Law firm Skrine denies hiring thugs in temple fracas

KUALA LUMPUR: Law firm Skrine today denied that its lawyers were involved in the hiring of thugs that led to the fracas near a Hindu temple in Selangor early Monday and yesterday.

The firm’s partner, Khoo Guan Huat, said in a statement that none of the firm’s lawyers have been arrested by the police and the firm has no knowledge, whatsoever, of the alleged hiring of thugs.

He said the firm condemns in the strongest terms any such action.

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said today that two lawyers of the developer, One City Development Sdn Bhd, had hired thugs to occupy the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ25, Putra Heights, and they had intruded into the temple, sparking the fracas.

Muhyiddin also said that the lawyers were among the 21 people arrested by the police.

Khoo said Skrine is currently acting for the developer in civil proceedings involving possession of the land on which the temple is located but “we categorically state that we are not the lawyers referred to by the home minister.”

He said all steps taken by the legal firm as the solicitors for the developer have been and will continue to be strictly in accordance with the law.

Another law firm, Messrs Thomas Philip, said earlier that the company is no longer acting for One City Development in respect of the execution of a consent judgment involving the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.

The managing partner of the firm, Mathew Thomas Philip, said in a statement the company ceased to act for One City Development in 2015 when another firm of lawyers took over the matter.