28 March 2010
24 March 2010
Oleh : Fahri Azzat
MARCH 24 — A consideration of the devastating consequences a corrupt lawyer can bring upon his client by betraying them and the importance of trust.
When we talk about corruption in our legal system the focus is usually on the judges.
This is natural because a corrupt judge is not simply the most prominent actor in the corrupt act but also the most obvious.
Injustice almost always ensures the appearance of stupidity, intellectual dishonesty, aside from the killing of one’s conscience on the judge’s part. Corruption is a certainty when those elements are present and paired with a judge known to possess some semblance of sense if not intelligence.
On balance, there is a strong likelihood of corruption when after reading the judgment or hearing of the decision, you remark to yourself something like, “So stupid ah that judge?! So obvious the wording/circumstances also can get wrong ah?”
Corrupt judges usually possess enough intelligence to allow cunning to operate. Often that is their limit, but let’s get one thing straight — they may be intellectually dishonest but they are not stupid. Their corruption makes them appear stupid and inconsistent.
That’s the general rule. There are of course exceptions with the occasional outright stupidity and utter incompetence.
But judges are not the sole actors of corruption. They usually have companions to facilitate corruption. They are the court clerks. Family members. Drivers. Secretaries. Friends. Nominee lackeys. Last but not least – lawyers.
Lawyers equal if not exceed the scope and damage (emotional, psychological, financial, trust) that can be caused by their acts of corruption as compared to a judge. They are closer to the client, receive and manage highly sensitive and confidential information and finances for their client, and interact with them more closely and intimately. For these reasons, their corrupt acts are potentially greater in scope and in terms of damage because it is inconspicuous and discovered only when the damage becomes irreversible. The betrayal of trust will be more acute and severely felt by the client because they are legally entitled to trust their lawyers. There are numerous laws and rules that are in force to create, maintain and preserve that relationship of trust.
A frequent and common complaint I hear and experience these days are of lawyers stealing clients’ money. It has gotten so bad that some land offices no longer accept legal firm cheques despite being drawn on the client’s account.
What is the significance of this? Quite simply, a cheque drawn from the client’s account should never bounce because that money was given to the law firm for a specific purpose. So when the time comes for that money to be paid, there should be no trouble at all for the legal firm to do so. That it does, strongly suggests that the lawyers in that firm used the part of those client monies.
One of my distant relatives had his life put in a tailspin when his own lawyer (who was a cousin to his wife and so they thought they were safe) ran off with the balance of the purchase price that was supposed to be paid over to the purchaser’s solicitors. That balance was obtained from a government loan. As a result of that the vendor wanted to terminate the agreement because they did not receive the balance but at the same time my relative had to start paying the loan because the money was disbursed already. This is the immense amount of inconvenience and hardship a corrupt and unethical lawyer can cause.
I want to share one of my own small experience of such an opportunity. It was early in my practise when I argued a client’s appeal in the High Court after their claim was dismissed in the Magistrate’s Court. After the hearing, my client’s appeal was dismissed with costs. After the usual after-hearing drinks with the Respondent’s counsel, we walked back together the car park at the Dataran Merdeka (near where the courts were located in early 2000-ish).
Once we reached the car park, I shook his hand and prepared take my leave. He held my hand firmly indicating he wanted to discuss something. He asked me whether we could settle the costs awarded to his client in lieu of taxation. I had a figure of about RM 3,000.00 at most in mind since it wasn’t a very complicated appeal, I was shut up within 8 minutes of beginning my submissions and the sum involved was barely RM 15,000.00. I offered him about RM 2,000.00.
He replied that the figure was too low. Then, despite us being alone, he lowered his voice and said he had a proposal for me. I, in earnest, listened. As I did, I felt there was something terribly wrong with his proposal, which went along the lines of: Why don’t I advise my client to settle the costs of the appeal at RM 15,000.00 and he would reserve for me RM 5,000.00 of that for my trouble? “Win-win!” He was very nice and polite about it.
That is probably one reason why I hate hearing that word – “win-win” - these days (the other being that too many of our local politicians love to use this word). He obviously left my client out of that phrase. I thanked him for his generous offer and told him that it was very unlikely and told him to serve us with his bill of costs. He never did.
