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Tearful Launch for Dalton Yap Memoir
Kingston, Jamaica: The memoir A Matter of Conduct by Dalton Yap received a tearful launch at the Dragon Court Restaurant on Monday, October 8, 2012. Slightly resembling a mock trial, the launch featured the kind of emotional outpouring that one would have expected in a culminating Law and Order scene when the villain or victim finally breaks down on the stand.
A Matter of Conduct, published by Sassy Sunflower Books and co-written by Alex Lee, chronicles Yap’s 10 year legal battle with the Jamaica Citizen’s Bank (now defunct). Yap had been accused of fraud and gross negligence and fired from his post as General Manager, Technology and Operations. Interestingly, it was revealed that the Yap family owned Dragon Court restaurant had been ground zero for much of the planning of Yap’s defense as well as the writing of the book.
Alex Lee described the project as a “most unexpected gift”. She confessed that when she first heard Dalton Yap’s story, she thought it was such an extra-ordinary tale she assumed it was a prank. Norman Wright, one of the attorneys on Yap’s legal team pointed out that the case had been one of the largest at the time with Yap being charged with defrauding the bank of US$2 million.
“I congratulate Dalton on having had the courage of his convictions to follow through to the stage of bing vindicated,” said Christopher Dunkley, a senior lawyers on Yap’s legal team.
The fact that the memoir surrounds a courtroom drama was echoed by the proceedings. The host, Glynis Salmon was dubbed the courtroom judge and the various presenters were given titles in keeping with those who would be present at the Privy Council where the final ruling in the case was made.
However, time and again, it was pointed out that A Matter of Conduct presents more than legal proceedings as it delves into the emotional drama which unfolded as the years wore on.
“How I see this book is that it is about the courage of a young man who really believed that he could be vindicated at the end of the day,” said Justice Hilary Phillips. Phillips illustrated her point by reading a short excerpt from the text which exposed the emotional gravitas when Yap told his father, the late Llewelyn Yap, about the charges. Yap was moved to tears as she read.
It would not be the last time that tears would flow. A Matter of Conduct is told from multiple perspectives with segments dedicated to Yap’s daughter Joanne Kimberley Yap and his sister Dr. Patricia Yap Berry. Both read segments of the book outlining the emotional hurricane that was unleashed during the lawsuit. Their readings outlined the drastic personality change that overcame Yap.
“He was like some outlaw arriving in town,” read Joanne Yap, as she described how the once loving father she knew was replaced by an angry distant stranger. As she cried, her father came over and held her.
“When a tiger dies, he leaves a beautiful fur,” Yap told the audience, pulling on the words he was told by his late father to explain his drive to pursue the battle despite its length and emotional toll. “But when you die you only leave your name. You must defend your name, your family name,” he said.
“I needed to fight and I had the full backing of my family. I was a terrible beast to live with,” he confessed. “and when you have problems the people who are closest, they are hurt. So thank you.” His quick laughter throughout the proceedings however suggested that with victory, joviality had returned.