My Anthem

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Glen Knight: WRONG to have prosecuted Tan Koon Swan...II.

Ah, finally some newsroom caught iup wit' Glen Knight-Tan Koon Swan, not so knightly nor swanny ribber development. So badder later than nebber, here's che3ers to The Malaysian Insider:) IF thou kont like the way Desi writHes in tongue-in-chic, hey, it's a democratic/zy world ooouch hear! You don like it, GET THE HERE OUT OF HELL! ~~ YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual~~~~

Former prosecutor: Courts ‘got it wrong’ about Tan Koon Swan

September 11, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Ex-MCA president Tan Koon Swan should not have been prosecuted, said the man who originally brought criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges against Tan.

The Star reported today that former Singapore prosecutor Glenn Knight had apologised to Tan, recounting the circumstances of Tan’s wrongful indictment in his book “Glenn Knight: The Prosecutor.”

As first director of the Singapore Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), Knight prosecuted Tan who faced 15 charges that included share manipulation and CBT. This happened in 1985 after the collapse of Pan-El Industries, of which Tan was a director. Pan-El’s collapse resulted in a temporary halt of the Malaysia and Singapore stock exchanges.

Knight wrote in his book: “It was extremely painful for me to suddenly discover that the Singapore courts had got it wrong.” He was led to that conclusion after a 1996 judgement by Singapore Chief Justice Yong who said Tan was wrongfully charged. As Tan was a director for Pan-El, he could not be charged with “stealing” from the company.

“Chief Justice Yong concluded that it was wrong to convict anyone for stealing money if the wrong charge had been used to begin with. The judgment shattered my belief in our legal system,” wrote Knight.

The Star said Tan has declined to comment for now as the latter says he has not yet read Knight’s book. ~~ MI

PS: IF I have the time/dime, InsyaAllah, I may Cut&Pastry that Star report, OK!


10minutes later (HEY, I was jest 10minutes late, the MSM was 24 laterRRRR!:(:(, here's what/how Desi works heART for thee! Can now make out dat cheque for 20mil? Rupiahs oso cun!:)-- Desi, knottyaSsusual butt 1/2serious on that check-part K!:) Som,edimes I copuldn't pay RM1.20 for that PRINT KOPI, so it's online when my PC doesn't kaput on me!:(

September 11, 2012

Koon Swan case ‘a mistake’


PETALING JAYA: Former Singapore prosecutor Glenn Knight has apologised to ex-MCA president Tan Koon Swan for wrongly prosecuting him in the Pan-El crisis in the mid-1980s.

“It was extremely painful for me to suddenly discover that the Singapore courts had got it wrong,” Knight wrote in his recently published book, Glenn Knight: The Prosecutor.

Tan, who is in China for a business trip, said he was not prepared to comment as he had yet to read the book.

In 1985, Knight, the first director of the Singapore Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), prosecuted Tan, who faced 15 charges including criminal breach of trust (CBT) and share manipulation after the collapse of Pan-El Industries which termporarily halted the Malaysia and Singapore stock exchanges.

Tan, who had a stake in Pan-El, pleaded guilty and was jailed two years and fined S$1mil. He quit as MCA president after his sentencing.

In his book, Knight wrote that one of the most important cases of his life involved Pan-El, as the Pan-Electric group of companies was known.

“It was a highly significant case that led to enforceable regulations being introduced into Singapore's stockbroking industry,” he said.

He wrote in a chapter titled “The Pan-El Debacle” that “as Koon Swan was the head of the MCA, I put up a paper on his involvement in the Pan-El saga but left it to my superiors to decide his fate as he was out of (Singapore) and in Malaysia”.

“In the end, the government decided that the CAD could prosecute Koon Swan.”

In 1996, in a similar CBT case, Singapore's Chief Justice Yong Pung How concluded that Knight was wrong to have charged Koon Swan for the offence.