These are some of the things from that encounter I wish to emphasize on where corruption is concerned for the lawyer, especially to those starting out:
(i) Corruption can potentially happen any time, anywhere and when you least expect it, and there will be no ominous soundtrack to warn you of it happening.
(ii) It could come from your own legal brethren. There are lawyers and then there are “lawyers”. I conducted the case for about three years before he sprang that on me.
(iii) It need not be some million dollar or even hundreds of thousands of ringgit. It is corruption even if you take RM 10.00 to betray your client?s interest or instructions.
(iv) Corruption need not even be in the shape of money. It could be gifts, sex, etc.
(v) You may when confronted with it be uncertain whether it actually is. If you feel any strangeness or are uncomfortable with the request or offer, decline it or postpone it. Do not respond or react to it immediately. If gentle pressure is put to you to accept it immediately, decline it.
The ethical standard for lawyers must remain high if not developed higher for the simple reason that our clients trust us, rely on us and are entitled to do so implicitly. That is why they trust us with highly confidential information (that if used maliciously could destroy them) and trust us with important documents or large sums of money. The effect of a lawyer’s betrayal is therefore potentially widespread and devastating. But not simply for the betraying legal firm or lawyer, but for the Bar as a whole.
Each lawyer not only represents his legal firm or the client but every other lawyer in the conduct of his duties. So when a lawyer betrays his client it raises the specter of that possibility occurring amongst the other clients. A client who has been betrayed by his lawyer will less likely trust other lawyers in the future. They will tell their children lawyers are scum and the law is a sham. They will discourage their children from the profession of law.
In the end, the legal profession as a whole loses.
It is for this reason I am tempted to think that the strength and integrity of our Bar is only as strong as our worse lawyers. It is not enough that we are honest, trustworthy and honourable. As lawyers we have a duty to ensure that our fellow legal brethren uphold to those standards as well, especially the worse.
After all, the worse apples tend to be the most prominent and so ruin it for the rest of the barrel despite them being at the bottom. So as lawyers we either take steps to remove or rehabilitate those bad apples, or have little choice but to bask in ignominy and put up with the stink of being in the barrel with them.
(Petikan dari loyarburok.com)
* This is the personal opinion of the writer. Juham Pusat does not endorse the view unless specified.
KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — All peninsular states have no right to oil royalty payments for petroleum found in waters beyond three nautical miles of their shores, a lawyer has claimed today.
“The legislative and constitutional framework all point to the fact that the states in West Malaysia — Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang — never possess or have any right whatsoever over the sea and submerged land beyond the territorial waters and the continental shelf adjacent to those states,” said Datuk Cecil Abraham.
He was speaking at the forum, “Oil Royalty: A Constitutional Right?” organised by the Bar Council to discuss the constitutional aspect of oil royalty payments to petroleum-producing states.
Abraham, who represented Petronas in the Terengganu government’s suit for oil royalty, also pointed out that the Kelantan’s case was similar to Terengganu’s.
“Now, it is not in dispute that Petronas has never won or saved petroleum in the state of Kelantan, which means inland. The issue really here [is] Kelantan’s desire to be paid royalty for oil and gas won and saved in the oil fields which are about 140km of the Kelantan coast,” he told the forum.
Kelantan is demanding the federal government pay a five per cent royalty for oil extracted off its shores.
But Putrajaya has maintained that the East Coast state is not entitled to the payment as the oil and gas was being extracted from waters beyond the three-nautical mile limit, prescribed as territorial waters under Malaysia’s Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) No. 7, 1969.
The federal government has instead promised to pay goodwill payment or “wang ehsan” through its agencies in the state.
Terengganu also experienced a similar fate in 2000, when the federal government ordered the oil royalty payment to the state halted after PAS took over the state administration a year earlier.
Abraham, however, did not explain the basis for oil royalty payment made to Terengganu prior to PAS taking over the government.
He pointed out the agreement with Petronas for cash payment in exchange for petroleum rights was also signed by the federal government.
