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Lingam Findings Not Discussed

Cabinet ministers to give input on video clip next week

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 14, 2007): Cabinet ministers have been given until next Wednesday (Nov 21)’s Cabinet meeting to provide feedback on the report of a three-man independent panel set up to determine the authenticity of a video clip featuring a telephone conversation between a lawyer and a senior judge purportedly held in 2002.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz told reporters in Parliament today the report was submitted to Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan on Monday (Nov 12) and would be given to the ministers from tomorrow.

“We have to study the report and make the appropriate response at the next Cabinet meeting,” he said. “I will be getting my copy tomorrow.”

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had also tasked him (Nazri), Home Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim to provide legal input on the report.

Nazri said the three ministers were tasked with the job due to their legal background and experience in legal matters.

Both Radzi and Rais had also held the law portfolio in the Cabinet, apart from Nazri who is now de-facto Law Minister.

Nazri said the Cabinet did not go through or discuss the report in its weekly meeting today.

He declined to comment on the report’s content, saying that he had not gone through it.

On a vernacular newspaper’s report yesterday that a Royal Commission of Inquiry had been recommended by the three-man panel, Nazri said he was unaware of this.

Earlier, Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said in a statement Sin Chew Daily had carried a sources report today that all three members of the panel had a common recommendation on the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

– quoted from an article published in The Sun on 14th October 2007 (link)

What a shame that another delaying tactic was implemented by the government. Instead of discussing the contents of the report, it was given to all cabinet ministers for them to digest first.

Is it because what Sin Chew wrote is true, that all three members recommended a Royal Commission? I’m surprised that it would be a unanimous vote for the video being authentic. Perhaps the three chaps realised the right thing to do, or they realised that dismissing the video now might get them in trouble later when more evidence of corruption shows up.

Why form a sub-group to digest and give legal comments on the report? This is a report on technical authenticity right? It would be quite amusing if the report had sections detailing frame by frame analysis, a report on the audio streams that could be isolated from the video and other technical goobledy-gook 😉

This story was on the front page of both NST and The Star the next day on 15th November. Star didn’t mention VK Lingam’s name of course. Trying to distract the nation away from the BERSIH rally? I’m not sure why NST didn’t put the story on their website though, but its ok since The Sun ran it:

Cabinet trio not meeting on Haidar Report

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 15, 2007): The three senior cabinet ministers tasked with the responsibility to look into the Haidar Report submitted by the three-man panel headed by Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor on the Lingam Tape will not meet.

“Nor will they consult or correlate their findings and make recommendations collectively,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

“Just like the three-man panel, we will provide our own feedback and input on the report,” he told reporters in Parliament lobby today.

Yesterday, the cabinet in its weekly meeting decided that a copy of report would be given to all cabinet ministers for their input as well as legal input from the three specially appointed cabinet ministers.

The three Home Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, Culture Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim and Nazri.

“The three of us won’t be meeting … we will do it individually,” Nazri said, adding that their role was to look into the legal aspect and implications of the report.

He said the move to task the cabinet ministers and in particular the three to look into the report shows that the government was serious in its efforts to look into the three-man panel’s report.

“That is why we are looking into it deeper. We also want feedback from 32 ministers, not just the three of us, just in case we miss out something,” said Nazri.

Nazri said he is likely to read and evaluate his copy of the report during his trip to Teheran, Iran, to attend the Asian Parliamentary Union meeting. He leaves tomorrow and will return on Wednesday morning, in time to attend the cabinet meeting and provide his input on the report.

On whether he has received and seen the report, he said: I have not seen the report. How can I comment on it?”

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang in a statement asked why the Prime Minister and the Cabinet are dragging their feet by not immediately announcing the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

“Firstly, why wasn’t the Haidar Report made public immediately? Why must cabinet ministers read the report first, to find out whether it is good or bad for the government, before deciding whether it should be made public?”

– quoted from an article published in The Sun on 15th November 2007 (link)

You’re absolutely right, Lim Kit Siang. What comments would be needed? Imagine this humorous scenario:

Minister : Most esteemed members of the cabinet, I have gone through the report myself and found it to be strongly lacking in the methods used to confirm the technical veracity of the video. Given my 30 years as a data forensic expert, I have produced my own report on the video.

*Hands report to senior BN member attending*

Senior BN Member : Good work Right Honourable Sir! Fellow members of the cabinet, we must of course confirm the accuracy of this report before distributing it to you all…perhaps a three member panel is needed?

Opposition members roll their eyes and sigh.

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Written by ak57

November 16, 2007 at 11:58 pm

Posted in Local News

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