On the 9th of August 2018, Malaysian Attorney-General Tommy Thomas revealed that a Ms Sitpah Selvaratnam had been appointed to advise him and his Chambers on matters of jurisdiction related to the seizure of Equanimity.
According to him, Sitpah was a consultant in a firm that no longer belonged to him.
However, a check by my team revealed that she was attached to a law firm named after him at the time he announced her appointment and is still attached to the said firm, based in Kuala Lumpur.
By appointing a legal counsel who once was (and could still be) under his payroll, Tommy undermined the power and authority bestowed upon an International Affairs Division that sits in his Chambers and threatened to misrepresent the Government of Malaysia as principal legal advisor.
THE THIRD FORCE
On the 9th of August 2018, Malaysian Attorney-General Tommy Thomas revealed that a Ms Sitpah Selvaratnam had been appointed to advise him and his Chambers on matters of jurisdiction related to the seizure of the luxury liner Equanimity. According to him, Sitpah was the 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.
Was Tommy Thomas telling the truth?
A check by my team revealed 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. Following a restructuring exercise in 2003, the AID was divided into two separate divisions – the Advisory Division (AD) and the IAD. The split was done to manage increasing workloads and the complexity of municipal and international subject matters. The split was also to develop and enhance the skills and expertise of legal officers in both fields.
Notwithstanding, the IAD has 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.
What exactly is the International Affairs Division for?
The stated objectives of the IAD are as follows:
1. To protect and safeguard Malaysia’s rights and interests in the international arena.
2. To give legal advice and views to the Government of Malaysia (GoM) in accordance with international law and principles taking into account domestic laws, national policies and public interest, and
3. To ensure that Malaysia’s international obligations under any agreements, treaties and conventions which have been signed, agreed upon, ratified, acceded to or participated in by the GoM are carried out in accordance with constitutional provisions and its domestic laws, regulations and policies.
What are its core functions?
The division’s core functions are as follows:
1. Providing legal advice to the GoM and its agencies on all aspects relating to international law and Malaysia’s existing international obligations.
2. Representing the AGC and the GoM in the international for a with a view to protect the interest of Malaysia internationally.
3. Carrying out harmonisation of Malaysia’s domestic laws based on Malaysia’s existing obligations under international law.
4. Providing legal advice to government ministries and agencies on implementation of various international instruments to which Malaysia has become party
5. Assisting in drafting of relevant laws of various legal instruments relevant to Malaysia’s obligations under international treaties.
6. Undertaking relevant research as to matters pertaining to international law.
How extensive is the unit?
When first formed, the IAD had only 27 officers and 22 supporting staff. That increased over time, with the division’s current directory listing more than 60 officers spread over several smaller units, namely, the Border, Territorial and Maritime Matters Unit (BTMMU), the International Criminal Matters Unit (ICMU), the Human Rights and International Organisations Unit (HRIOU), the Bilateral and ASEAN Trade and International Finance Unit (BATIFU), the Multilateral Trade, International Arbitration and Disputes Unit (IADU) and the Environment, Space, Civil Aviation and Private International Law Unit (ESCAPILU).
So it’s confirmed that Tommy Thomas lied?
As a matter of fact, he issued a statement saying that Sitpah was a consultant in a firm that no longer belonged to him. However, a check by my team revealed that she was attached to a law firm named after him at the time he announced her appointment and is still attached to the said firm, based in Kuala Lumpur (see picture below).
Sitpah could still be working for Tommy Thomas
Does that not imply a conflict of interest?
It does not just imply it, it validates it.
Tommy Thomas is the Attorney-General of Malaysia. Not only is he the principal legal advisor to the GoM, he is the highest ranking public prosecutor in the country. His powers with regards to prosecution is contained in Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which, among others, dictates that “the Attorney-General shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence.”
In simpler terms, Tommy has the right to decide if or not a matter construed to be an offence can or should be brought to court. The article further states that he reserves the right to determine the courts in which proceedings shall be instituted. Yesterday, the Malaysian Admiralty Court granted an application by the GoM, 1MDB and two of its subsidiaries to sell Equanimity following proceedings in chambers before Justice Khadijah Idris.
Given that Tommy is the principal legal advisor to the GoM, it is likely that he sought Sitpah’s advice on the matter.