“Just as the federal government cannot be expected to be paid cash payments for petroleum rights given to Petronas by a state, similarly the state government cannot expect to be paid cash payments for petroleum rights belonging to and surrendered by the federal government,” said Abraham.
“So the issue is what property right belongs to the federal government and what property right belongs to the state,” he added.
“If the petroleum belongs to the federation, the states have no right to the said petroleum and, accordingly, cannot expect to be paid cash payments for the transfer of the rights of such petroleum to Petronas,” said Abraham.
He cited provisions in the Petroleum Mining Act 1966 and the Continental Shelf Act 1966 to show that petroleum resources discovered beyond the three-nautical miles belong to the federal government.
“It is therefore quite clear that the Petroleum Mining Act recognises the states’ jurisdiction over its waters extended only to its territorial waters,” explained Abraham.
He added that Kelantan’s demand was also not backed by the Geneva Convention of Continental Shelf 1958, which established the rights of a sovereign state over the continental shelf surrounding it.
“Kelantan had not and could not ratify the Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf 1958 prior to joining the Federation of Malaya in 1957, because it was never a sovereign state at that point in time. It may have been a sovereign state before but that is in dispute because, until 1909, it was a vassal state of Thailand,” said Abraham.
“The states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang are not sovereign states as a matter of public international law, whether now or before it joined the Federation of Malaya; whether under the 1948 agreement or under the 1957 agreement,” he added.
In the case of Sabah and Sarawak, according to Abraham, the two states are protected by legislation and agreements prior to the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
“Sabah and Sarawak did not join the Federation of Malaya in 1957, they joined the Federation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963,” he said.
Abraham cited the colonial government’s Orders in Council 1954 “which gives rights to the continental shelf to these two states unlike the states in West Malaysia.”
Lawyer Tommy Thomas, who is advising the Kelantan and Terengganu governments in their fight for oil royalty, said territorial waters was not an issue.
“Making references to ten other acts is totally irrelevant, the Petroleum Development Act never once mention the doctrine of territorial waters,” said Thomas, citing the act which led to the formation of Petronas.
“If territorial waters meant so much, why [was it] from June 1978 to September 2000 Petronas paid RM7 billion to Terengganu?” he asked.
Thomas said the decision to stop the royalty payment was purely politically motivated.
On the position of Sabah and Sarawak, Thomas pointed out that it was not the colonial laws that ensured payments to the two states but their agreements with oil companies.
“Their right to royalty was derived from [their] agreement with Shell,” he said.
Thomas also explained that, after 1974, the Petroleum Development Act became the basis for payments to all oil-producing states.
“Sarawak’s basis is the PDA, Petronas’ obligation is the PDA,” he said.
16 March 2010
3 March 2010
Ini sebagai satu penulisan ringkas untuk menjawab tohmohan dan dakyah yang disebarkan kepada orang Islam di negara ini, kononnya Umno pembela agama dan melayu. Dua isu ini yang di jadikan modal untuk memburukkan Pas dan Pakatan Rakyat, kononnya jika Umno kalah dalam pilihanraya umum akan datang bermakna Islam dan Melayu akan hancur. Daripada pengumpulan hujah-hujah yang ditemui jelas bahawa yang mengkhianat Islam dan Melayu ialah Umno, bukan Pas dan Pakatan Rakyat.
Pengkhianatan Umno Terhadap melayu
• Umno menghalau orang Melayu • Umno gagal menjaga pelaburan
Giat MARA hanya mendapat RM16 juta bagi tahun 2010 berbanding RM28 juta bagi 2009 (kurang RM 12 juta). Bagi MRSM dan Kolej Sains MARA pula, peruntukan hanya tinggal RM115 juta untuk tahun 2010 berbanding RM254 juta pada tahun 2009 (kurang RM 139 juta).
FAKTA Umno Khianat Tanah Orang Melayu
• Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat hanya memberi tanah 102,000 lot kampung tersusun (kebanyakan Melayu) melibatkan 7,000 ekar. Manakala 47,000 lot kampung baru (kebanyakan China) dan sebilangan kecil kampung adat (orang asli). Jumlah yang diberi kepada orang China adalah 3,000 ekar sahaja. Itupun tanah yang sudah diduduki orang China lebih daripada 70 tahun lalu.
