Tributes to Gopal Sri Ram

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has offered his condolences to the family of former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram who died this afternoon.

Anwar in a Twitter post wrote, “Condolences to the family of the late Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram on his passing. May his family affairs be made easier, and the family stay strong and resilient in the face of this sad news.”

Criminal lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu had also offered his condolences.

“He was a great lawyer and judge. Needless to say his amazing dedication and conviction to legal jurisprudence. At times very combative, such is his nature. May God bless his soul,” he said in a brief statement to Malay Mail.

Human rights lawyer and Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan also expressed thanks and gratitude to Sri Ram on his Twitter page.

“Sad to hear of the passing of retired Federal Court Judge Gopal Sri Ram,” he wrote.

“He was always friendly to me when we met in Court (when he was back in practice) or during talks/lectures. Always willing to impart snippets of his substantial knowledge of the law.

“Thank you sir.”

Reminiscing about her encounters with Sri Ram, human rights lawyer and activist Siti Kasim expressed her gratitude as well for past assistance extended by the late lawyer.

“I am deeply saddened to hear Gopal Sri Ram has passed away. My deepest condolences to his family. I remembered he offered to be my Counsel for my case when I was maliciously charged in court pro-bono. I have Suzana Norlihan at that time. A man with a good heart. I shall miss him,” she wrote.

The veteran lawyer and senior deputy public prosecutor died at 12.15pm today at Gleneagles Hospital. He was 79.

He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the private hospital in Kuala Lumpur last week for a lung infection.

Sri Ram was the lead prosecutor for the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case involving Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He was also the lead prosecutor for the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project corruption case involving Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Meanwhile, Tommy Thomas described the former Federal Court judge as a national treasure and that he was devastated by the loss.

“Gopal had a world-class brain; he was as cerebral as any in the common law world. Incredibly articulate in speech and eloquent in prose.

“He was my friend, and I am devastated by his loss,” Thomas said.

He said Sri Ram has contributed the most to Malaysian legal scholarship and the administration of justice in the country post-Merdeka.

Thomas said Sri Ram was Malaysia’s pre-eminent barrister who was rewarded to become the first direct appointment to the newly established Court of Appeal in 1994.

Sri Ram was also one of the country’s greatest judges, whose judgements are included in law reports in many diverse branches of the law, he said.

He was also Malaysia’s greatest prosecutor in leading our most difficult prosecutions in the 1MDB scandals, said the former attorney-general.

A slew of reactions to the passing of Sri Ram is also pouring in from Twitter.

Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu conveyed his condolences to Sri Ram’s family, saying the veteran lawyer gave “outstanding service” to the nation, especially in the 1MDB case as well as many other cases of national and public interest.

Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman thanked Sri Ram for his service to the nation and said Malaysia has lost a brilliant legal mind.

“My deepest condolences to the family.

“You will be missed. Rest in peace, sir,” he said

Remembering the renowned lawyer, Constitutional law expert Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said he has left a legacy.

“Sri Ram left his footprints on the sands of time. He was a pioneer in creative, constructive and prismatic interpretation of our supreme Constitution,” said Prof Shad.