MBPJ: Law firms appointed based on merits

Mayor Mohamad Roslan Sakiman says that Daim & Gamany only dealt with four out of 53 legal cases involving MBPJ from 2008 to 2011.

G Vinod, FMT

The Petaling Jaya City Hall (MBPJ) dismissed allegations that councillor Derek Fernandez influenced MBPJ in awarding work to legal firm Daim & Gamany.

In a statement today, MBPJ mayor Mohamad Roslan Sakiman said politics was never a consideration during the selection and Daim & Gamany was selected based on their qualifications.

“We select law firms for our cases based on their track record and their pricing. Anway, from 2008 till 2011, Daim & Gamany only handled four out of 53 cases we had,” said Roslan.

Last week, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin alleged that Fernandez influenced MBPJ to award a chunk of its legal works to Daim & Gamany. PKR MP R Sivarasa is a partner in the said law firm.

“The letters published confirm that Fernandez spoke to the mayor to instruct them to award the legal work to Sivarasa’s legal firm contrary to what Fernandez said in a Jan 7, 2012 (letter to FMT) that ‘I have never influenced MBPJ in assigning work to any law firm or to any lawyer’.

“And see how much they made from this deal,” Raja Petra reportedly said.

He also published two documents allegedly showing Daim & Gamany earning RM77,400 from just one case.

Roslan said that MBPJ preferred to retain the same law firm on cases which were similar in nature to retain “consistency” in its defence.

He cited an example of a law suit filed by Ganad Media against MBPJ, where Daim & Gamany had represented the city hall for the case.

“When we were faced with another lawsuit from Laguna Malaysia, our legal department recommended the same law firm due to its [the case] similarity to Ganad Media,” he said.

Roslan also dismissed accusations that Fernandez had influenced MBPJ in selecting Daim & Gamany, saying the power to hire law firms rested with the former.

“Councillor can only give their opinions of the legal firms on a collective basis,” he said.