• Umno tidak meluluskan tanah yang dipohon oleh Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Latif (Pondok Pak Teh Kroh Grik Perak) untuk pondoknya sejak 1996 sebanyak 45 ekar, tetapi telah diluluskan oleh Exco PR pada 2008.
• 22,000 ekar tanah kerajaan di gadai kepada gergasi KLK (KL Kepong) di Lekir, Manjung.
• 5,000 ekar di Bruas 1500 ekar kepada MCA di Bandar Baru, Kampar untuk Universiti Tuanku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
• 200 ekar tapak kilang simen Perak Hanjoong (sekarang YTL kerana di gadai oleh pemimpin Umno kepada YTL! ) Ini tanah rizab Melayu di Padang Rengas, Kuala Kangsar dekat Highway!
• Pemimpin Umno menjual 10% saham Sime Darby kepada pelabur negara China .
• Dasar Umno putera, bukan bumiputera menyebabkan orang Melayu ketinggalan terkebelakang seperti yang dinyatakan oleh bekas Timbalan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar Dan Wilayah Dato’ Zainal Osman China 0.6%, India 2.9%, Melayu 8.3%.
• Diskriminasi terhadap kerajaan yang sebangsa dan seagama di Kelantan sebagai satu contoh yang ketara.
• Merompak royalti minyak di Terengganu dan Kelantan sedangkan ini negeri majoriti Melayu.
• Persempadanan semula kawasan pilihanraya 2003 dengan tidak menambah kawasan kerusi di Kelantan, Terengganu dan Kedah.
Bumiputera sehingga mengucup daripada RM52 bilion pada tahun 1984 kepada RM2 bilion pada tahun 2005
• Syarikat BERNAS (Syarikat Beras Negara) dijual kepada syarikat Hong Kong Wan Tak Co. Ltd sebanyak 31.36%.
• Melesap wang PPRT sebanyak RM32 bilion, menterinya Datuk Anuar Musa daripada Umno.
• Umno khianat dalam membela pendidikan orang Melayu kerana mengajar Metematik dan Sains dalam bahasa Inggeris pada tahun 2003.
• Kerajaan pimpinan Umno telah mengurangkan peruntukan kepada MARA RM 374,537 juta sahaja bagi tahun 2010 berbanding RM883,785 juta pada 2009 (kurang RM 509,248 juta), untuk IKM peruntukan bagi tahun 2010 hanya RM143 juta berbanding RM403 juta bagi tahun 2009 (kurang RM 260 juta)
.• 9 ribu hektar tanah Rezab Melayu di Selangor telah ditukar status kepada bukan rezab Melayu. Hanya 1/3 sahaja (lebih kurang 3 ribu hektar sahaja yang diganti.
• Pada tahun 1990, seramai 80 orang penduduk di Pantai Chenang Langkawi yang duduk di atas tanah rezab Melayu dihalau untuk membina Pelangi Beach Resort.
• Pada tahun 1990, sebanyak 930 hektar tanah Rezab Melayu Kampung Mambau Negeri Sembilan telah diambil untuk projek Seremban 2.
• 26,000 hektar tanah rezab Melayu di Tanjung Langsat-Tanjung Pia Johor diambil untuk New Town Ship. Projek yang diusahakan oleh Kuok Brother Collabratioan UEM.
• 300 ekar tanah Rezab Melayu di Pulau Redang Terengganu diserah kepada Vicent Tan untuk projek perlancongan.
• Pada tahun 1993, 1000 ekar tanah Rezab Melayu di Kerpan Kedah (tapak sawah yang subur) untuk projek kolam udang.
• Tanah seluas 182.11 hektar di Batu 15 Jalan Kulai, Mukim Ulu Sungai Johor di sini. Tanah yang sudah dipohon sejak 20 tahun oleh orang tempatan telah diberi kepada syarikat bukan bumiputera 13 Jun 2008 (Utusan Malaysia)
• Akibat kejahilan pemimpin Umno menyebabkan Pulau Batu Putih pun terlepas yang dapat hanya pulau tenggelam timbul (Batuan Tengah dan Tubir Selatan).
