from Manjeet Singh Dhillon to Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah
12 October 1998
Re: PR lwn
Nallakaruppan a/l Solaimalai
KL High Court Criminal Trial No: 45-40-98
At the very outset let me apologize for writing this letter
in English. I would under normal circumstances have arranged for my staff
to translate it into Bahasa but there are matters that I am about to set
out that for the moment I feel are best left on a p&c basis. Hence
the need to keep the letter away from my staff. I have even taken the precaution
of hand-delivering this letter myself.
You will recollect that I wrote to you on 1 October 1998 on the above matter
citing the recent prosecution of Samsuri Welch Abdullah under the Arms
Act 1960 as a comparative basis for you to amend the charge against Nallakaruppan
from the Internal Security Act 1960 to one under the Arms Act 1960. I had
copied that letter to Dato Gani Patail. I had expected a response from
your office but instead, as in the case of my first letter dated 17 August
1998, I had a call from Dato Gani Patail on 2 October 1998 asking to see
me on a very urgent basis. Both Mr Balwant Singh Sidhu and I saw him at
3.20 p.m. on 2 October 1998. The date & time of his visit is recorded
in the police log book maintained outside Dato Gani's office on the 17th
floor of Bangunan Bank Rakyat.
I had gone to this meeting with the expectation that, on the basis of my
Ist October letter, there would be some discussion about possible sections
under the Arms Act 1960 with a view to an amendment of Nallakaruppan's
present ISA charge. To my absolute horror and disappointment Dato Gani
Patail used the meeting and the death sentence under Section 57 of the
ISA as a bargaining tool to gather evidence against Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He had with him the letter I had written to you and copied to him. He was
waving the letter about and kept on saying repeatedly, "I am not impressed"
and suggesting that
he would not be impressed with any plea to a charge under Arms Act but
instead wanted more. This 'more' and it came across very loud and clear
because Dato Gani laid it out in very clear and definite terms, was
1. That Nallakaruppan was now facing the death sentence,
2. That there were other charges also under the ISA that he could prefer
Nallakarrupan but that if they [AG's chambers?] hanged him once under the
present charge what need would there be to charge him for anything else.
3. That in exchange for a reduction of the present charge to one under
the Arms Act he wanted Nallakaruppan to co-operate with them and to give
information against Anwar Ibrahim, specifically on matters concerning several
married women. Dato Gani kept changing the number of women and finally
settled on five, three married and two unmarried.
4. That he would expect Nallakaruppan to testify against Anwar in respect
I was shocked that Dato Gani even had the gall to make such a suggestion
to me. He obviously does not know me. I do not approve of such extraction
of evidence against ANYONE, not even, or should I say least of all, a beggar
picked up off the streets. A man's life, or for that matter even his freedom,
is not a tool for prosecution agencies to use as a bargaining chip. No
jurisprudential system will condone such an act. It is blackmail and extortion
of the highest culpability and my greatest disappointment is that a once
independent agency that I worked with some 25 years ago and of which I
have such satisfying memories has descended to such levels in the creation
and collection of
evidence. To use the death threat as a means to the extortion of evidence
that is otherwise not there [why else make such a demand?] is unforgivable
and surely must in itself be a crime leave alone sin, of the greatest magnitude.
Whether his means justify the end that he seeks are matters that Dato Gani
will have to wrestle with within his own conscience.
I have agonized over this machinations of Dato Gani's for the last 10 days.
I have known you for close to 26 years. I cannot imagine you condoning
such an act. And so this third and final letter on this matter and my decision
to let you know what transpired on the afternoon of 2 October 1998. How
far into your Chambers the corruption has spread I cannot say but that
you will have to stop it goes without saying.
Nallakaruppan does not deserve the charge under the ISA bearing in mind
what I have set out above and what is tabulated below. The facts relating
to the 125 bullets have been set out in my earlier two letters. In my second
letter I mentioned the Samsuri Welch Abdullah charges. I have once researched
into the Arms Act prosecutions by your Department over the last few years
but because of the constraint of time have only been able to go back till
1993, a period well within your tenure as Attorney-General. I have chronologically
listed out below all the cases reported in the local papers that I have
been able to locate. All that is important at this juncture is to note
that even in matters of far
greater magnitude you have chosen the Arms Act as the vehicle for your
26 August 1998
2 pistols of 0.22 calibre & 651 rounds of ammo (95 12 bore, 128 rounds
of 0.357 calibre, 376 rounds of 9mm calibre, 34 rounds of 38/357 shotshells
and 18 rounds of 0.22 calibre
Act 1960 for the ammo
and 2 pistols.
14 July 1998 [Annexure B]
1 Norinco pistol and 9 rounds of ammo, unlicensed/no permit ever issued
Act 1960 for the ammo and Firearms (Increased
Penalties) Act 1971 for the pistol
Straits Times 20 July 1998 [Annexure C]
1 pistol, 1 revolver and 79 rounds of ammo - unlicensed/no permit ever
Act 1960 for the ammo and Firearms
(Increased Penalties) Act 1971 for the pistols
Straits Times 21 March 1998 [Annexure D]
1 revolver, 1 pistol, 34 rounds .38 ammo and 58 rounds 9mm ammo - all unlicensed/no
permits ever issued
Act 1960 for the ammo
and Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971 for the revolver and the pistol
Straits Times 5 February 1998 [Annexure E]
Sale of 5 shotguns to persons who had no permits to buy or possess such
Act 1960. What were the charges against persons who bought and thus possessed
firearms without license?
Straits Times 17 May 1996 [Annexure F]
Nomat & Donald Tuseh Possession of shotguns without license
Act 1960, section 8(a)
Straits Times 20 April 1996 [Annexure G]
firearms surrendered to police to have been improperly obtained
Straits Times 3 April 1996 [Annexure H]
Teo Soon Tiong
Sale of 23 pistols & 8 shotguns to Datuk Alfred Chin who had no permit
to buy them
Straits Times 11 December 1993 [Annexure I]
businessman with 124 rounds of .38 ammo
(section 8) being considered
18 April 1990 [Annexure J]
1 pistol and 6 rounds of ammo - licensed but license expired
Act 1960, section 8(a)
Samsuri Welch Abdullah had exceptionally
large quantities of ammunition that had no relevance to his pistols. Vincent
Teo's prosecution listed above ['E' and 'H'] assume even greater significance.
He was involved in gun smuggling and the illegal sale and disposal of about
240 guns together with Datuk Alfred Chin (Who was related to a senior police
officer), a fact highlighted by the director of the CID, Malaysia in a
press release dated 27 May 1996. That is by any stretch of the imagination
a colossal amount of firearms, enough to equip a small army. If such a
matter only warranted the Arms Act, then surely 125 bullets acquired under
a licence where the licence has expired cannot warrant the ISA.
This then makes the last case listed above very relevant to your deliberations.
This was an instance where the gun permit had expired and had no been renewed.
The charge that was framed against Datuk Johari under section 8(a) was
for failing to renew his permit between July 1983 end 27 March 1984 when
the gun was found in the Regent Hotel toilet.
In the circumstances I will be grateful if you could give this matter your
urgent and personal attention. On the available facts a charge under the
Arms Act 1960, as in Datuk Johari's case above, will be the most appropriate
and no extraneous matters should be taken into consideration in the framing
of the charge. In the event that your direction is favourable, the matter
could be called up at short notice, perhaps even before Deepavali, with
a view to a prompt and early resolution. This will free the Court of the
earlier trial dates fixed and save considerable time and expense all round.
Manjeet Singh Dhillon
to Hakim Rakyat