Thursday, 30 July 2009

Teoh Beng Hock - The Inquest

The Inquest into Teoh Beng Hock's death started today. It was a rush job by the Government. All parties were not ready; except the AG's side which continue to claim that they were ready despite the Police Investigation not 100% finished yet.

My firm, Richard Wee Lopez was appointed by the Bar Council to represent the Malaysian Bar to hold watching brief in the matter. A big team is involved in the exercise, 15 lawyers in total, all from other Legal Firms. For the Opening day, Counsels representing the Bar were, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Cheow Wee, Rajpal Singh, Salim Bashir and myself.

For the family; Karpal, Gobind & Ramkarpal plus SN Nair were part of the legal team.

Selangor State Government were represented too, since TBH was working for them at the time of his untimely death. Imtiaz, Ashok Kandiah, Sreekant Pillai & Thomas Phillip represents the Selangor State Govt.

The AG engaged a member of the Bar, former DPP, Tan Hock Chuan to represent the Government.

The Court Room was tight; and we all had to squeeze into a tiny spot after the AG's team took almost have the table, leaving the balance to be shared among the 3 Legal Teams. 

In the end, we were allowed to hold watching brief, with 'Interested Party' Status; which means we can take more active part in the Inquest by asking questions, putting forward submissions etc etc.

Also, the AG's team revealed that 2 DNA were found on TBH's body. One is TBH's DNA; the other an unknown man. The Chemist team is conducting a thorough DNA test over 100 staff of MACC. I think if they find the match, the Inquest will probably stop as a Police Investigation would have to start. Under the Criminal Procedure Code; if the Inquest discover criminal culpability causing the death of a person in custody; like in TBH's case, the Inquest may be called to a halt pending the Police investigation into that culpability.

Also, the AG (who only prepared 2 sets of Documents to be handed under S51A, despite there being 3 teams) handed over the 2 sets of Documents to the Family team and the Selangor team. We at the BC team had to share the Document with Gobind, counsel for the Family. We had a quick look at the Document, and what I saw (photos, statements etc) does not lead me to believe that TBH jumped. I am not sure of the conclusion yet, but I am more certain now (after that quick glance of those Documents) that TBH did not jump or commit suicide. 

Let the Inquest go on and lets see what happens. I am just honoured that we are allowed the chance to represent the BC here. We have been dealing a few Legal Aid matters every now and then; but this is by far our biggest pro-bono case.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Yasmin Ahmad

I blogged about "Talentime" a few months ago. It is a movie by Yasmin Ahmad. And very sadly, she has departed on the 25th July 2009 at 1145pm. 

In tribute, I found these videos of the song 'Pergi' & 'Angel', from Talentime. Both moving and lovely songs. 

Thank you Yasmin, for all that good  memories on Television and Movies.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Complaints against Telecommunication Companies

Under the Communication & Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA 1998), a consumer may lodge a complaint against a telecommunication service provider at the Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Commission (MCMC). 

Section 188 (1) (a) & (b) of CMA 1998 states:-

S 188 (1) :-
Any network facilities provider, network service provider, application service provider or content application service provider shall:-

a. Deal reasonably with consumers; and,

b. Adequately address consumer complaints. 

S 188 (2) makes it punishable if a network facilities provider, network service provider, applications service provider or content applications service provider who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

In a recent case of Telekom Malaysia v Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna (2007) 1 MLJ 626, the High Court held that consumers of telecommunication products and services which falls within S188(1) above cannot refer their complains to the Consumer Tribunal but instead to MCMC.

Basically most services and goods related to telecommunication will fall within the ambit of S188(1). The proviso has service providers, application service providers etc in the list. 

So, if you have a complaint against an Internet Company, for example, lodge it with MCMC and not Consumer Tribunal. 

Postscript (26th July 2009):-

We wish to point out that the Consumer Protection Act was recently amended to allow complaints to the Consumer Tribunal; for matter related to Telecommunications, effectively over turning the High Court Case above. Kindly take note. 

Friday, 17 July 2009

Teoh Beng Hock

Before 16th July 2009, most Malaysian would not have know this chap, but his tragic death on that date has now made him the symbol of a political struggle between BN and Pakatan.

