LoyarBurokker Amer Hamzah Arshad (accompanied by his counsel Ranjit Singh and Edmund Bon) held a press conference to rebut the scurrilous and baseless attack against him on 31 October 2012 by MP Wee Choo Keong. This is his statement today distributed to the press. In response to questions, he further demanded that Wee and the media retract the allegations and the stories thereon against him and SUARAM, or that Wee repeats the same outside Parliament and for the press to report them.
It has just come to my attention that several newspapers have published reports on 1 November 2012 making reference to a letter (hereinafter referred to as “the said letter”) which was highlighted by a Member of Parliament, Wee Choo Keong, vis-à-vis Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd’s legal status. Berita Harian, in particular, made specific reference to my name (which was incorrectly spelt) and also erroneously claimed that I am practising in the law firm of Zain & Co. In fact, I left Zain & Co with effect from 1 April 2011.
With reference to the statements by Wee Choo Keong, the newspapers have reported, among others, that:
i) I had through the said letter deliberately misled and deceived William Bourdon into believing that SUARAM is a registered entity.
ii) There was a “grand design” or a collusion or a conspiracy between myself and Suara Insiatif Sdn Bhd/Suara Rakyat Malaysia/SUARAM (hereinafter referred to as “SUARAM”) to discredit or destabilise or overthrow the government.
I wish to state that the allegations made by Wee Choo Keong and the insinuations by the newspapers are false and baseless.
SUARAM has made various public statements about its legal status. I am shocked that Wee Choo Keong, the newspapers and the broadcast media (TV3 and NTV7 in particular) that reported Wee Choo Keong’s statements have ignored SUARAM’s position on the matter. I am also appalled that the newspapers and the broadcast media run purportedly by professional media organisations did not contact me to obtain my side of the story before publishing and/or airing these scurrilous allegations against me.
For the record SUARAM is a company duly registered and incorporated under the Malaysian Companies Act 1965 under the name Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, and has been carrying out activities, among others, aimed at the protection and realisation of human rights in Malaysia under the acronym ‘SUARAM’ or ‘Suara Rakyat Malaysia’.
SUARAM is a personal client of mine and the said letter was written and signed under my name as the personal legal adviser of SUARAM to state the background and registration history of SUARAM under the Companies Act. If Wee Choo Keong had made any effort to verify with the partners of Zain & Co, no doubt it would have been clear to him that my former partners had no knowledge whatsoever of the contents of the letter and the allegations of “grand design” on their part are utterly ridiculous and false. Nevertheless, all the relevant facts have been stated in the said letter substantiated with documentary evidence. I stand by the contents of the said letter.
Further, the said letter did not make any reference to Government personnel, institutions or activities. The allegations of a “grand design” or a collusion or a conspiracy is a figment of Wee Choo Keong’s “grand imagination” and I challenge Wee Choo Keong to repeat his slanderous and defamatory accusations outside Parliament, and for the newspapers and the broadcast media to report it.
I categorically state that the allegations made by Wee Choo Keong which were carried in part or in full by the press and the broadcast media amount to a vicious and unjustified attack upon myself and SUARAM.
I view the said allegations as slander, defamation and/or a malicious falsehood specifically designed to assassinate my character and reputation as a lawyer in Malaysia to uphold justice and act without fear and favour on behalf of my personal client.
I reiterate my challenge to Wee Choo Keong to repeat his slanderous and defamatory accusations outside Parliament, and for the newspapers to report it.
I reserve all my rights in the meantime.
Dated this 2nd day of November 2012
Amer Hamzah Arshad