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Gwo Burne Testifies to the RC

Loh Gwo Burne (the recorder of the Lingam video clip and son of Loh Mui Fah) took the witness stand yesterday.

  1. Summary and partial transcript of Gwo Burne’s testimony published in NST on 22nd January 2008 (link)
  2. Summary (less details) published in The Star on 22nd January 2008 (link)

Factual statements (night of the recording)

  1. Was unable to remember the exact date of his visit to Lingam’s house, but confirmed it was late December 2001
  2. (NST) Was in Lingam’s house with his father that night
  3. (Star) Arrived at 6pm, shortly after that Lingam left to buy wine
  4. Lingam had not drunk much when the conversation was recorded
  5. By the end of the night, Lingam was not that drunk
  6. Had purchased a Sony 707 camera two weeks earlier, which he brought and took pictures with, with Lingam’s permission
  7. While taking a picture of a vase in the lounge he realised the camera was on video recording mode, but didn’t bother changing it as he was bored
  8. Felt bored because Lingam was too busy taking phone calls that kept coming in
  9. The recorded phone conversation took place between 7.30pm – 8.30pm
  10. Heard what Lingam said on the phone, and the subsequent conversation with his father
  11. Could make out a (what appeared to be male) voice at the other end of the line while Lingam was on the phone whenever Lingam was near, as Lingam moved about the room during the conversation
  12. Camera was hung around his neck which was why it appeared to be hidden behind a book (that he was reading)
  13. Did not believe Lingam was play-acting
  14. Believed that Lingam was definitely sober (contradicts his previous statement of ‘he was not that drunk’)
  15. Did not inform Loh Mui Fah about the recording
  16. Lingam had spilt curry on his shirt during dinner and changed to a clean shirt at 9pm, which was then tucked in
  17. Manjit Singh arrived after the video recording was made
  18. Left the house at 11pm with his father

Factual statements (what happened to the video after that)

  1. Copied the contents of the camera to his PC, gave the photographs (not video) to his father
  2. A month after that (Jan 2002?) he copied the contents to a CD
  3. In 2002, made a copy on CD which was given to Manjit Singh, because Manjit was complaining that Lingam was always busy with political matters
  4. Before leaving to work in China in 2004, he copied the contents of his PC (including the camera footage) onto DVDs to take with him
  5. Does not know who released the clip to the public
  6. Left copies of the files in the various towns where he worked in China
  7. Agreed with Thayalan that it was not impossible that others had edited the clip, as he was not the one who released it

Additional statements

  1. Identified Lingam in the court room as the man speaking on the video clip
  2. Did not understand the contents of the recorded conversation (was unware of the context)
  3. Did not edit, tamper or interfere with the video clip
  4. Cleared the memory card after copying out the files
  5. The video clip recorded was a complete segment from start to finish, no pauses

First of all, I think nobody is in the capacity to judge whether another person is drunk, unless they know the person very, very well which both Loh Mui Fah and Gwo Burne do not in this case. Drunk is a relative term, from what I have observed symptoms could be any mix of the following:

  • Possesses a more cheerful/jovial mood, bright eyes
  • Becomes talkative
  • Talks loudly
  • Makes incoherent/illogical statements
  • Goes very quiet and distant
  • Crying
  • Impaired balance
  • Red eyes
  • Flushed face
  • Gets very emotional (mood swings)
  • Starts doing really crazy things like licking people, stripping, dancing on the table

If you have seen the video, wouldn’t you agree that VK Lingam looks really jovial? I have a friend who gets extremely drunk  after drinking less than a can of beer (hitting on women, blathering and other unpleasant behaviour). I have friends who can drink several glasses of wine and still behave exactly the same as they do when sober. According to NST Gwo Burne stated that Lingam was ‘not that drunk’ but because we do not know Gwo Burne’s definition of what drunk and not drunk is, what is he really saying?

You could take a broad definition of ‘drunk’ as being:

A person is drunk when they engage in behaviour they would not normally do otherwise when they are sober

Sounds reasonable right? Normal people I would think don’t pretend to phone people and go on talking for 14 minutes to ‘put on a show’. VK Lingam’s behaviour however does appear to be someone who likes showing off his connections – look at what has been revealed in the RC hearings:

  • Asked to take many photos with Eusoff Chin and his family during their NZ trip
  • Wanted to frame up a photo and put it in his house where anyone can see it, but Thirunama convinced him that was a bad idea
  • Asked Gwo Burne to take photos during the night of the video recording
  • The transcript of the video recording itself shows a boastful attitude

I’ve seen this kind of behaviour before by a former business acquantaince who would often take pictures at meetings and also record phone conversations. To use as ‘ammunition’ if he didn’t get his way during the course of business – I’m talking about black mail of course. We’ll never really know the extent of VK Lingam’s power unless his alleged co-conspirators e.g. Tengku Adnan and Vincent Tan go public, which will never happen.


Written by ak57

January 22, 2008 at 8:18 pm

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  1. […] Blower on 25 January 2008. I think it is safe to say that Gwo Burne is not Whistle Blower, though he never claimed or denied having unreleased videos of VK Lingam in his possession (no such direct question was asked). Here […]

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