S. Samy Vellu has been quiet for some time now, but over the past few days has come back into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. The former MIC president is the subject of two separate suits, one filed by his son, S. Vell Paari, the other by a woman claiming to be his "quasi-spousal" partner. Meanwhile, Najib Razak disagreed with everything AG Tommy Thomas threw at him during his SRC International trial (of course) and we've been told a polio case in Sabah was "imported" from the Philippines.

Samy in the spotlight

Aiyo Samy

This item is brought to you by the number two.

For two years or so we haven’t heard much from or about S. Samy Vellu, but in a space of a few days, we’ve suddenly heard two shocking pieces of news about the former MIC supremo.

The first was when it was reported that Samy’s son, S. Vell Paari, had filed an originating summons against his own father to have him declared mentally incapable of handling his own affairs. This was because Samy is said to be suffering from dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Vell Paari said his action was also brought on because of a RM20 million suit filed by one Meeriam Rosaline Edward Paul against Samy and Vell Paari, as the latter handles Samy’s affairs.

Yesterday, we found out just what this suit was and who Meeriam Rosaline is, courtesy of Free Malaysia Today. According to the portal, Meeriam is a 59-year-old woman who had entered into a “quasi-spousal” agreement with Samy some time back.

She filed the suit more than a year ago, and has now asked the court to grant her unlimited access to Samy as well as the reinstatement of a RM25,000 monthly maintenance payment (sweet sum, that) until her main suit is settled.

Meeriam is claiming Vell Paari, when he took over running his father’s affairs in 2017, had put a stop to the maintenance and other benefits. It is understood Vell Paari has filed an affidavit stating Meeriam has no legal standing to make any demands.

His reasoning is probably that daddy doing the dirty with the woman isn’t enough to make her family, which is what Meeriam wants apparently. The question here is, what rights does Meeriam have? Well, possibly quite a lot. 

In 2007, in a landmark Court of Appeal ruling, Justice Gopal Sri Ram overturned a High Court decision to take back a bungalow given by a man to his mistress. Gopal, in his judgement, said mistresses have rights in a modern society and shouldn’t be treated like mere chattel.

We also did a bit of online research (which is gonna make our browser history look … interesting), and here’s the gist of what we learned. Generally, mistresses are in a vulnerable position when their lover dies, and will have to prove their dependency on their lover in order for their claims to have a chance. However, any assets given during the course of the relationship would be considered gifts or donations and would be theirs to keep. 

So here’s hoping, for Meeriam’s sake, that Samy was as generous a (quasi) spouse as Najib Razak was

Jibby in denial mode

We don’t know about you, but we’re kinda pissed over a statement Najib Razak made in court yesterday, cos of what seems to be the sheer arrogance of it all.

The former PM and Barack Obama golfing buddy told the court yesterday he was under no obligation to report to Cabinet how SRC International spent the first RM2 billion loan it obtained from the country’s second-largest pension fund, KWAP.

This, despite his dual role as PM and finance minister at the time. Or, perhaps it’s because he was PM he felt he didn’t need to.

Pardon us Mr ex-Prime Minister, sir. But aren’t ministers duty-bound to report to the Cabinet everything big their respective ministries are involved in. And, as moneybags minister, aren’t you bound by the same SOP, even if you were the serving PM then? 

Najib said this under cross-examination from AG Tommy Thomas while testifying in his own defence in his SRC trial. In fact, Jibby was reported to have spent the entire morning yesterday disagreeing with everything TT put to him.

Najib even disputed his signatures on certain documents related to SRC, saying they could have been manipulated.

The Jibster did give us a bit of a chuckle, though, when Thomas put to him that the RM4 billion KWAP loan had been misspent. Ah Jib Gor disagreed with the statement, then turned around and said (with his trademark “cool” face, we imagine) that he, too, wanted to know where the money had gone.

Najib then told TT he needed to establish where the money had gone and, more specifically, whether it was in certain Swiss bank accounts. He also denied a suggestion that he had stopped former Second Finance Minister Husni Hanadzlah from going to Switzerland in order to prevent the latter from finding out about a cover-up concerning the money there. 

The Swiss Attorney-General’s Office, way back in 2016, said it had identified suspicious transactions involving SRC International, and suspected a ‘Ponzi scheme’ fraud had been committed to cover up the misappropriation of funds.
 

