Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

V.K. Lingam’s Unfortunate Recording

PETALING JAYA: Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday alleged that a senior lawyer, discussed with a top member of the judiciary, how to “fix the judgments” of several cases

……Among the matters discussed in the video were the appointment of a top position in the judiciary and which judges should be appointed to hear certain cases.The two also discussed cases involving Anwar, a former DAP stalwart, a tycoon, a minister and several senior judicial officials……

– quoted from an article published in NST, 20th September 2007 (link)

This has been big news for the past week, but the bulk of the information is online. Why? Because we do not have freedom of speech in Malaysia (a topic I will discuss further some other time). What surprises me is that people are shocked that higher judicial appointments are ‘fixed’. How naive can you be? This goes on in many countries around the world and in corporations too – the act of promoting people based on friendships/bribes/sucking up. Politicians appointing friends as judges/district attorneys to ensure loyalty (e.g. USA’s scandal earlier this year). Were those judges mentioned on the video loyal Bunnies? Of course we don’t want to know for sure such corrupt practices are happening, but it does happen. Don’t misunderstand me though, I’m not approving of this fixing of appointments in our judiciary and judgements in trials. In fact I am hoping that more screwups will occur in our government to promote change.

Many believe this video to be proof of a conspiracy linking many VIPs. However the only verifiable evidence is that V.K. Lingam is on the phone talking to someone. Who that someone is cannot be verified (unless Fairuz records his phone conversations, and such a tape did emerge, which even if it did exist will NEVER emerge for obvious reasons). So the only person who is screwed at the moment is V.K. Lingam. If it is him – frankly speaking the video is blurry and I have met a couple of men before who do look like the person in the video. While I trust Anwar’s judgement that it IS V.K. Lingam, it doesn’t change the fact that this is weak proof of corruption involving the persons named. The video is strange too, it is too high in quality for it to be taken with a handphone, so it must have been with a camera. How could Lingam not notice he was being recorded? In 2002 the kind of cool spycam stuff you see in Low Yat now wasn’t available to the average consumer, you would have to make it yourself or order it online or have some contacts down in Pasar Road. Perhaps it was a handbag-cam, or even (I’m saying this in jest) a songkok-cam?

PM: I’m disappointed

PUTRAJAYA (Sept 21, 2007): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi says he is disappointed by the release of a video clip depicting a conversation, allegedly between a lawyer and a judge, on the fixing of judicial appointments.

“I have received a copy of the video from the police along with the transcript of the conversation. I have also viewed the recording.

“Whether whatever transpired is true or not has yet to be confirmed. We have to verify the authenticity of the video,” Abdullah told reporters after chairing a Police Commission meeting of which he is in charge of promotions, salary revisions and disciplinary matters in the Internal Security Ministry today.

“This issue is important as it has caused a lot of damage to the country’s judiciary system. If the evidence show what transpired in the video was not the truth, action should be taken against those who released the video, as well as all those who lodged ACA reports.

“I am disappointed. The video was released with the aim of getting the people angry with the country’s judiciary system,” he told a press conference..

Asked whether a special commission would be set up to investigate the case, he said: “There is no need for one.”

-quoted from an article published in the Sun, 21st September 2007 (link)

Nice of the PM to respond so soon (I was expecting Nazri or Najib). I agreed with the PM line for line at first – of course the release of the video will get people angry with the judiciary system, and rightfully so! He worded his statement in a manner that accuses the Opposition of stirring up trouble. What ticked me off is the PM’s statement that there is no need for a commission to be set up. Careless mistake, sir. Lets look at the sequence of events and what would be the proper response:

  1. Corruption exposed in government
  2. People are angry
  3. People seek answers

Faced with such a problem, the official government response should be :

  1. State publicly that you condemn the corruption and an independant inquiry will be made
  2. Staff the members of said inquiry with people sympathetic to the position of those named as corrupt officials, and therefore likely to find no corruption
  3. Drag out the proceedings for a number of months so that the public’s attention will be caught up with some other running headline
  4. If necessary (i.e. public does not let issue die), move said corrupt officials into other government positions or even early retirement (in either case with big payoff). Most of the public will see that these officials are no longer in their previous positions and feel that that is justice enough.
  5. Have the result of the inquiry be that yes, there is corruption and make the small fish the scapegoat (V.K. Lingam)
  6. OR have the inquiry debunk the evidence by producing some nameless scapegoat who will admit that it is he that is in the video, not V.K. Lingam – said scapegoat will spend time in jail in exchange for some payoff that the public will never find out about

See? The government has missed the first step on a nice straightforward escape route. By not bothering about the inquiry you are actually losing votes, sir. In any crisis it is vital that the government is seen to act, especially if it involves corruption. As members of the general public we will never know what goes on behind the red curtain after all. Hmm come to think of it, Badawi can’t be this foolish. Is he purposely avoiding the escape route to expose the evils of government, and by doing so, serving the people?

Well one nice thing to look forward to this week – a march this Wednesday morning from the Palace of Justice to the PM’s office by lawyers in full attire. Hope there is a good turnout, no doubt many lawyers will be hesitant to attend for fear of being marked as a disloyal Bunnie. Are marches illegal? Is it considered an illegal gathering? Do the lawyers need a permit to march? Will FRU trucks be there? Its quite radical I must say, I would have expected a ‘motion to be filed’ and other paperwork. A march really delivers the message. This is going to be like a similar march by lawyers in Pakistan. I can’t go but will definitely post news and pics once they surface.

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Written by ak57

September 24, 2007 at 1:34 am

Posted in Local News

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. […] it looks like the government is getting back on track for the plan I outlined earlier. I can’t comment on the three gentlemen appointed to this panel but since this was formed by […]

  2. […] September 28, 2007 Posted by ak57 in Advice. Tags: vk lingam trackback As I explained before, the video recording that is causing all the scandal is a weak proof of corruption. The panel […]

  3. […] appointed a panel with (most likely) ’sympathetic’ members (as mentioned in step 2 of my plan).  The only reason the government would resort to such heavy handed tactics is that someone high […]

  4. […] interesting is that since the spotlight is not on Fairuz at all, it looks like my earlier prediction might be right after all – VK Lingam as a scapegoat, case […]


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