Datuk Ramli Yusuff ’s Acquittal: A View From The Stands

by Din Merican

It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive – (Earl Warren)

I was in the KL Sessions Court No. 1 today to lend support to Dato’ RamIi Yusuff. Although, in my previous court attendances at Dato’ Ramli’s trial  I have seen the good and fair temperament of Judge Gunalan, I was afraid that things may just go wrong at the last minute. I was pleasantly mistaken as I listened to the eloquent Judge. His judgment was  precise, logical and unequivocal.

That was why I said in yesterday’s piece that my heart would bleed for Dato’ Ramli if justice was assassinated by the court. That would have been the greatest betrayal, the same betrayal when Caesar fell to the last stab by Brutus and uttered – “ Et tu Brute?”

The court room was jam packed with Dato’ Ramli’s family, friends, wellwishers, reporters and lawyers who wanted to know what will happen to this policeman who had been so vilified and made to look like a crook. I saw many familiar faces, those who had stood by him in throughout this episode.

As I write this piece, I note that the on-line newspapers and blogs have already reported their versions of Judge Gunalan’s brave decision to acquit Dato’ Ramli. Judge Gunalan has again proven that it is the non-Malay members of the bench, that is restoring the integrity and credibility of the Judiciary. Sadly, not much of the same can be said of the Malay members of the bench with the exception of a few like Judge Dato’ Hishamudin.

This time, I will not provide another analysis of Judge’s Gunalan’s judgment. It is sufficient that Malaysians know that Judge Gunalan did not betray justice, he upheld and delivered it!

The moment the good Judge Gunalan pronounced that he was acquitting Dato’ Ramli without calling for his defence, the gallery clapped ever so loudly. Even the three court orderlies (policemen guarding the courts) clapped. The Judge pleasantly smiled his approval before closing the court session and retiring to his chambers.

Dato’ Ramli wept openly. He hugged Dato’ Shafee Abdullah and his other counsel. He hugged his sisters and and his father. It was a very poignant scene in court, one that would make heart weep, and many did. Dato’ Ramli’s old friend and bailor, Dato’ Roger Tan, who arrived late remarked that Ramli should be given a medal for being so filial to his parents and family in taking care of their financial affairs by setting up the company Bonus Circle for his family’s welfare. While he had no interest nor benefit in that company, he had incurred liability to do an Islamic estate planning for his family. Similarly, his loyal friend, lawyer Rajendran remarked that it is sad that a professional, capable and financially savvy bumiputera is brought down in a most Machiavellian way.