“Chief Justice Yong was of the opinion that the section I had charged Koon Swan with was wrong in law for we could not charge a person for stealing from a company because as a director, it was not a breach of the law in that sense,” he wrote.

“Chief Justice Yong concluded that it was wrong to convict anyone for stealing money if the wrong charge had been used to begin with. The judgment shattered my belief in our legal system.”

Knight wrote that many people asked if Chief Justice Yong's judgment could be used to set aside the conviction in Koon Swan's case.

“In the United Kingdom, such a landmark judgment would have set aside Koon Swan's conviction but our jurisprudence does not allow for this though technically, Koon Swan could still have been granted a pardon,” he said.

Knight wrote that in 2010 he met Tan at a conference in Singapore and told him about Chief Justice Yong's judgment, which meant that Tan was technically an innocent man”.

“He received the news with great excitement,” he recalled, adding that he (Knight) had also apologised.


Ah, here's another INTERESTING TAKE from, by LIM MUN FAH, via MI~~~

Side Views A: largersmallerresetEmail Print

Wrongful conviction? — Lim Mun Fah

September 11, 2012

SEPT 11 — Twenty-seven years ago, on this side of the Johor Causeway, a bunch of MCA members shouted boisterous slogans, urging the Malaysian government to sever water supply to Singapore. Despite the passing years, the emotional outburst of 1985 still comes back to me vividly.

Indeed, those people were protesting the arrest of then MCA president Tan Koon Swan by the Singapore authorities.

In the infamous Pan El incident, Tan, exalted by many as the saviour of the local Chinese community, was slapped with 15 charges of fraud, cheating, stock market manipulation and abetment of criminal breach of trust. Tan was convicted the following year and had to spend his next two years in jail on the island state.

Many MCA leaders and members were unconvinced by the Singapore court’s verdict, crying foul that the sentence had been politically motivated and not merely on commercial grounds.

Although this incident has slowly faded from the memories of many, Singapore’s chief prosecutor back then Glenn Jeyasingam Knight has revealed in his book “Glenn Knight The Prosecutor” published just three weeks ago, that he admitted of wrongly convicting Tan back in 1986.

According to Knight, when Singapore’s chief justice Yong Pung How was presiding over a similar CBT case in the court in 1996, 10 years after Tan’s verdict was passed, he said Tan was wrongly charged. In other words, Tan was wrongly charged and convicted and was technically an innocent man.

Knight said he had to come to terms with his “mistake” although he did not elaborate why he apologised to Tan only as recently as 2010, or nine years after he learned of his grave mistake, and revealed this “secret” only now. Did that have anything to do with his conviction of corruption charges years later during his tenure as the director of the republic’s Commercial Affairs Department?

We cannot imagine the feelings of Tan Koon Swan after he was informed of the wrong conviction that resulted in him spending 18 months in jail. We also cannot imagine how emotionally charged Tan was on learning of this, as Knight has depicted in his memoir.

From Knight’s accounts, Tan already knew of the fact that he had been wrongly convicted two years ago, but why did he keep mum over the past two years instead of seeking justice for himself?

I have to admit that I am a complete layman where law is concerned. I could not fathom out why in such a major case like the Pan El — which endured a lengthy hearing process with the chief prosecutor, defending lawyers, judge, evidences, defences and court verdict all in place — the chief prosecutor would make an abrupt public revelation only after two decades that he had indeed wrongly charged the defendant?

Does it imply that “everyone is equal under the law” is not an absolute truth? Or is it real that deficiencies do exist in law, which could be defiled, dark, selective, and even inequitable?

Today, we might lament this misstep, and wonder whether MCA history would be rewritten, whether Malaysian politics would take on a different course of development, or whether the cooperative scandal could be averted, in the absence of this whole thing.

That said, there is no way we could turn back time. And again, there are no “ifs” in history. All we can say is that if Knight’s confession is true, no apologises nor remorse could make good the agony and the loss Tan Koon Swan has been forced to swallow. —

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

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