Was there an element of subversion?
There were multiple.
Tommy alleged that the AGC lacked a Specialist Shipping unit with the skill and expertise in shipping and corporate law. As we have seen, not only is that a lie, his Chambers has multiple sub-divisions specialised in various aspects of shipping and corporate law that could have dealt with the seizure of Equanimity. By appointing a legal counsel who once was (and could still be) under his payroll, he undermined the power and authority bestowed upon the International Affairs Division and threatened to misrepresent the GoM as principal legal advisor.
That’s not all.
Tommy also implied that the yacht belonged to Low Taek Jho aka Jho Low, who, according to him, performed very intricate and layered transactions through corporate deals designed to hide the true source of funds used to purchase it. What this means, is that the Attorney-General had prejudicially adjudged the yacht to have been purchased using money that Low had a hand in laundering. This, coupled with the GoM’s and 1MDB’s involvement in proceedings and Tommy’s 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.
Was Equanimity purchased using stolen 1MDB funds?
There is absolutely no proof of that.
Allegations pertaining the purchase of the yacht first surfaced in a 15th of June 2017 filing by the United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) with a US Court. According to a report, the DoJ alleged that the yacht may have been built and maintained using over US250 million worth of 1MDB funds spirited in four tranches to a Caledonian Bank account in the Cayman Islands. The allegation was triggered by the civil forfeitures complaints Dato’ Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Matthias Chang filed with the FBI and DoJ in 2015 using fabricated data stolen from PetroSaudi and documents leaked to them by Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
Has the US Court ruled on the matter?
The court did, however, reject an ex parte application by the yacht owner, Cayman (Equanimity) Ltd, to keep the boat in Indonesia pending a sale and ruled that the unit be moved to the US. Two weeks later, on the 17th of April 2018, a South Jakarta District Court ruled that the seizure of the luxury liner by Indonesian authorities was illegal. Then, some eleven days later, the DoJ filed a formal request for mutual legal assistance (MLA) with Indonesia to help the DoJ seize the yacht.
Thus, not only is the seizure of the yacht by the GoM contradictory to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s original intent of getting to the bottom of controversies surrounding 1MDB, the GoM’s move to bulldoze through the sale of the yacht makes no sense whatsoever, particularly since the DoJ has yet to conduct investigations into matters relating to the purchase of the yacht and has formally made requests for the boat to be handed over to the US.
Why is he determined as hell to sell the yacht?
It’s really difficult to predict what goes on in a sick freak’s mind. Mahathir has no proof whatsoever that the yacht was purchased using 1MDB money, a fact I made very clear on the 13th of August, 2018, and again, on the 18th of August 2018 (see footages below). As a matter of fact, a 17th of August 2018 statement by the DoJ proved that Mahathir lied about the US communicating with him and telling him that Equanimity belonged to Malaysia. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is indeed the greatest liar Malaysia has seen to date.
48 hour notice for Dr M to prove he didn’t lie
Live Part 2. DAP PERDANA MENTERI BUKAN TUN MAHATHIR.Moderator : Anina SaadudinPanel : Raggie JessyPanel : Ng Lum Yong16.8.2018.#nthmedia#nothingtohide
Posted by Nothing To Hide MEDIA on Thursday, August 16, 2018
“Dr M is the greatest Malaysian liar” – Raggie Jessy
Perhaps, by appointing Tommy Thomas as Attorney General and suberting proceedings by the Admiralty Court, he is turning the sale of Equanimity into a smokescreen to conceal his many blunders, the latest being his visit to China which bombed diplomatically. Perhaps also the sale is his way of telling Malaysians that everything he said about Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak is true, that both the former premier and Low conspired to botch Malaysia’s dealings with China.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the mission is to imply that his latest diplomatic failure was because Najib and Low messed things up. I mean, how else would one explain his determination to sell the yacht? According to him, the GoM needed to proceed with the sale as it cost Malaysia RM3 million per month to keep the boat on our shores. If indeed it costs that much, why not hand the yacht over to the US and allow the DoJ to get to the bottom of things?
Tell me, wouldn’t that make a helluva lot more sense?
Why have you yet to lodge a police report against Tommy?
Who told you I didn’t?
To be continued…