Apandi’s wife tells of close bond with ‘Uncle’ Sri Ram

Puan Sri Faridah Begum filed an affidavit against Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, whom she called ‘uncle’ when she was a young girl some 45 years ago, following his meeting with her husband former Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali to discuss plans on putting Datuk Seri Najib Razak behind bars.

Faridah, had in her affidavit signed on July 10, said she and Apandi were shocked after Sri Ram claimed he was sent by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a visit to their home in Dutamas Melor in January 2018.

“When Sri Ram got married to his wife Chandra Sri Ram, he had a practice in Kampung Baru and he often sent his wife to my parents’ shop at Ampang Park for her to be with friends. My father (K.A. Abdul Kader K.S Abdul Rahim) is a close friend of Sri Ram’s family, his two brothers Dr Sreenivasan and Krishna Moorthy and his sister, whom we recall as then living in London, Bhavani,” said Faridah.

“Sri Ram was indeed a close family friend. He would come over to the house and have dinner together with my parents and the rest of my family, including myself. I’ve known Sri Ram ever since I was in kindergarten and when he used to come over to the house, I addressed him as ‘uncle’.

“Only when I got married Apandi (on Nov 2, 2000) and that both of them (Apandi and Sri Ram) became judges, I started calling him (Sri Ram) Yang Arif or sir instead.

“To illustrate the close bond between Sri Ram and my family, my father used to cook some vegetarian meals especially for Sri Ram whenever he came over to the house. Sri Ram had every time when he saw me, brought up the topic of my father’s cooking and how much he loved it.”

Before the 2018 meeting, Faridah said she was contacted by lawyer Tey Jun Ren (@JR Tey; @JR) who requested a meeting between Sri Ram and Apandi.

“How I came to know JR is that he was initially a friend of my son, Mustafa, and eventually became my friend as well.

“I communicated this to Apandi at least twice where on both times he had refused to see Sri Ram. When JR Tey tried again for the third time, I managed to convince Apandi to see Sri Ram and actually hear out on what Sri Ram had to say. Apandi eventually agreed and a meeting was organised in our home in Dutamas Melor.”

Faridah said she remembers clearly the day Sri Ram and Tey came to her house. Sri Ram sat on the single seater sofa while Tey sat on a sofa next to Sri Ram.

“Sri Ram had then turned his attention to Apandi and started to discuss the unfreezing of a bank account belonging to a client’s client.

“Just when I thought that the discussion was solely revolving around the representation to unfreeze the account belonging to his client’s client, Sri Ram paused and brought up another topic which came as a shock to my husband and I.

“He started off by saying he was merely using that as an excuse to see Apandi and that he actually had a bigger agenda to discuss. Out of the blue, in the presence of myself, Apandi and JR Tey, Sri Ram said ‘Tun M sent me to see you’ which came as a shock to Apandi and me.”

“Sri Ram then continued and said: ‘He wants you to arrest Najib. This is what you do. We have arranged everything. You go tomorrow at 2pm, we have arranged for the police in Putrajaya to do what is necessary on your instructions.'”

According to Faridah, Sri Ram added: “We have also arranged for a magistrate to issue the remand order when he is brought before him or her.”

Apandi, had on June 12, filed an affidavit against Sri Ram – a former federal court judge turned private practitioner – in a bid to challenge Sri Ram’s appointment as lead prosecutor in Najib’s 1MDB cases. Sri Ram was appointed during Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ tenure as Attorney-General.

Sri Ram responded to the affidavit on July 7, saying it was his duty as counsel for the prosecution to lead evidence to show that a crime was committed and that it is the accused who committed it.

“It is not part of my function to adjudge the guilt or innocence of Najib who is facing corruption and money laundering charges involving RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.

Sri Ram said Apandi’s affidavit lacked probative value, adding ‘Apandi always displayed a bias in favour of the accused’.

Apandi was appointed Attorney-General when Najib was Prime Minister.

Apandi, had in another affidavit also signed on July 10, revealed Sri Ram had tried to meet him three times “via Tey, through my wife”, adding he was aware Sri Ram was still close to Dr Mahathir, “especially after he had represented Umno for Dr Mahathir’s group against Tunku Razaleigh’s group in 1988 where on Feb 4, 1988, Umno was declared illegal.”

“Sri Ram had kept in touch with Tun M since then, often telling some judges in the Federal Court of his meetings and association with Tun M.

“It is a well-known fact among all brother and sister judges and among senior legal professionals at the Bar.”