The Ghost Of Bala Haunts the Opposition
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN
When Santamil Selvi began her press conference at the offices of lawyer Datuk Ramesh Rao in the presence of NGO advisor Zakwan Hafiz, little did the tarted up widow of Balasubramaniam (Bala) PI ‘desperate’ mother of his children or lawyer Ramesh Rao foresee what they were up against.
This was not the usual battery of opposition friendly media at the ready with their scripted and leading questions. There were no questions that would inevitably lead to allegations of government corruption and murder.
Little did the Datuk Ramesh Rao, ‘lawyer extraordinaire’ expect an independent foreign investigative reporter of the caliber of Linton Besser to front up to his ‘press conference’. Little did he expect Besser to directly question Santamil Selvi on her sudden and dramatic retraction of a series of unsubstantiated, allegations of murder against Datin Rosmah Mansour. And as they have become so accustomed to, neither Santamil Selvi nor her handler Datuk Ramesh Rao come prepared for a real probing set of questions about the sudden retraction by Santamil Selvi.
After a few direct questions about her contradictory statements on the apology to the prime minister’s wife and her law suit against the prime minister (which Datuk Ramesh Rao appeared oblivious to) Santamil Selvi became agitated, angry, threw a tantrum before the assembled media and stumbled on her responses. She was quickly joined by an equally panicky Ramesh Rao who is seen and heard screaming then denouncing the “white man” Linton Besser in the media scrum. A handler then took her out of the room to the relative safety of a media free vacuum away from the truth.
LAWYERS POLITICS AND MONEY- THE MALAYSIAN BAR AND ITS POLITICS OF SELECTIVE PROSECUTION
This is not the first time a Malaysian lawyer has come to grief at a press conference where the volatility of their politics, their legal and ethical obligations to clients are placed at risk igniting as it did at the Santamil Selvi Ramesh Rao press conference.
Ramesh Rao’s ‘exhibition’ was set up for personal and political gain. His personal and political gain, but at the expense of his client Santamil Selvi. However the risky venture of his exploded in his incompetent hands taking much of Santamil Selvi’s reputation with it.
The name Amrick Singh Sidhu springs to mind whenever the issue of destruction of lawyer client privilege is up for discussion. Sidhu is not alone it seems. Neither is Ramesh Rao. Sivarasah Rasiah, Manjit Singh Dhillon, Maria Chin Abdullah and other anti-government politically driven lawyers habitually engage in this sort of high profile risky public exposure of their clients and their own matters. It is called self aggrandizement, breach of confidentiality sometimes and breach of lawyer client privilege most other times.
THE MALAYSIAN BAR AND ITS DOUBLE STANDARDS
The Malaysian Bar licking its wounds fresh from its humiliation at the hands of the courts in the Shafee Abdullah matter, has said nothing about this incident. Selvi has opened up a can of worms with the Malaysian Bar. She has much more to say. But will she get the opportunity to do so?
In an earlier series of articles on the late PI Balasubramaniam (Bala) over the Altantuya affair, beginning with his conceptually flawed first statutory declaration (SD), we criticized the lawyer behind the draft of that first SD by the late Bala. As well we criticized that SD for the flaws it contained in the language that was used in it. It was not Bala’s language and it was of no evidentiary value other than to be used as a tool by the opposition to defame the Prime Minister of Malaysia and his wife.
The first Bala SD was conceptually flawed we say because it contained not fact but second and third hand hearsay, fiction, inadmissible statements and matters no reasonable lawyer ought to have participated in putting to paper in the form of an affidavit which Amrick Singh Sidhu fatally did.
Santamil Selvi has more to say according to a source very close to her. And speak up she will. And the wallets in PKR circles and at the Malaysian Bar are beginning to open up in haste to silence Bala’s widow. And Deepak Jaikishnan will likewise come forward with his take on events we hear. But in the distance and in the shadows a conspiratorial silence emerges from the quarters of the PKR where Wan Aziza and her brood reside.
RAMESH IN A ROW-CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO VICES
We as a blog were heavily criticized for writing on the subject of Bala’s first SD and his handler’s Amrick Singh Sidhu and Sidhu’s mates Sivarasah Rasiah and Manjit Singh Dhillon.
The criticism against us came hard and fast from lawyers and opposition bloggers alike as it often does, accusing us of being in the ‘pay of your BN masters’ the Barisan Nasional, UMNO or both.
Santamil Selvi made it clear who her paymasters are. The opposition clearly plays the duplicitous role of incorruptible clean alternative government with props like Bala and his wife, Deepak Jaikishnan and a few others on their payroll.
