Chris Leong, Past President, Bar Council of Malaysia, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum, Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Malaysia, Arthur Moses SC, President, Law Council of Australia, Elizabeth Espinosa, President, Law Society of New South Wales, Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah, Chief Judge of The High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, and Andrew Goledzinowski AM, Australian High Commissioner in Malaysia at the High Commissioner's residence in Kuala Lumppur.Moses was invited to give an address at the Australian High Commission in January 2019
To mark the opening of the Australian Legal Year the Australian High Commission puts on a lecture by prominent members of the Australian legal system to which senior members of Malaysia's legal system are invited.
In March 2018 the lecture titled "The Rule of Law – What We Share and Must Defend" was delivered by Mdm Justice Michelle Gordon of the High Court, Australia's highest court.
The 2019 lecture was delivered by the President of the Law Council Of Australia, Arthur Moses SC. Delivered at the High Commissioner's residence the speech included this memorable line:
it has been 30 years since the 1988 Judicial Crisis, which saw the Lord President of the Supreme Court of Malaysia, Tun Salleh Abas, dismissed for “judicial misbehaviour”. His crime – speaking out publicly in defence of the judiciary. The crisis saw two other Supreme Court Judges also removed from the bench.
Two decades on, in 2008, an Eminent Persons Panel convened on the initiative of the Malaysian Bar found all three had been improperly removed from office, and that Prime Minister Mahathir’s involvement in the crisis had been "unmistakably a direct unabashed attack on the rule of law with intent to subdue, if not subvert, the independence of the judiciary"
As this writer pointed out, Mr Moses appeared to have missed more recent history when the Attorney General at the time, Abu Talib Othman went on record to clarify that it was he, under orders from the then King, who set in motion the process for the removal of the Chief Justice Salleh Abbas.As previously explained by this writer:
(Moses') direct attack on Mahathir is intriguing, given that he has been recently re-elected prime minister (despite it seems the disapproval of Mr Moses, the Australian Government, and the Australian legal fraternity), and given that over the the past 31 years much has been said by the key players in that incident, including the formerAttorney General Abu Talib Othman who in January 2018 is reported to have said:
It is important to recall that Talib Othman made these public statements in January 2018 when almost everyone believed that then PM Najib Razak would be re-elected, despite Mahathir's determined (and eventually successful) challenge to Najib and his party's control of the Malaysian Government. Malay politics dictate that punishment must follow any show of support for the opposition against the ruling chieftain, and Talib would have understood that.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General of NSW Mark Speakman, and the Chairman of the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board, Tom Bathusrt ( who is also Chief Justice NSW) have refused to explain their finding that Mahathir funded this writer in a project that involved ABC Four Corners airing a false story about former PM Najib Razak's role in the 1MDB theft.
In fact, senior members of the Australian judiciary including the Chief Justice Of NSW seem to have formed the opinion that Najib Razak had been defamed and was justified in blocking access to stories, including those written by this writer, about Najib and the 1MDB theft.
And then there is the matter of the College Of Law Sydney, very much part of the NSW legal establishment but was until last year determined to break into the Malaysian market.
The College went as far as to abuse the name of the Kitingan family to further its business interests in Malaysia but all that seems to have come to nothing ,and under mysterious circumstances (see story below).
The College and its CEO Neville Carter have insisted that "community standards" excuse them from answering questions from this writer about their teaching standards, funding, and claims of having changed legal practise in Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 – The Malaysian Bar Council launched its first education venture, a LLM in Malaysian Legal Practise (LLM), last year in collaboration with the College Of Law Australia.
The LLM does not seem to have the approval of Malaysia’s Legal Professional Qualifying Board (LPQB) but the website for the course, which is hosted in Australia, prominently displays the Bar Council crest.
The crest has not been used before to promote a course of study, and queries put to Bar Council President Fareed Gafoor about the use of the crest have been acknowledged but remain unanswered.
NMT has however sighted an email from Fareed dated Friday, May 24, 2019 with regards the LLM and the use of the crest where he states:
We can’t remain silent on this.
Abdul Fareed Bin Abdul Gafoor
Sent from my iPad
It is understood that “Rajen” refers to Rajen Devaraj, Chief Executive Officer of the Bar Council Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur.
The Bar has remained silent for nearly 2 months since.
Key person suddenly retired during extensive query
The College of Law used to be represented in Malaysia by its Director, Peter Tritt. Tritt have been queried extensively about the LLM and about the College’s business in Malaysia but has refused to provide answers. Tritt has been based in Kuala Lumpur since 2017 but announced on Friday that he had “retired” from the College on 30 June 2019.
It is understood that Tritt has forwarded queries sent him to his head office in Sydney and hence it appears that Tritt is under orders from his Chief Executive, Neville Carter, to remain silent.
Questionable advertising claims?
In advertising on the College’s website Carter has claimed that he had established a Professional Legal Training course for Malaysian Law students seeking admission to practise in Malaysia. There seems to be no evidence of such a course, or of any national level training course for the existing Certificate of Legal Practise.
Carter has also claimed to have produced the “inaugural” Handbook in Legal Practise for Malaysia, in the late 80s. A search of the main law libraries in Malaysia directed by the Chief Registrar, Federal Court Malaysia, has not found any such handbook.
He has also claimed to have, during that time to have identified and addressed “gaps” in Malaysian legal practise, but not even those in practice during that period and since have ever heard of him. Nor are senior practitioners aware of “gaps” that needed that to be addressed by external consultants.
As CEO of the College Carter has ultimate responsibility for the College’s Malaysian operation headed by Tritt and variously named the “College Of Law Asia Pacific” and the “College Of Law Asia”. A search by NMT has not revealed any entities registered under those names in Malaysia or in Australia, not even a foreign entities registered to conduct business in Malaysia.
Meanwhile the College, in collaboration with the Bar Council continues to sell its LLM and other courses in Malaysia, deriving a fee income from Malaysian courses.