BN's continued harassment of Pakatan via Agencies like PDRM and MACC; is an open secret. BN is so blatant about it that suspicious matters like VK Lingam's wheeling & dealing in POJ; and Khir Toyo's Disney trip & Bali House are never investigated by MACC, and even if investigated, gets the usual NFA reaction; but a mere suspicion of a Cow-case, warrant investigation by MACC. 

Now a poor chap, merely doing his job is found dead at MACC building at Shah Alam. Of course, one must not pre-judge MACC and immediately blame them for Teoh's death; but MACC still stand responsible to the people of Malaysia to explain the investigation and methods of investigation they used when interrogating Teoh for almost 10 hours on 15th July 2009. 

How he is found sprawled on the roof of another shorter part of the MACC building in Shah Alam will remain a mystery. Of course, Nazri has already made silly remakrs like 'let police investigate', & 'dont make assumption'; BUT at the same time can subtly say 'of Why Teoh jump, I dont know'. Come on lah Minister - how can you even assume he jumped? And what more after telling Malaysian not to pre-judge, you go make that kind of statement. 

At the end of the day, MACC and BN can say what they want to either cover up the matter or try to explain it away; but the bottom line is - One Man has died. And whether MACC likes it or not, Teohs' unfortunate demise will always be linked with MACC.

My deepest condolence to the family and fiancee of Teoh Beng Hock.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Michael Jackson

It is odd that many people made fun of MJ when he was alive, and now suddenly we are listening to his songs, eating KFC (after Magic Johnson's comments at MJ's memorial) & talking about him.

He was a superb entertainer. I liked his songs, though I always felt he was a little eccentric in the way he dressed and his penchant for plastic surgery.

Oh well, we should remember him for his songs and videos. Thank you MJ, may you rest in peace.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Everton Signs 2 Players

EPL 2009/10 will kick off in about a month's time. Everton has started pre-season at Scotland. 

Will Everton sustain the top 5 place? Possible. Can Everton break into top 4? Tough but we are capable.

You know your club is doing above average when the bantering against your club gets nastier and louder. It is getting common for me hear from friends (particularly from the Clubs who are finished higher then Everton) to "kutuk" & belittle Everton. It is fun, and I enjoy the bantering, though some of these fans are a little irritating, particularly the Fans of the Club, using our former Stadium. 

Recently, Everton announced the signing of 2 new players. A 17 year old German Defender, apparently with bright prospect; and Jo, the Brazilian from Man City. Jo joins Everton on loan for a season, whilst the German Defender, Mustafi is a free transfer (subject to Everton compensating his former club Hamburg, a nominal sum for the youth training Mustafi received at Hamburg).

Everton also signed a 16 year old player from Leeds United, Garbett. He will be playing in Everton's youth squad, and I think Everton has to pay a similar compensation to that of Mustafi's transfer.

Hope we sign 2-3 more quality players.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.


Sunday, 5 July 2009

Malaysian Football = lousy, Malaysian Politics = Best!

I watched clips of some local football games recently. What to do? EPL is on the break, so any football game on TV, also can-lah; but the local football league is best not to watch. Bloody lousy and poor. I only watched because my beloved Perak team was shown.

Our politics on the other hand, is just wonderful. All kinds of news, and more often than not, about Pakatan Rakyat.

Pakatan Rakyat consist of 3 parties, DAP, PAS & Keadilan.

DAP and PAS have never worked together before 2008. Keadilan has been around since 1998, and their leader, Anwar Ibrahim manage to convince these 2 Political Giants to work together to bring down a common enemy, Barisan Nasional. Keadilan too has not worked with these 2 together, before 2008. There have been instances where PAS and Keadilan worked on some projects, but never the 3 of them together.

So, finally after almost 2 years since their coalition in 2007, some arguments and disagreement is reported in the BN-owned main stream papers. The same news are also picked up by Internet based news portal. Arguments in Kedah. Some land issue in Penang. 

My view on this, so what? 