So, this is all a bit confusing. Najib says the missing SRC funds must be in these Swiss bank accounts, while our AG’s Chambers says Jibby is linked to these accounts.

So why didn’t the AG’s army of legal eagles establish the details of these bank accounts before going to trial? How can one insist Najib is involved and that he stopped Husni from going there to cover up the “fact” he was involved if such due diligence was not performed?

If any of you reading this today is a lawyer and understands the minutiae of this thing, we’d love to hear from you coz it’s doing our heads in! 

An import we could do without

We’ve heard that polio has made a reappearance in Malaysia after decades. Now we know where it’s from.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have confirmed the polio case involving a 3-month-old baby in Sabah was found to be the same strain as that currently spreading in the southern Philippines.

WHO’s representative in Malaysia, Ying-Ru Lo, said the case is a cause for concern and that the organisation is ready to help health authorities here. Malaysia’s Unicef representative Marriane Clark-Hattingh, meanwhile, said the virus must be prevented from spreading and the only way to do this was through vaccinations.

This is the reason why anti-vaxxers need a spanking. Polio was said to have been eradicated, but is now making a comeback, thanks to this kind of irresponsible behaviour.

Anti-vaxxers’ actions put not only their own children at risk, but also other children. And experts are now calling for something to be done.

Take 74-year-old Professor Emeritus Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, for example. A polio survivor, he is now one of the biggest advocates of vaccination, especially against polio, in the country.

“Love is not love until you prove it. You can do that by getting them vaccinated. Vaccinate your children as a sign of true love. That’s also to show you also care for the community,” he told the New Straits Times in a telephone interview. And we couldn’t agree more.

Sheikh Omar says polio vaccines have been around, in oral and injectable form since the 1950s, so there was no reason not to have them administered. If everyone is immunised, the virus will have nowhere to go and will eventually disappear. Simple logic.

So what do we need to know about polio? Well, the Malay Mail has a pretty informative piece about the return of the virus here. Read it. It may just save your kid’s life.

Odds and ends

Several other things happened yesterday that we thought you would be, or should be, interested in. Here they are in brief:

  • It will take three months to fine-tune the IPCMC Bill, says Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Take your time, Moo. We’ve only been waiting for 14 or so years.
     
  • Sabah Pakatan has agreed that it should be Parti Warisan Sabah to contest the Kimanis by-election, and not Bersatu. Quite a no-brainer, right?
     
  • Here’s a reason to cheer for Sabahans. The state government has declared Christmas eve an additional public holiday.
     
  • The cops will be calling PKR prez Anwar Ibrahim for questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him by his for research officer, Yusoff Rawther. 
     
  • Police have called two people, one of whom is the headmaster of a Chinese national type school in Seremban, for questioning over the singing of the Negaraku in Mandarin.
     
  • The Tg Piai by-election, Azmin Ali (and alleged lover Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz) and the 2020 Budget were among the top searches in Malaysia this year, according to Google’s Year in Search report.
     
  • Malaysian banks are among the top financiers of companies linked to forest fires in Indonesia. The same forest fires that cause the haze we Malaysians complain about. 

“The more one loves a mistress, the more one is ready to hate her.”

- Francois de La Rochefoucauld -

IN INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • India has passed a controversial new bill that would give Indian citizenship to people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – but only if the applicant isn’t Muslim. Critics say this is another attempt by PM Narendra Modi to dismantle the country’s secular identity and move it into more hardline Hindu form.
  • President Donald Trump may be headed for conflict with his allies in the Republican-controlled Senate over how to tackle impending impeachment moves by the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
  • A US Federal Aviation Authority investigation has concluded that the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft had fatal flaws which made it a significant crash risk.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi has defended Myanmar at the International Court of Justice, saying the case for genocide against her country was “incomplete and incorrect”.
  • Teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg says she is “a bit surprised” but honoured at being named Time’s Person of the Year for 2019, the youngest ever recipient of the award.

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

This weekday newsletter is brought to you by Trident Media, a group of Malaysian journalists with 60 years of combined media experience in four countries across TV, print and digital media.

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Trident Media · Seksyen 35 · Shah Alam, Selangor 40470 · Malaysia

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