A lawyer, who fled the country following accusations of embezzling his own company's funds, says that he has received death threats from those linked to the Johor royalty.
PETALING JAYA: Fearing that he would be assassinated on orders from an “influential person” linked to the royal Johor family, a “runaway” lawyer has made a video recording pleading with the government and police to help him.
Kamal Hisham Ja’afar, 42, a former legal counsel to the Johor royalty who has sought refuge in Dubai, also denied accusations of criminal breach of trust (CBT) for which he is wanted by police and Interpol.
In the YouTube video which was posted on Saturday, Kamal said that he recently received information that hired killers had been engaged to hunt him down and murder him.
“The assassin has already left Malaysia to hunt for me. With all the evidence that I have, I believe this information is true. I am worried, scared, pressured, because it involves my life and my family’s life,” he said.
“On Sept 5, 2011, I was given proof that a close acquaintance of a kerabat (royalty) had said that he would shoot me to death if I returned to Malaysia or if he saw me anywhere,” Kamal said.
He added that the threat was recorded and the evidence is in his safekeeping. “I believe this threat is a real and serious matter.”
Kamal said that on Oct 11, 2011, one of his family members had received a telephone call from a man he knew.
“That man told my family members that the older brother of the person who had earlier gave me the death threat had vowed that he would kill me if he met with me.”
Kamal said that he was receiving these threats “just because I had refused to follow the orders of some ‘pembesar yang berkuasa’ (an influential member of the royalty) regarding “the division of his family [the latter’s] inheritance following the death of his father”.
He alleged that the “‘influential royalty” had used his powers to “vengefully” manufacture false criminal accusations against him to tarnish his credibility as a lawyer.
“Among these accusations was one where the ‘pembesar’ had asked some people in January to claim that I have committed criminial breach of trust of a company amounting to RM660,000,” he said.
He claimed that he has “clear evidence” to show that he was not guilty and that the “influential royalty” was the one who committed many malpractices in that company.
Kamal has been accused by Southern Ads Sdn Bhd – an advertising company linked to the Johor royalty and in which he is also a director – of fraud, cheating and CBT.
Six police reports have been lodged against him since March 31, last year. The last report accused him of embezzling RM660,000 from the company.
Kamal left the country for Dubai in April 2011, and is reportedly running a “consultancy firm” there.
Kamal said that he started the company with his own capital in 2003. The Johor royalty, he claimed, did not inject any funds.
“The company was registered in 2005, and I received business contracts in 2004. The ‘pembesar’ had used his influence to disturb my business at that time and I had no choice but to accept his request to give him shares to avoid my business from being continually pressured by him.”
‘Pack of lies’
Kamal said that he also felt “very pressured” after receiving an SMS from an investigating officer from the Johor commercial crime department, which stated that he needs to attend a session for his statement to be recorded on March 5 (today).
“If I fail to give a statement as a witness, he would ask for a warant of arrest.”
“What I should do now, I also don’t know. With the threats that I have received, I am very worried and afraid what would happen to me and my family
“I humbly plead with the Malaysian government, police and foreign ministry: Please help me. I want to come home to Malaysia to clear my name.
“As a Muslim, I believe that what I am going through is a test by Allah. I have been slandered in the course of my duties as a lawyer and when I refused to be an accomplice to something that is against my religion and laws.”
When contacted, criminal lawyer Baljit Singh Sidhu, who acts for Southern Ads, said that what Kamal was saying was all a “pack of lies” that serves as a “red herring” to the real issues at hand.
“He now wakes up on a Sunday morning and gives all sorts of excuses. It is designed by him to put off investigations against him… He is playing musical chairs. He is talking from la-la land and what he is saying is non-factual.”
“Any reasonable man would have immediately taken steps to protect himself if he received death threats, but it is only now – seven to eight months later – that this guy is speaking up about the threats,” said Baljit.
He said that Kamal’s new allegation against the Johor sultanate was a mere after-thought as he did not mention this when his lawyers gave a press conference on Jan 31 in Kuala Lumpur.
He added that Kamal had only mentioned that he refused to return because the Immigration Department did not have any record of him leaving for Dubai.
Baljit said the it would be better for Kamal to return to Malaysia and prove his claims rather than hurling accusations from abroad.
He added that his client – Southern Ads – would now possibly sue but declined to divulge details.