• Seluas 273 ekar tanah yang diduduki oleh 160 keluarga telah dihalau keluar kerana pembangunan mega di Kampung Chu Badak Sentul Kuala Lumpur.
• Tanah rezab Melayu seluas 94 ekar yang diteroka sejak 72 tahun telah terkorban untuk projek Pencala Link dekat Damansara Kuala Lumpur.
• Tanah rezab Melayu dari 3juta hektar pada tahun 1957 kepada 1.7 juta hektar (1995). Bermakna 44% tanah rezab Melayu yang ditinggal oleh penjajah dengan susut kadar 1.2% setahun.
• Tanah seluas 2500 ekar ladang kelapa sawit di Jalong Tinggi Sungai Siput Perak telah dijual kepada China Singapura.
UMNO PENDERHAKA KEPADA RAJA-RAJA MELAYU
• Pengasas Umno Dato’ Onn Jaafar dibuang daripada istana Johor pada tahun 1920 dan membawa diri ke Singapura kerana kritik Sultan atas isu harta.
• Tahun 1974 Tan Sri Gahzali Jawi (bapa Dato’ Seri Tajul Rosli) yang tidak mahu meletak jawatan Menteri besar Perak, walaupun perjanjian asal dia hanya hendak pegang dua tahun sahaja.
• Media pro Umno mengkritik sultan secara terbuka ketika Dato’ Rahim Bakar bekas Menteri Besar Pahang yang berselisih dengan Sultan Pahang.
• Umno membelasah Raja-Raja Melayu pada tahun 1983 kerana menolak cadangan supaya kuasa Yang DiPertuan Agong mengenai pengistiharan dharurat dikurangkan.
• Pada tahun 1991 dalam Persidangan Agung Umno, Sultan Kelantan dihentam secara terbuka kerana menyebabkan Umno kalah di Kelantan.
• Dalam Persidangan Agung Umno juga, perwakilan Umno meminta harta raja disiasat. Berita ini dilaporkan oleh Utusan Malaysia muka surat depan.
• Satu demontrasi dan hantar memorandum kepada Sultan Kelantan telah dibuat oleh pemimpin Umno Kelantan .
Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang membolehkan raja di bawa ke mahkamah. Apabila Raja- Raja Melayu minta tangguh pindaan ini, maka media mengkritik secara terbuka salah laku raja.
• Beberapa siri rapat umum haram Umno di Alor Setar, Bagan Datoh, Seremban, Batu Pahat dan Melaka untuk menunjuk sokongan pada Dr Mahathir dan mengecam raja-raja Melayu.
• Menabal Tengku Ibrahim Inderaputera untuk mengganti Sutan Ismail Putera 29hb April 1993 di Ketereh Kelantan oleh Dato’ Anwar Musa .
• Kenyataan biadab Shahidan Kasim bekas MB Perlis mengatakan “Sultan Kelantan sekarang tidak layak menduduki takhta dia ada bukti” (BH 11hb Jun 1993.)
• Dato’ Mohd Taib kata Nizar derhaka, Dia lupakah yang dia bawa lari Ku Yah (puteri Sultan Selangor kahwin lari sampai Sultan murka). Apakah ini bukan derhaka?.
• 23 daripada 24 ADUN Terengganu ugut boikot angkat sumpah Dato’ Mohd Said selepas pilihanraya 2008
• Penyokong Umno pula mengatakan sultan binatang. Kenapa polis tidak tangkap mereka yang demo dan hina Sultan. Pada Feb 2009.
• Shahidan Kasim boikot perlantikan Dr Isa Sabu sebagai MB Perlis, bukankah ini derhaka namanya.
• Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik meminta supaya amalan panggilan ‘patik’ yang digunakan sewaktu berkomunikasi dengan sultan dihentikan, memadai dengan hanya menyatakan ‘saya tuanku’. BH 3/2/1993.
• Dato’ Zahid Hamidi ketika menjadi Ketua Pemuda Umno mencabar supaya Sultan Kelantan Ismail Petra turun takhta. (BH 11/2/93)