Sorry, Sri Ram, the Riza Aziz DNAA controversy isn’t over. Far from it!

Posted on May 17, 2020


IMG-20191109-WA0061 edThe controversy surrounding the decision to discharge film producer Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz over money laundering charges should end with the Attorney General’s statement, says the case’s lead prosecutor, reports The Star

“Once (the) AG has made a statement, that is the end of the matter”, Gopal Sri Ram  (GSR) is reported to have said.

Both Tommy and the current AG have issued statements on this matter.

Before we look at both statements, let us assume both these gentlemen are telling the truth.

What have they said?

The current AG, in a statement carried in Malaysiakini today, is reported to have issued a statement in relation to this issue. I want to summarise the relevant parts of the statement :

  1. He (the current AG) had been advised that Tommy, upon receiving the letter of representation from Riza’s lawyers, had minuted on that same letter, a note to GSR ( the minute is dated 19th November, 2019 ) seeking GSR’s views on the matter and further stating that Tommy was prepared to consider the representation
  2. He (the current AG) was advised that GSR, in consultation with then MACC chief Latheefa, had suggested to MACC that the proposal in the letter of representation be accepted. Lets call this the GSR Suggestion.
  3. He ( the current AG ) was advised that Tommy was, in principle, agreeable to the GSR Suggestion.

This next statement from the current AG says it all : “I shared the views of my predecessor as had been informed to me, and agreed to accept the offer…

What must be immediately obvious from this is that it was the current AG who accepted the offer of settlement.

Not Tommy.

Second, the current AG has no personal knowledge of any of the matters in 1-3 above.

He has been advised of this.

At this stage, I will ask who the current AG was advised by of these matters?

What has Tommy said on this matter?

I want to summarise the salient points Tommy raises in his press release dated yesterday.

  1. Tommy acknowledges receiving the letter of representation dated 18th November, 2019 from Riza’s lawyers and says he passed this on to GSR to consider the same and to then make his (GSR’s) recommendations to Tommy.
  2. Until his resignation on 28th February, 2020, Tommy says he had not received any advise from GSR on the matter of the proposal contained in the letter of representation, and hence he (Tommy) made no decision on the matters stated in the letter of representation.

Again, let us, for the moment, take it that both Tommy and the current AG are both telling the truth, in which case, these questions come to mind.

  1. Was a minute made on the letter by Tommy? What in fact does it state?
  2. Was there consultation between GSR and Latheefa? Was a consensus arrived between them? What was the rationale for the GSR Suggestion?
  3. Were the views of Tommy on this matter ever made known to the current AG?
  4. Who the current AG was advised by of these matters?

Sorry, Sri Ram, this matter is far from closed