There have been hundreds of internal squabble in BN, but we hardly hear about it, cause the main stream papers are owned by BN, hence the lack of news on that. And since news portal like Kini came about, we do occasionally read about conflicts within BN like the PPP issue, Gerakan demanding ISA be abolished. But its never amplified and often a minor news, hardly repeated.

But the moment a tiny ant cross the Pakatan cupcake, the whole news agency picks it up, harp on it and repeats it over and over again. 

Of course there will be infighting among the Pakatan members. They never worked together before 2007? They are still trying to get use to each other, and all 3 parties are still trying to find their footing.

The quality of their representatives can sometimes be suspect. Why? Cause when Pakatan were recruiting, how many intellectuals stepped up? How many Malaysians with the better integrity took up the challenge to go up against BN before 2008? Be honest, how many of us thought Pakatan will win so many seats in 2008? Pakatan before 2008 suffered from lack of believe by Malaysians, many of whom are capable and intelligent enough to lead and do the right thing. In the end, we have people like the 3 'jumpers' in Perak. The former Deputy CM in Penang. All with suspect integrity. 

And when we have people with better intellect and better integrity, then we will see less infighting, and probably better delivery by Pakatan. 

Why do you think BN parties stick together? Money!! The party leaders will appoint their relevant party members in all the organisations/companies owned/controlled by BN. From the Local Authorities, to companies like NADI & Petronas, BN will put their people in these places, pay them well and shut them up. 

Money is the gel of BN, while Hope is the cause of Pakatan.

I am however concerned about this re-curring PAS/UMNO talk. If PAS really go ahead and talk to UMNO, then they are hypocrites. The same people attacking UMNO and now they want to work hand in hand with UMNO, and what more, in the name of religion. Come-on lah. We all can see that UMNO is baiting PAS on this. While I do see PAS as a religious based party, but UMNO?? If they are so religious, then explains the millions of ringgit they have taken for corruption.  UMNO is merely using religion to try work with PAS. 

But in the end, our Politics are just superb. Always something to read, and when you meet a stranger in town, I bet you, the 2 of you would be able to strike a conversation about our Politics, well at least better talk that; than about our football.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

It happened again

It happened again. KL Bar's Young Lawyers Committee's Charity Nite 2009; again blew away all records set by the earlier editions.

First - More than 500 tickets sold just hours before the event. Last year, more than 400 tickets sold.

Second - More than 750 tickets eventually sold. Last Year, the final sale - more than 600 sold.

Third - Collection for this year, more than RM40,000. 
In 2008 donation was RM29,430. 
In 2007 it was RM35,000. 
In 2006, YLC collected around RM20,000 and;
the first edition in 2005 saw a collection of RM7,000.

It was an awesome night, and I think most people enjoyed themselves. Kudos to the YLC. 


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Donate to Rumah Warga Emas

The 5th Charity Nite 2009 will be held tomorrow, 3rd July 2009; at Modesto's Capital Square. This year's edition is in support of the Rumah Warga Emas, an Old Folks Home. Previous Charity Nites supported Kidney Dialyses centres and also Homes for Orphans.

Rumah Warga Emas is a home that provides free accommodation to old folks of all races and religions. All the residents are single, above 60 years old, either with no relatives or with relatives who are far away. The oldest is close to 80. The residents are housed in ten low cost flats rented from City Hall. They need about RM80,000.00 a year to maintain the home. 
To drive the donations in, 8 Talents Shows will be up tomorrow. Very much like "America Got Talent", the Talents (all lawyers) will be putting up the best show to get you to donate. Every Talent will be given Donation Box. If you like the Talent, donate money into their Box. The Talent who collected the highest amount of money will win. All monies go to Rumah Warga Emas.

A pretty simple but fun way to collect donations.

From what I understand there will be a Cha-Cha Dance performance by a partner of a large firm in KL, and a few ladies will be doing a Pole Dance act too. Now, that would be cool.

The Party Starts at 7pm all the way to midnite and beyond. Tickets are only at RM30, which entitles you to 2 free drinks and some light food.

So, hope to see you at the Charity Nite 2009, tomorrow!