Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Conflict of interest

I have to admit I'm confused by the court's take on the very important issue of 'conflict of interest'. I'm not suggesting for one moment that they have been wrong and I'm right in my own understanding of what the term means.

In its simplest example there would be a conflict of interest if my late mum (assuming she's still alive) were to write me a testimony (referee's report) which says what a jolly good bloke I am, wakakaka.

Now, how can my mum be objective in her assessment of her son's character? Though I am really a good bloke, wakakaka, nonetheless, wouldn't that a conflict of interest? Mind you, I wouldn't dare ask her to write my testimony when she's mad at me for not doing what she wanted me to, which would have been nearly always, wakakaka.

kaytee as a kid, wakakaka

According to the Law Society of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, "you have a conflict of interest when you are serving or attempting to serve two or more interests which aren’t compatible."

Thus my late mum (if alive) couldn't serve as an impartial referee of my character while she was my mum because she would have a conflict of interest.

The Law Society of NSW gave a few examples where there could be conflict of interest, as follows:

- you act for both parties in a matter: such as for two or more parties to a conveyancing or commercial transaction; for two parties on the same side of the record in litigation; or for insured and insurer;

- you act against a former client having previously acted for that party in a related matter (in which you may also have acted for your present client) (although the description of this as a conflict of interest has been said to be inaccurate when essentially it should be described as involving only the duty of confidentiality owed to a former client);

- your own interest is involved, for example where you act in a transaction in which you or a company in which you or an associate is involved or has an interest; or where for some other reason your own interests or an associate’s may conflict with your client’s, such as where you may be a material witness in your client’s matter.

Let me give you another example where (let's say, wakakaka) I'm the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) in a case in which a foreign sweetheart is on trial for spying on our top secret recipe for Kajang satay.

Korean actress Han Ji Hye
illustrated here for pleasant viewing only and your admiration
and NOT related at all to the following example of a court case 

The judge checks me out for conflict of interest after the defending counsel complained about my connections with the accused - bloody dobber.

Yg Arif: Kaytee, did you date the accused before?

Kaytee: Er ... yang amat arif ... it was so long ago.

Yg Arif: How long - be precise!

Kaytee: Er ... night before last, yang amat kind-hearted arif.

Yg Arif: Don't bodek me, you! And would you then consider your relationship with the accused to represent a conflict of interest?

Kaytee: Er ... yang most most ganteng amat arif I dated her only on a professional search for more clues to prosecute her kau kau. She's accused of spying on our Kajang satay recipe and I am interested in ... er ... no no no not her ... eating Kajang satay. It's not a conflict of interest but a coincidence of interest.


Thus I am most confused by what has been reported today in the Malay Mail Online's Court disqualifies Anwar’s lawyer in Utusan case over PKR ties that N. Surendran, the PKR MP for Padang Serai, won't be allowed to represent Anwar Ibrahim in the latter’s suit against Utusan Malaysia, because of their 'shared links in the political party'.

The way I see it, whether Surendran will be acting as a PKR member or as Anwar's lawyer, he most definitely will want to win for his client. So I'm confused by the supposed 'conflict of interest'.

Similarly, but on the other side of the coin, Anwar Ibrahim had attempted (though unsuccessfully) to disqualify Muhammad Shafee Abdullah from acting as DPP in the prosecution's appeal against Anwar's acquittal over sodomy charge.

According to The Star Online, Anwar had contended that Shafee was not a fit and proper person to lead the prosecution as he would not be independent, partial and fair without a personal motive.

I thought that the motive and duty of the DPP was to gain a conviction.

I guess there's much about law that I don't understand, especially in the issue of conflict of interest.

Okay then, we might as well take another look at gorgeous Han Ji Hye, yum.

Oh, just one more, okay? wakakaka


  1. In the course of duty before I execute an important task, I will ask myself: Is there a conflicting responsibility that renders my work as lacking impartiality? If the answer is no, then I will proceed because there is no element of conflict of interest.

