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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gary Lim denies fraud charges, to sue Rafizi for defamation


KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — The MCA’s Pandan hopeful Gary Lim finally denied today allegations that he committed professional misconduct and fraud as a lawyer, saying he will soon file a defamation suit against his accuser, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli.
At a press conference here, the soft-spoken Lim(picture) told Rafizi, who is also fighting him for the Pandan seat, to stop playing “dirty politics” with his allegations.
“All I want to say is Pandan needs someone to do something for them. Not someone who indulges in this sort of dirty politics.
“What else has he got for the people of Pandan aside from all this?” he asked.
Lim was hit by allegations of fraud and misconduct a day before Nomination Day on April 20 with claims that he has a disciplinary case with the Malaysian Bar.
The Pandan MCA legal bureau chief was spiralled deeper into controversy when Rafizi whipped out documents on Nomination Day to expose his alleged wrongdoing.
The moment Lim’s candidacy was confirmed, the PKR “expose man” distributed photocopies of a police report lodged against Lim by a well-known legal firm over alleged fraud.
Rafizi also distributed copies of the Bar Council’s letter to Lim dated January 21 this year seeking an explanation from the lawyer on a show-cause letter he had purportedly received from the same legal firm for misrepresentation.
He later released the show-cause letter from his former employer Shearn Delamore and Co, dated Februay 19 this year, which demanded his explanation for alleged misrepresentation.
When asked, however, if Lim denied even receiving the letters from the legal firm and the Bar Council, Ramlan Ahmad, spokesperson for Lim’s legal team, said the MCA man was only denying its contents.
“It is not entirely true. What Rafizi posted to the public is only half-truth. But we cannot reveal the true story now until our investigation is done,” Ramlan said.
“We are denying the accusations in the letters... not denying the letters.”
When prodded to respond, Lim agreed with Ramlan.
“Otherwise, I would have been called up a long time ago,” he pointed out.
He would not, however, reveal if he had responded to the two letters, turning to Ramlan instead when the question was posed to him.
“As I said, there are certain questions we cannot answer. I am so sorry about that... I cannot reveal a lot of things,” said Ramlan, who lodged a report against Rafizi at the Ampang district police headquarters at 12.45pm today.
“We are showing what action we have taken and what we have done to counter his claims,” he added.
Ramlan also said that Rafizi had publicly exposed documents that were deemed as “private and confidential” and should face the book for his actions.
Lim’s team said, however, that a complaint will only be lodged to the Bar Council against Rafizi after the election this May 5.
Asked how much damages Lim plans on suing Rafizi, Ramlan said “around RM50 or RM100 million”, adding that the details will be finalised later.
In the police report distributed by Rafizi on Nomination Day, Shearn Delamore & Co had confirmed that Lim was its employee between November 2000 and August 2004, and between September 2007 until October 30, 2011, when he resigned from his position as “salaried partner”.
Citing information from the Bar Council, the firm said in the report that Lim may have misrepresented himself as an advocate and solicitor still attached to it during his four-month stint at a well-known multinational company between December 2011 and March 2012.
Asked today why he had left the company after four months, Lim said he had resigned willingly to be a full-time politician and had not been dismissed.
The MCA man has also been accused of using the legal firm’s letterheads.
The Bar Council, in its correspondence to Lim earlier this year, told the lawyer to explain his actions within 14 days of receiving its letter, which was dated January 21, 2013.
The council also told Lim to refer to section 37(1)(b) of the Legal Profession Act 1976, which provides that, “an advocate and solicitor shall be guilty of an offence if found wilfully and falsely pretends to be, or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that he is duly qualified or authorised to act as an advocate and solicitor, or that he is recognised by law as so qualified or authorised”.
In the letter, the council said that failure to respond within the stipulated timeframe may result in the matter being referred to the Disciplinary Board.
In his initial responses on the issue, Lim had denied knowledge of any case with the Bar Council, saying he had never been called to face the disciplinary board.
The lawyer, who is replacing incumbent Pandan MP Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, has also said he had stopped his legal practice about a year ago due to his duties as the MCA legal bureau chief for the party’s Pandan division.
Rafizi, Lim and Ong’s former private secretary Allan Tan will clash in a three-way battle for the Pandan seat this general election.

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