Developer denies hiring men to create ruckus

PETALING JAYA: One City Deve­lopment Sdn Bhd has denied any involvement in the hiring of “thugs” who initiated riots at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ recently.

In a press statement issued by the subsidiary of MCT Bhd, One City stated that it “categorically denies hiring or authorising the hiring of thugs to initiate the riots”.

“The personnel onsite were directed to provide logistical support and assist in the orderly relocation under police watch.”

The statement went on to say that the subsidiary “continues to cooperate with the police authorities in the investigation of the incident”.

Yesterday morning, MCT Bhd’s directors gave pressmen the slip after the company’s annual general meeting (AGM).

The company, now majority- owned by Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation, had come under the spotlight after the rioting at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple on Monday.

Bursa Malaysia-listed MCT wholly owns One City through MCT Consortium Bhd.

After MCT’s AGM yesterday, pressmen gathered near the entrance had informed the company’s staff of their intention to get input from the directors on the temple incident.

MCT staff then informed reporters that the directors were to meet up for a board meeting and the doors to the venue were sealed to prevent anyone from entering.

Pressmen then waited outside the room at Sheraton PJ for at least 20 minutes before learning that the directors had already left.

A shareholder who attended the AGM told StarBiz that the temple incident was brought up at the meeting, with the directors saying the issue was under police investigations now and that they would leave it to the police.

“There was also another shareholder who advised the company to step up its corporate social responsibility,” the shareholder said.

Meanwhile, the legal firm currently acting for the developer One City has denied that they are the lawyers referred to by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“While Skrine is currently acting for the developer in civil proceedings involving possession of the land on which the temple is located, we categorically state that we are not the lawyers referred to by the Home Minister.

“None of our lawyers have been arrested by the police. We have no knowledge whatsoever of the alleged hiring of thugs and condemn in the strongest terms any such action,” said the partner of Skrine, Khoo Guan Huat.

“All steps taken by us as solicitors for the developer have been and will continue to be strictly in accordance with the law.”

Legal firm Messrs Thomas Philip said it no longer acted for One City Development Sdn Bhd.

It said it was the firm of solicitors on record for the developer over the Shah Alam High Court civil suit with the temple committee, which was resolved by way of a Consent Order dated March 11, 2014.

“On Dec 30, 2015, a new firm of solicitors was instructed by One City to take over the conduct of the above and all matters arising from the Consent Order,” it said, adding that it had been three years since it ceased to act for One City.

The legal community has slammed the actions of two lawyers who allegedly engaged thugs to instigate riots at the temple.

The Malaysian Bar viewed such alleged actions “with deep concern” and condemned the involvement of any lawyer in unlawful actions, said its president George Varughese.

He said such unlawful actions amounted to “gross professional misconduct and a serious breach of professional ethics”.

He added that the Bar Council was ready to lend any necessary assistance to the authorities in the investigation.

“The Malaysian Bar calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of any wrongdoings.

“If there is evidence of any professional misconduct, the Bar Council will immediately lodge a complaint with the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board (ADSB) and prosecute the complaint to the fullest extent,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the ASBD, a statutory body independent of the Bar Council tasked to investigate misconduct in the legal profession, would make a judgment on the matter and mete out the appropriate disciplinary action.

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Courts & Crime , Skrine , law firm , temple riot


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