YOURSAY | ‘‘Prepared to consider’ is not the same as to ‘agree in principle’ or otherwise.’
Kim Quek: Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan’s continued bungling in justifying the unjustifiable discharge of film producer Riza Aziz is shocking and unacceptable.
First, his misinterpretation of the word “consider” as to mean “agreed in principle” to shift the blame to former attorney-general (AG) Tommy Thomas for accepting Riza’s settlement proposal is laughable. Thomas had never agreed to the settlement.
Second, Takiyuddin has misused the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (Amla) to justify the discharge when he said the law provides for discontinuation of prosecution if the compound is paid. In this case, there was only a promise to pay but no payment has been received yet.
Third, there was no conceivable reason to accept Riza’s proposed payment which fell far short of the alleged stolen funds of US$248 million (RM1.2 billion).
Fourth, Takiyuddin tried to exonerate AG Idrus Harun by saying that he was merely following his predecessor Thomas’ decision. But Thomas made no such decision in the first place, and even if he did, Idrus must take full responsibility for the final decision which must be made by him as the current AG.
Malaysia Bharu: Takiyuddin does not seem to understand the language of corporate management.
When the boss scribbled to “Ram” the phrases “prepared to consider” and “I await your advice", it means exactly that. Thomas wanted lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram to work out the details and get back to the former for a decision.
Thomas' remark: "Paragraph 5.20 contains the terms of the proposed settlements" is also subject to “prepared to consider”. It is not a blanket approval of settlement terms.
Takiyuddin's claim that "Idrus decided to follow the stand of the former attorney-general" is misleading as Thomas did not take a stand on the settlement.
What is apparent is that Riza had been let off with a slap on the wrist and the culprits are trying to wriggle their way out by scapegoating Thomas. In fact, Thomas has given his comments denying his involvement in this fiasco more than once.
Coward: Thomas was just keeping the channel open and officially telling Sri Ram not to close the channel. He did not agree to let the defendant get a sweetheart deal or any deal at all. It was all subjected to negotiation.
The sweetheart deal is entirely this government’s doing. The more they try to lay blame on Thomas, presenting their "evidence", the more is shown that they are the ones who designed the deal.
Apanakdikato: To any person with a good command of English, the content of the letter from Thomas is self-explanatory and unambiguous. Thomas did not agree to anything, but he stated that he would consider or think about the representation in consultation with Sri Ram.
Probably Takiyuddin did not get an accurate translation. The crux of the matter is that Perikatan Nasional (PN) is now coming out with lame excuses to justify its highly controversial decisions to drop a number of serious corruption cases.
Gerard Lourdesamy: Indeed, “prepared to consider” the representation does not mean agreement. It was subject to the advice of Sri Ram. So, at most, it was conditional upon Sri Ram's advice which the then AG could have agreed to accept or reject.
Why didn't the backdoor minister disclose the advice that Sri Ram and then MACC head Latheefa Koya gave to Idrus?
If such grave offences can be compounded under the Amla Act by paying a fine and returning some of the proceeds of the crime to the government, it would serve as no deterrent in future.
I steal RM1 and I am only required to return 30 sen. Does it sound like the taxpayer is going to be laughing all the way to the bank?
The more plausible explanation for this unfair settlement would be pressure from a certain race-based party to preserve the backdoor government that has a majority of two in Parliament.
Boeyks: Ignorance of the English language cannot be taken as an excuse for a criminal case settlement where the people - that is, victims of the fraud – are short-changed.
Similarly, ignorance of numbers cannot be taken as the excuse where the Goldman Sachs settlement was agreed at US$2.5 billion when the previous government had wanted US$7.5 billion for the full exposure of the country to the fraudulent loans taken by the BN government with the help of Goldman.
In both cases, if these people were not able to understand the situation or the language, they should have consulted Parliament or local experts for assistance.
Anonymous112233: Why is the former AG's position of "prepared to consider" being raised as if the present AG is bound by it?
Even if Thomas had considered it, which he did not, is it justified to accept the terms of settlement?
In short, is the former AG deemed as more learned and authoritative than the present AG in this case?
BlueMarlin8519: Does our honourable law minister even understand the meaning of "I am prepared to consider this representation"?
If that is taken to mean "yes, we should go ahead with it", we should all be seriously concerned with the misrepresentations that are going on daily in our courts of law.
YellowRusa5552: If you find a sweet young thing and you want to marry her, and the girl replied that she is willing to consider your proposal, it doesn't automatically mean she agrees to marry you.
To tell the world that she has agreed to marry you is forcing her hand and pre-empting her denial. You can apply this to what Takiyuddin has done with Thomas’ handwritten letter.
As to Riza, for sure Thomas will feel aggrieved because he never intended to let Riza off the hook before any further consideration.
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