04 December 2013

Damning SD dismissed as 'rubbish'

Former senior policeman Mat Zain Ibrahim's damning statutory declaration (SD) on the Batu Puteh legal misadventure has been dismissed as a "load of rubbish".

Noor Farida Ariffin, who acted as co-agent in the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the 2008 case, added that the contents of the SD comes from someone "who obviously has not read the judgment or understood it."

Mat Zain, the former Kuala Lumpur CID chief, made an SD accusing Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail of accepting money to ensure the Malaysian legal team lost in the island dispute.

However, Noor Farida told The Star that it was a "win-win situation" for both Malaysia and Singapore because the ICJ awarded Batu Puteh to Singapore and Middle Rocks to Malaysia.

She explained that the court found that the Sultanate of Johor had the original title over Batu Puteh but decided that through Malaysia's conduct, it lost the title between 1851, when the Horsburgh lighthouse was built by Singapore, and 1980 when the dispute arose.

The former Malaysian ambassador to the Netherlands also commented on Mat Zain's allegation that the case was lost because Abdul Gani had submitted a "doctored" photograph of the island's location during the proceedings.

"The photograph was inconsequential. The decision did not revolve around the photograph," Noor Farida was quoted saying.

"I am puzzled by the allegations of bribery, which are nonsensical and totally without foundation.

"It was not possible for anyone to be bribed because all the decisions pertaining to the preparation and conduct of the case were collective decisions," she added.

Noor Farida also clarified that Wisma Putra headed the team and not Abdul Gani, with former Wisma Putra secretary-general Abdul Kadir Mohamad acting as Malaysia's agent for the case.

"All relevant government agencies were represented on the team, including the AG's Chambers, and we also had a legal team of four international lawyers who were some of the best in the business," she said.


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