public office but a member of the administration.” And this is true – any Tom, Dick or Harry reasonably versed in matters of constitutional jurisprudence would have been able to tell you what Justice Abu Baker Jais told the court that day.

As part of the ruling, Mahathir, Khairuddin and Anina were ordered to pay RM30,000 in damages to Najib. The debacle could have been avoided had Khatri advised the trio accordingly and responsibly based on his profession of constitutional jurisprudence. Instead, he chose to waste the court’s time by insisting that the question of it being an “office” (in the claim of misfeasance) was not as pertinent as was “the nature of decisions” made in that office.

That load of rubbish – along with the lawsuit – was a deliberate attempt to impress upon Malaysians that Najib was criminally perverse and unfit to hold the office of Prime Minister. But if that was the intention, why has Mahathir yet to lodge a police report against Najib for dissipating RM42 billion of 1MDB’s funds into thin air?

Hasn’t that been the claim from day one?

Tell me, why go through the trouble of filing suit after suit based on nonsensical claims when all the former premier needs to do is trigger a fresh round of discoveries into 1MDB? Considering that he is so sure Najib dissipated RM42 billion of the fund’s money into thin air, why not furnish the cut-and-dry proof to the police and get it over with once and for all?

See where I’m going with this?

Yesterday, Khatri told reporters right after PDRM left the Perdana Leadership Foundation that the police should not waste Mahathir’s time, that they should just “charge him if they wanted to charge him.” First and foremost, that is a very arrogant statement coming from a man claiming to be a legal practitioner – the police, who could easily have detained Mahathir for questioning, chose to call on him instead given his stature as a public figure and all.

That, in essence, is a demonstration of just how fair and courteous PDRM can get, a fact people like Khatri and the Keralan Mamak he represents fail to understand. Seriously, is Khatri not aware that what he said applies more to his boss and not PDRM? I mean, isn’t his boss the one wasting the court’s time with “frivolous and vexatious” claims when all he needs to do is to hand over documents proving that Najib dissipated 1MDB funds into thin air?

Are you that much of a dimwit, Khatri?

PUTRAJAYA: The team of policemen who arrived to record a statement from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today questioned him for allegedly insulting the Bugis community during a recent ‘Anti-Kleptocracy Rally’ at Padang Timur, Petaling Jaya.

Dr Mahathir’s lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said although they were informed yesterday that police would record a statement from the former premier over the report lodged by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) secretary Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail, they were instead questioned about the Bugis remarks.

“A total of four officers and two rank and files from Bukit Aman came today to record a statement over several reports lodged over Tun’s speech in connection with the phrase ‘Bugis’.

“Tun has cooperated and has answered questions that he needed to answer and could be answered. There were 32 questions,” he said, adding the session took about 45 minutes.

The recorded statement amounted to seven pages of report.

Haniff said the investigations were made in pursuant to three provisions of the law – the Sedition Act, Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988.

Haniff said Dr Mahathir had cooperated with the police and said that he was willing to answer in court, whatever the charges levelled against him.

He said Dr Mahathir had explained that the Bugis remark was made in reference to only one particular person.

“Tun is not perturbed in the event that he would be charged, but if they want to charge then just charge, do not come and take the time of the senior statesman.

“He will answer judges in court without concern about what the sentence is, because the sentence will only be meted out if he is found guilty. As far as we are concerned he is not guilty,” he said, adding this is the fifth time police had questioned Dr Mahathir on several issues.

Earlier, a team of policemen were seen entering the Perdana Leadership Foundation headquarters here at 1.34pm.

Dr Mahathir had received a rebuke from many quarters, including political and non-governmental groups, for a speech he allegedly made during the Anti-Kleptocracy Rally organised by Pakatan Harapan on Oct 14, when he said Malaysia had a leader who was a descendent of “Bugis pirates”.

Several police reports have been lodged by various parties, including the Bugis community in Malaysia, who took offence over the matter.

Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had previously expressed his displeasure with Dr Mahathir over his remarks against the Bugis community.

Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, in an exclusive interview with the Media Prima Group in conjunction with his 59th birthday recently, said he felt slighted by Dr Mahathir’s remarks which equated the Bugis community with pirates.

He had said that such callous statements made by politicians could sow the seeds of hatred among the people.

Source: NST Online

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