    But on that gorgeous yummy Han Ji Hye, I have a problem here. It is not a conflict of interest but a personal internal conflict. I am torn between being a believer in Islam and a believer in an open society. In Islam you can only see it once, not twice or more than that, which would have been nearly always. (I borrow your words KT, wakakaka.)

    I think I should write a book on moral dilemma. I shall not forget to mention KT in my acknowledgement. Wakakaka.

    - hasan

  2. I will not comment on the merits of either cases involving Anwar , but more on the law.

    "motive and duty of the DPP was to gain a conviction."

    Yes...and No...its not as simple as that.
    The legal system gives the DPP wide discretion to proceed or not proceed with a prosecution, to choose to submit or not submit items of evidence to a trial.

    In the history of the British and other Commonwealth legal systems, there have been documented cases where prosecutors either accidentally or deliberately, ignored or suppressed important evidence suggesting the crime was committed by somebody else other than the accused. Sufficient to cast serious doubt on the case if the total evidence was properly considered.

    Any law officer suppressing vital evidence amounts to obstruction of justice.

    Sometimes, the defense finds out about it later, and this helped overturned unfair convictions. Sometimes it only surfaced many years later, a miscarriage of justice having occurred.

    That is why, even though the Prosecution's job is to win the case (obviously) , it is important the Officer is an independent and disinterested party in the case. If he has a personal vested interest in the case, he must hand the Prosecution task over to someone else.

    Just to add, there is a widely accepted principle that a person has a right to legal representation of his choice.
    Unless the said lawyer has been barred or suspended from practicing, or declines to represent the person , there are very few grounds for a Court to disallow a particular lawyer from representing the client.

  3. Was it not mentioned (in Malaysiakini, if I am not mistaken) that the disqualification of Surendran is because he will be called as witness for the defendant Utusan? If so, then will Surendran turn out to be a hostile witness?

    1. that's not the reason provided by the judge. Besides, in many cases, witnesses have been hostile

  4. Conflict of Interest ?
    Sh*t !
    Malaysia's Crony-cracy Political-Economic system is one huge conflict of interest, so much so the system doesn't even recognise "Conflict of Interest" as a wrong anymore.

    Its just The Malaysian Way. Or as Ibrahim Katak says, if you don't like it, you are welcome to take the next MAS flight to Tong San or Ozland.

    a. The Government awards highway concessions without open tender to a company whose principal shareholders are close friends and relatives close to ruling party officials. The terms of the concession are national secrets protected by OSA.
    This isn't some 25 year-old issue. The Kiddex concession was awarded last year..


    b. The government buys 2 submarines from France, in process pays RM 500 Million in unspecified and unaccountable "consultancy services" to a company whose principal shareholder is a close advisor of the then Defence Minister, now the Prime Minister.
    ROC filings indicate the company paid out over RM 300 Million in Dividends to its shareholders. In other words, its just a shell company, that does very little real business, just takes in Revenue and pays out cash to its shareholders.


    The advisor's "girlfriend" is later found blown up into a thousand pieces by military-grade C-4 explosives .
    One gigantic conflict of interest involved , but no one is accountable.
    Everything is Kosher, Halal....

    c. The National Airline's (much in the global news lately) entire catering services in Malaysia are contracted to a joint-venture company whose principal shareholder is the (at the time) Prime Minister's close relative.


    The National Airline is losing Billions of Ringgit, but this contract is Untouchable.

    1. Rocket,
      Talking about sensationalising......wait till kaytee read this piece. Perhaps, Hasan the Kedayan from Sabah can explain or busy negotiating with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu island.......Hahahaha


      I believe kaytee would squeal like a pig......You can shoot Myles Togoh......He's a pure sabahan unlike hasan........Hahahaha

  5. Kaytee,
    Hey, do put pictures of chicks that YOU KNOW lei. Better still if introduce lagi better.As for judiciary, what more you wanna argue? If one chief justice, Salleh Abbas can be sacked just like that, what is all this nonsense

  6. Plus what happen to some of your aussie lassie......Yeah the one with v sign looks cute. Of course, this lady in NTU also beru cute. NTU is the successor of Nantah. Ok la, no direct relationship anyway.


    By the way, she is not related to annabelle