By Yow Hong Chieh
KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Lawyer Kamal Hisham Ja’afar, wanted for questioning by police in connection with a criminal breach of trust case, said today he dare not return to Malaysia as he fears for his life.
He alleged that he has received several death threats starting from September 2011 following accusations that he had embezzled RM660,000 from Southern Ads Sdn Bhd, where he was director for many years.
The advertising firm is understood to be linked to the Johor royal family.
“I wish to state that I want to return to Malaysia to give my statement and to make a police report but the death threats I have received means I have no choice but to save myself and my family.
“If not for the death threats, I would’ve long been back,” he said in a statement.
Kamal Hisham denied claims by Southern Ads lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu that he had left Malaysia to avoid questioning by police, pointing out that he had gone abroad in the third week of March to see to some business deals.
This was followed by a second business trip to Dubai, where he is believed to be residing and working currently.
“To my knowledge, when I had left the country, there were no police reports lodged against me,” he said, adding that his lawyers were looking to take action against Baljit for his “false and baseless” claims.
Kamal Hisham also said he has written to the police about the alleged death threats made against him and as well as to ask that all cases concerning him be handled by Bukit Aman.
He said he wanted the government and the police to take serious note of his statement today as he wished to return as soon as possible to clear his name.
He added that he hoped that the prime minister, home minister and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) — whom he said were “professional individuals” — would assist in his return or allow him to make his statement at a Malaysian consulate overseas.
Southern Ads lodged a police report against Kamal Hisham nearly a year ago alleging that he had committed criminal breach of trust and engaged in fraud during his tenure as director from 2004 to 2011.
The company also claims Kamal Hisham left the country via Singapore soon after the police report was filed on March 31 last year to avoid questioning by police.
Southern Ads lawyer Baljit, speaking on behalf of the company, said last month that Kamal Hisham must cease making excuses and return to Malaysia to assist in investigations.
Last week, Baljit also denied claims that death threats have been made against the lawyer, calling the allegations false and baseless.