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  • Straight Talk From Down Under With Lawyer Quintin Rozario
  • 24/08/2016 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Richard ( 6 articles in 2016 )
Quintin Rozario
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Part 1
(Malaysia Outlook) – Malaysian-born Australian lawyer Quintin Rozario made headlines when he took a swipe at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to seize assets allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as legally flawed.

Rozario pointedly noted that by making public statements on Malaysian individuals allegedly to have laundered illicit funds into the US, its Attorney-General Loretta Lynch had herself committed “excesses and breaches of natural justice”.

The Brisbane-based lawyer insisted that Lynch overstepped the mark and her authority by concluding that an offence or offences had been committed by Malaysia or its agents.

“She went further by implying that they were guilty of the offence by making assertions without a scintilla of proof or a valid court decision that could back her assertions.

“In order for that to occur, the Malaysian defendants ought to first to have been heard. They were not,” said the 65-year-old legal counsel.

Rozario’s outspoken views however, were not taken lightly by some readers.

Some went berserk in their comments to ridicule Rozario after a blog operated by a certain British writer uploaded his article – ‘US DOJ action on 1MDB legally flawed, says senior Aussie lawyer’.

An over enthusiastic commentator was slapped with a notice of legal action for going overboard with his nasty remarks against Rozario.

Fearing serious legal repercussion, King Leong, a Malaysian from Penang working in a senior position in a bank in Australia, instantly retracted his comments and apologised to Rozario, which was published under title – ‘SR reader apologises to senior Aussie lawyer’.

The senior lawyer from down under has recently ‘returned home’ to Malaysia for a private business.

Malaysia Outlook managed to engage Rozario for an exclusive interview in between his busy schedules meeting his clients.

His answers in this part one of two series shall clear doubts lingering in our readers mind.

He provided answers to add more clarity on his assessment on the DOJ purported suit that certainly caught national, if not international, attention.

Excerpts of the interview as below:

MO: Has the US DOJ filed the civil suit against the four, who were supposed to have ‘stolen’ monies from 1MDB?

QR: Not to my knowledge. It appears from the comments by the DOJ and from various sources close to the four that no steps have been taken by the DOJ to either file criminal complaints or civil suits against any of them. A civil suit will not be the appropriate course of action by the DOJ considering the allegations against the 4 amount to criminal conduct. If they were to file a civil suit, it would appear as a lawyer Noorharjan suggested “a strange way to proceed” when after all the DOJ suggested they had committed a criminal offence. If the DOJ had the evidence they suggested they have then, they ought to proceed on the basis that requires of the DOJ the higher standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) that the lower threshold set for civil standard of proof.

Part 2
Below here is second and final part of MO’s exclusive interview with Malaysian-born Australian lawyer Quintin Rozario.

In his first part, Rozario talked about the DOJ suit against four individuals, who had supposedly “stolen” monies from the country’s sovereign wealth fund – 1Malaysia Development Fund (1MDB).

In this segment, the Brisbane-based lawyer airs his views on abuse of democratic space provided in the social media and how the Malaysia government should exert control over it.

He also touches on Bersih, the so-called ‘free and fair election’ watchdog, and its alleged links to foreign funders with a mission to topple a democratically elected federal government.

Excerpts of the interview as below:

MO: Do you think Malaysians were abusing the democratic space provided in social media?

QR: It is not only Malaysians who abuse the space given to them in social media. This is an international problem that has its roots in the unbridled liberal democracies of the west. Whatever one thinks of Lee Kuan Yew, one cannot ignore his very effective attitude to defamation. Sue till it hurts.

MO: Do you think the Malaysian government has been too liberal in allowing many unsavoury and nasty remarks by social media users?

QR: Sadly the Malaysian government reflects the attitudes of its majority constituents, the Malays. Their patience is legendary. But go too far and not even social media will save those irresponsible users of social media space from the wrath of an angry provoked section of the population pushed against their limits. The current generation of young Malaysians has little or no memories of May 13 and what it is that provoked that violent backlash.

It made my flesh crawl when I saw a video shot of a group of Chinese youth at the last Bersih rally symbolically with a broom in hand sweeping the Malays (an effigy of the Prime Minister Najib Razak) in a repeat of a gesture not too dissimilar to that which the Chinese used to spark May 13 in 1969. To that I say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

MO: Do you think the Malaysian government should tighten up the law and enforce it strictly to stem the abuse of social media?

QR: The Malaysian government in the situation that prevails in Malaysia today, has an obligation not a discretion, to tighten a number of laws. This includes the laws of incitement, racial vilification, the use of public space and the media to advance causes that are detrimental to peace and good order. There are constitutional imperatives and obligations on us all in this regard. However it is up to government to enforce these obligations and laws or they become redundant and ineffective from absence of enforcement over time.

It was a grave mistake on the part of the Malaysian government to abolish the ISA. Detention without trial is a part of law and order in the UK, most European countries, the US and Australia. Malaysia cannot wait till radicalised Christians, Muslims or any other of the diverse community decides to take their political and criminal activities outsides of the confines of the law. Laws have to also have a preventative element to it.

In any event it is still possible for the police and for government to order and to detain individuals without trial for extended periods of time.

As for social media, almost all western countries, India and China practice censorship and media control on a grand scale. Their justification for their actions in this regard may vary but the end result and objectives are the same. Even Israel complained to Face Book about the detrimental effects of its ‘free for all’ style of control.


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