The Home Minister must come clean over extraordinary letter “protecting” Paul Phua

Press Statement

5 January 2015


Lawyers for Liberty is extremely concerned regarding the letter sent by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the FBI dated 18 December 2014 which vouched for the integrity of former Macau junket operator and gambling kingpin, Paul Phua Wei Seng that he was not a member of the Chinese transnational criminal organisation called “14K triad”. Paul Phua is currently facing trial in the US for illegal bookmaking charges in Las Vegas.


It was quite shocking to see the Home Minister going to extraordinary lengths to protect and clear the name of Paul Phua in contradiction of the information given by the PDRM (according to an FBI internal document previously submitted to court) that he is associated with the 14K triad. What is even more shocking is that the Home Minister went on to state that Paul Phua had on numerous occasions assisted the government in projects affecting national security.


If the content of the letter is true, we demand the Home Minister reveals what sort of national security projects a shady character like Paul Phua could have possibly assisted the government to compel the Minister to write such an extraordinary letter? Further, it would also mean that the PDRM had given wrong or false information to the FBI concerning Paul Phua thus raising serious questions on the integrity and competency of the PDRM.


However, if the content of the letter is not true, then the Home Minister would have prima facie committed a gross abuse of power and possibly, various offences under Chapter XI of the Penal Code – “False Evidence and Offences against Public Justice”.


Either way, we call upon the Home Minister to come clean over the content the letter, failing which he should resign in disgrace.


Released by:

Eric Paulsen
Executive Director
Lawyers for Liberty

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