Tommy, our system of justice is getting increasingly cancerous

TTF: Let me come straight to the point here:

I don’t mind if the intent of the Government of Malaysia (GoM) is to get to the bottom of things and reclaim funds that may have been misappropriated, assuming they were, or to discover if indeed funds were misappropriated in hopes that these funds may be used to buoy the ringgit.

As a matter of fact, that is precisely why you do not see me rolling on streets or uttering ridiculous remarks, like the one I heard yesterday outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court, regarding Mahathir having “ugut Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk melantik Tommy Thomas sebagai Peguam Negara.”

I decided to get myself involved in the innermost of political circles post-GE14 to discover the truth for myself, first hand, as opposed to sitting around in some remote location hoping to get that truth out of people claiming to be truthful.

Having seen what I have seen and discovered what I have discovered, if indeed the intent of the GoM is to work towards a better system of governance and justice, I don’t see it happening.

The case of the super yacht Equanimity serves to accentuate my point.

On the 25th of August 2018, I made it clear that Ms Sitpah Selvaratnam’s appointment as lead advisor to Tommy Thomas and his Chambers on matters of jurisdiction related to the seizure of the luxury liner bore multiple conflicts of interest.

To recap, on the 9th of August 2018, Thomas alleged that Sitpah was most qualified for the job, as not only had she been the chairperson of the Shipping and Admiralty Law Committee of the Bar Council for years and the founding president of the International Malaysian Society of Maritime Law, his Chambers lacked a Specialist Shipping unit with the skill and expertise in shipping and corporate law.

That was a blatant lie, considering that the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) does have an International Affairs Division (IAD) that previously was part of an Advisory and International Division, or AID.

A check by my team revealed that the IAD had years and years of experience in shipping and corporate law and has dealt with seizures and transfer of authority hundreds of times.

What this means, is that Tommy could have relied on expertise from the IAD and need not have appointed Sitpah to advise him.

A check by my team also revealed that Sitpah used to be a consultant in a firm that belonged to Thomas himself, meaning, she was once on his payroll. 

The fact that Thomas still found it acceptable to appoint her as lead counsel bore elements of mala fide intent, as not only is Thomas the Attorney-General of Malaysia, he is the principal legal advisor to the GoM and the highest ranking public prosecutor in the country, and hence, a person who should be well versed with principles of jurisprudence and justice.

As a matter of fact, Thomas may deliberately or inadvertently have subverted proceedings of the Admiralty Court in relation to the seizure of the yacht, given that he prejudicially adjudged, on multiple occasions, that the yacht was purchased using money that Low had a hand in laundering.

This, coupled with the GoM’s and 1MDB’s involvement in proceedings, Sitpah’s questionable appointment as lead counsel as well as Thomas’ own role as the GoM’s legal advisor, points to the idea that the Admiralty Court may deliberately have been misled at some level into thinking that the yacht was purchased using money Low stole from 1MDB.

There is no question that the proceedings were terribly skewed in favour of the GoM from the get go and were crafted in ways that they served to the detriment of Low, irrespective if you think he is a crook or otherwise.

If indeed the intent is to improve the system of justice, let’s see to it that the rule of law prevails by reinitiating proceedings in the Equanimity case in the greater interest of truth and justice.

KUALA LUMPUR: The decision on an application for a judgment in default by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) on the sale of superyacht Equanimity, linked to businessman Low Taek Jho, will be known tomorrow (Oct 19).

Counsel Sitpah Selvaratnam, who represented 1MDB, said the proceeding would continue on Friday before Judicial Commissioner Khadijah Idris.

“We are expecting a decision,” she told the media after a hearing on the application at the Admiralty Court here Thursday (Oct 18).

A judgement in default is a binding judgement in favour of either party based on the failure of one party to take action, such as failing to respond to summons or failing to appear before the court of law.

Sitpah said that there was no challenge from other parties claiming ownership of the US$250mil (RM1bil) vessel.

On Oct 5, the Admiralty Court approved the appointment of a central broker and an appraiser for the Equanimity, paving the way for the sale of the superyacht.

Then on Aug 23, the same court granted an application by the government, 1MDB and two of its subsidiaries to sell the vessel.

The superyacht had arrived in Malaysia on Aug 7 after being handed over by Indonesian authorities.

The Equanimity was seized off the coast of Bali by Indonesia in February at the request of the US authorities as part of a multi-billion dollar corruption probe launched by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over 1MDB.

Source: The Star Online

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