Wan Aziza cannot now remain mute. She must now come clean and speak up lest someone else speaks up for her tainted family business. The Malaysian Bar and Bersih must also come forward and make those disclosures about their conspiracies to bring down government, who their handlers are and reveal the source of their dirty money. Or others will.
Ramesh Rao found himself knotted and could not get out of the mess of being caught out having paid Santamil Selvi an amount of money for a cover up. The money was clearly not paid for her ‘children’s education’, but for what appears to be her role as an opposition prop. And she is not happy.
Ramesh Rao’s uncontrollable temper and his outbursts at the press conference showed up the real side of opposition lawyers like Ramesh Rao and the calibre of the Malaysian Bar’s best.
On display was the professionalism and the etiquette and quality of the Malaysian Bar’s select few for which an innocent lawyer, Shafee Abdullah was pilloried recently. Ramesh Rao (and by proxy) the Malaysian Bar’s conduct was on display for the world to see. The Malaysian Bar remains silent.
BALA’S GHOST RISING
It beggars belief that no one amongst that vast body of ‘highly competent and incorruptible lawyers’ of the Malaysian Bar saw anything inappropriate, improper and defective in Bala’s first affidavit.
We say and continue to maintain that the first Bala SD was drawn up by Amrick Singh Sidhu a lawyer who acted for Bala and who we say was the sentient mind behind that first SD. It was not Bala’s SD.
The Malaysian Bar has done nothing to discipline Amrick Singh Sidhu for his conduct in drawing that first SD then parading its contents at a press conference via Malaysia Kini for the world, sans his client, to see.
Amrick Singh Sidhu’s conduct in that matter warranted an investigation by the Malaysian Bar into his conduct. So too did Sivarasah Rasiah’s and Manjit Singh Dhillon’s roles in that farce warrant an investigation. The Malaysian Bar instead went for Shafee Abdullah.
We go further and suggest that lawyers Sivarasah Rasiah MP, Manjit Singh Dhillon, Ambiga Srinivasan, Edmond Bon, Ragunath Kesevan, Lim Chee Wee, Steven Thiru (the current president of the Malaysian Bar Council) and Maria Chin Abdullah amongst others supporters of the opposition, knew of the provenance of Bala’s first SD. They knew of its contents, how it came to into being and approved of its publication inspite of the falsehoods it contained.
.( see our story on “Identifying Bala’s handlers”).
DEALING WITH THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA- WHERE LIES THE HEART OF THE CONSPIRACY
Santamil Selvi did not foresee a forensic journalist at the press conference. Neither did Datuk Ramesh Rao. Both were caught by surprise and acted like a deer caught in the spotlight. They froze, panicked then ran for cover. In their wake they left a number of critical unanswered questions all of which points to not a conspiracy by the Prime Minister to kill anyone, but a conspiracy by a group of lawyers from within the Malaysian Bar to bring down the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
It was clear at the press conference that Ramesh Rao was embarrassed and behind the attempt to purge Santamil Selvi of her contempt and liability towards both the Prime Minister and his wife Datin Rosmah.
It is also clear that Datuk Ramesh Rao paid Santamil Selvi a sum of money not for ‘Santamil Selvi’s children’s education’ whatever that means but to buy her silence on behalf of the opposition. Its called ‘hush money’.
In doing what he admits to having done,Ramesh Rao has crossed the line and become personally involved in his client’s business and in her matter. Professional misconduct.
Ramesh it appears has further committed that cardinal sin the Ambigas and Amrick Singhs of this world continue to commit in Malaysia in breach of their client’s interests. They waive or destroy lawyer client privilege without their client’s authority or consent, in pursuit of their own personal interests.
DESTROYING LAWYER CLIENT PRIVILEGE PART III
Amrick’s case involving Bala and Charles Morais was a text book example of how destruction of lawyer client privilege can come about through negligence and unwarranted unauthorised publication of confidential privileged material.
Amrick conducted press briefings without his client’s knowledge or consent and he did it on more than one occasion destroying lawyer client privilege in the process. His conduct amounted to one of the most grevious of offences a practicing lawyer could commit. Yet Amrick has not been disciplined or called to account otherwise by the Malaysian Bar Council.
On a more recent occasion and on a subject equally controversial as that of Bala’s allegations against the Prime Minister, Amrick Singh went a step further by repeating the same offence of destroying lawyer client privilege with the matter of the brother of the late Kevin Morais, Charles Suresh Morais.
Amrick is yet to produce that thumb drive in which his client’s “evidence” against the Prime Minister and the Attorney General is said to reside in the Morais matter. The Malaysian Bar Council remains mute in the face of another obscene breach of the Legal Professional Act and their internal rules.