Messrs. Bon & Associates representing MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim filed a complaint with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) for wrongful dismissal from PKR as a party, which would eventually see the party formed for the struggle of Anwar Ibrahim’s interests be deregistered.
Renown lawyer New Sin Yew of the legal firm representing Khalid told some mainstream media journos at a Hari Raya Open House in Kuala Lumpur earlier tonight.
Khalid felt that he was wronged in the decision of the sacking made by the PKR Leadership Council and breached its own party constitution. The process of the sacking via improper inception of the Disciplinary Board had breached the party constitution, which was felt flawed and illegal.
Hence, the illegal breach of the party’s own constitution should brought upon the implication of the political organisation of being deregistered by the ROS.
“Khalid is firm and consistent right from Day One about his sacking from PKR is against the principle of natural process of justice and it was flawed and unlawful”, said New based on the principle of Nullum crimen sine lege.
Many PKR supporters attacked pro-Opposition lawyer Bon for defying party interests and provided Khalid legal representation, in the political impasse which was created by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to ascend as MB Selangor, as a staging platform for his morbid desire to conquer Putrajaya.
When the Court of Appeal in January 2014 decided against the Kuala Lumpur High Court of acquitting him from Sodomy II in January two years ago, he created the ‘Kajang Move’ and pitted his wife and PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail instead for the top job in the most wealthiest and populous state.
However, the argument was rebutted by many legal professionals.
The Star story:
Published: Friday August 15, 2014 MYT 1:17:00 PM
Updated: Friday August 15, 2014 MYT 7:13:14 PM
Selangor MB crisis: ‘Bon has done no wrong in defending Khalid’
BY TAN YI LIANG
PETALING JAYA: Lawyers have come out on blogs and social media to defend Edmund Bon representing embattled Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in his defamation suit against The Malaysian Insider.
According to them, Bon has not done anything wrong by acting for Khalid.
According to a post by lawyer Khabir Dhillon on the legal affairs blog LoyarBurok on Thursday, those who said that Bon sold out his principles by taking up Khalid’s defamation brief against online portal The Malaysian Insider were “silly”.
“An essential ingredient of defamation is that the statement complained of must be false. If the statement complained of is true, there is no defamation. Edmund as a lawyer does not know whether the statement complained of is true or false. Only his client, Khalid, knows,” said Khabir.
Khabir, in his post, added that Bon would only be guilty of a crime or disciplinary wrong if he issued a letter of demand against The Malaysian Insider if he knew the instructions he was receiving from his client, Khalid, were false.
He said that Bon was legally obliged to take the brief if there was no conflict of interest, practices in the area of defamation law, and that Khalid agrees to pay a reasonable price for Bon’s work.
“We cannot expect Bon to simply dismiss his client’s instructions as false and refuse to take the brief. That would actually be a disciplinary wrong and Bon would be subject to censure,” said Khabir.
He questioned what would have happened if lawyers were allowed to take and refuse cases at their own whims and fancies, reminding them of the cab-rank rule.
“It would be like living in a country where the taxi drivers can choose whether to take their customers or not! That’s so third-world-nation, dudes. He’s just following the Common Law as it truly is and acting with common sense,” said Khabir.
Similar views were shared by criminal defence lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad who said in a post on his Facebook page, Thursday, that he felt it was improper for anyone to question Khalid’s lawyers on their motives for defending the Selangor Mentri Besar.
“We must understand that a lawyer has a duty to represent anyone, even the most despicable person, provided there is no conflict of interest. It is the lawyer’s role to present the client’s perspective zealously within the bounds of law and ethics,” said Amer.
He described a lawyer as being akin to a surgeon in an operating room whose only goal is to save the patient, whether that patient is a good person or a bad person, a saint or a criminal, requiring a lawyer to subordinate all other interests – ideological, career, personal – to the legitimate interest of the client.
“In respect of the the Selangor Mentri Besar crisis, Khalid is entitled to file any legal action against any individual, institution and/or organisation whom he feels had infringed on his rights. Of course, one may question his motives or moves for doing so. One may even disagree with him,” said Amer.
Bon first came into the light when PKR Disciplinary Board Chairman Dato’ Dr Tan Kee Kwong issued Khalid a showcase letter and the latter responded. Then PKR Central Leadership met on 9 August 2014 and unanimously sacked Khalid from PKR.
As a response, Khalid send a letter via Bon’s firm to protest against the sacking and complained the action to be unjust and unlawful.
If PKR Leacership Council erred in the sacking of Khalid as a member, then this complaint by the PKR’s star choice to lead the Selangor State Government after the unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows gained control in five state governments after the 12GE would open the party to be investigated.