Skrine denies Muhyiddin’s allegation it hired thugs

(MMO) – Two law firms have denied today hiring thugs for under-fire One City Development Sdn Bhd, after Putrajaya alleged that the developer had told its lawyers to do so, leading to the altercations at a Hindu temple.

In a brief statement, law firm Skrine denied that its lawyers were the ones referred to by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin despite its current involvement with the developer.

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

“None of our lawyers have been arrested by the police. We have no knowledge whatsoever of the alleged hiring of thugs and condemn in the strongest terms any such action,” its partner Khoo Guan Huat said in the statement.

Khoo said the firm’s actions for the developers have been and will continue to obey the law.

Earlier today, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin disclosed that the private firm allegedly gave RM150,000 to lawyers who then used part of the money to hire around 50 youths to take possession of a Hindu temple site.

Muhyiddin said the information was gleaned from preliminary police investigations and questioning of the two lawyers who were among the 21 people arrested and remanded over the unrest.

In a separate statement, law firm Thomas Philip clarified it has stopped representing the developer in 2015 after the judgement involving the land dispute was delivered.

“I had been involved in the difficult negotiations leading to the consent judgement in question being successfully recorded in court, for the peaceful resolution of the dispute with the temple in 2014,” its managing partner Mathew Thomas Phillip said.

“However, I want to make it clear that since 2015, the firm has not in any way been involved in the execution of the consent judgement, as the matter had been taken over by another firm of solicitors.

“Thomas Philip’s motto is integrity, commitment, results. We will never try to get results by compromising our integrity,” he added.

One City has insisted that its personnel onsite were merely directed to assist and support the relocation of the temple, and denied hiring any thugs.