By Mariam Mokhtar
On September 18, family members, former colleagues, schoolmates and friends of the murdered Deputy Public Prosecutor, Kevin Morais, held a two-hour memorial service at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, in Silibin. Around 300 of them, had gathered to pay tribute to the man, whom they once called a friend, an honest, highly intelligent person, a "walking legal-dictionary" and a man of courage.
When his friends heard that Morais was missing, on 4 September, they organised a service to pray for his safe return. Ten days later, news that a body had been found in a concrete filled oil drum began surfacing, but the forensic identification was not complete. Sadly, the prayer session became a memorial service, in which prayers and hymns were offered, candles were lit and wreaths laid, in remembrance of the DPP.
Morais went to the Anderson Boys School and used to live in Taman Eden, near Lim Garden. His mother was the headmistress of The Tarcisian Convent and he was close to her. The family attended Our Lady of Lourdes Church, regularly. The young Morais was described by friends as a bubbly, soft-spoken, polite and friendly boy. His friends described him as a brave, honest and determined man.
At the Silibin Church, former colleagues eulogised him. The Ipoh Sessions Court judge, Tan Hooi Leng said that Morais had served as a deputy registrar, in The Ipoh High Court between 1997 and 2002.
Perak Bar Council representative, Ram Kumar said, "Morias was no pushover. He was a determined man with nerves of steel and every defence counsel's nightmare. You cannot question his honesty. He did everything within the boundaries of the law. "
P.S. Gill, a former Federal Court judge who was once Ipoh High Court judge, said: "Kevin paid a heavy price for his integrity... we have lost a valuable soul."
His former classmate, Arbjhan said "....It's sad that he was taken so early."
Jessica Sidhu, Morais' former colleague, at the Attorney General's Chambers said, "Kevin was a pure professional, highly ethical, very hardworking and humble. He possessed no ego of any form."
Describing Morais as a very thorough man, who would ask many questions so he could "understand every permutation", Sidhu said that his dedication to work meant that he often missed meals and would sit through the night, reading law.
"Morais was someone who was ‘married to his work’, and did not have a social life. He was very upset when witnesses turned hostile, or the case did not go as he had anticipated," she added.
Sidhu claimed that Morais took on cases which others "left behind, as they were too complicated". She said that all he wanted to do was to serve justice and also fight for justice.
Describing Morais as a dedicated officer, the AG’s Chambers said, "He was an officer who has served the nation proudly, professionally and with complete dedication and commitment at home and abroad.
"Morais truly epitomised the adage 'prosecuting without fear and favour' throughout his long, illustrious career."
Morais' housemate, who shared an apartment with the DPP, at Menara Duta 1 in Dutamas, Segambut claimed that Morais appeared to be under a lot of pressure, as he had to deal with a difficult case on September 7. He left for work, in his government issue grey Proton Perdana, on the morning of September 4. He never arrived at the office, as he was abducted on his way to work.
His burnt out car had been found in an oil palm estate, in Hutan Melintang. The chassis number had been filed away. Estate workers reported unusual activity in the early hours of the morning, when several 4WDs raced along the dirt tracks, before an explosion was heard.
Two weeks after his disappearance, a body believed to have been Morais', was discovered, by police, in an oil drum filled with concrete, in a swamp in USJ1, in Subang Jaya.
Many speculate that Morais' disappearance is connected with a high-profile criminal case.
At this goes to print, eight men, including a military doctor, who is a colonel in his 50s and is attached to the pathology lab at Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan, has been arrested, in connection with Morais' murder. Morais had been the DPP, in the prosecution of the doctor, for corruption, in 2013.
The IGP, Khalid Abu Bakar, has tweeted that Morais' brother, Richard, was a witness to the murder of AmBank founder, Hussain Ahmad Najadi. Najadi's son, Pascal, had claimed a 'verified source' had said that Morais' brother, was one of the last people to see Hussain alive, on July 29, 2013.
Morais would have been the prosecutor, in the criminal breach of trust case against the former Sime Darby Bhd chief executive officer, Ahmad Zubair @ Ahmad Zubir Murshid.
Police are appealing for witnesses to an accident along Jalan Duta Mas, in Kuala Lumpur, at 7.51am on September 4. The suspects deliberately crashed into the back of Morais' car, before abducting him.
Someone must have seen something. The apathy of Malaysians helps the thugs, who wreck our lives with fear.