In 1MDB, only prominent lawyers matter

Malaysian Official 1
Malaysian Official 1, cartoon by Lunar – Pic from the Internet

Here’s the thing, some quarters in Malaysia are fond to trot out “prominent” lawyers when it comes to defending the status quo, the state, and well, Malaysian Official 1.

Last week, there was a hastily-withdrawn article purportedly from the Reuters news agency that said US President Barrack Obama (note the misspelling) had directed the US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch to meet “prominent legal brain” Muhammad Shafee Abdullah over evidence linking former Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s children to vast amounts of unexplained monies.

That report came from Malaysia Outlook, allegedly a news portal from some citizens group.

It does not stop there. State news agency Bernama had its chairman, former newsman Azman Ujang, write a report quoting Brisbane-based Malaysian-born “prominent litigation lawyer” Quintin Rozario denouncing the US Department of Justice suit as unfair to Najib Razak.

Prominent litigation lawyer? Really? Does Malaysia need to seek someone who worked all his life abroad to offer an opinion when there is already a “prominent legal brain” in the house, plus the number of lawyers who readily defend the government at the drop of a hat.

After all, Rozario is listed in his Linkedin account only being a principal lawyer the past nine years apart from managing some pretty decent rock bands.

Was once part of the management team to Ozzie Osbourne and his band Black Sabbath, Yes, Gentle Giant, the Groundhogs, Actors Mark Lester and Jack Wilde and David Hemmings in Worldwide Artistes, later the Hemdale Corporation London (1970-1973).

How cool is that? Bernama does not say much about his background but hung on to his every word when he spoke against the DoJ action.

“Loretta Lynch’s approach to 1MDB follows a long line of authority of the US using strong arm tactics on smaller states. It does this by appropriating to itself powers to dilute Malaysia’s sovereignty and to enforce against it ‘legal obligations’ usurping that power from the US and Malaysian courts and other arms of their goverment,” he added.

Rozario’s arguments reinforced Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s remark on Thursday that due process needed to be respected and that those named in the DoJ action should have a chance to defend themselves, including in court.

Well, that would be a day awaited by many, for sure.


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