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Posts Tagged ‘fairuz

Ahmad Fairuz Testifies to the RC Part 2

Ahmad Fairuz was questioned again by lawyers at the RC yesterday, strangely enough it was mostly a repeat of what he had said the day before. The following articles were published on 30th January 2008:

NST (link)
The Star (link)

The Star’s article proved more interesting. Fairuz stated it was improper for a lawyer and judge to go on holiday together. Wee Choo Keong also got to confront Fairuz, I wonder how it feels to confront the man who prevented him from becoming MP?

Wee continued with his question on the election petition filed to nullify him as the MP for Bukit Bintang in 1995.

He pointed out that if Ahmad Fairuz had decided based on facts and law, why was it that he singularly elected a losing candidate – Dr Lee Chong Meng – to fill the vacancy left by him (Wee) when there were two other people listed as petitioners.

Wee: That’s why Lingam said you suffered so much.

Haidar: The question has been answered. He already said the decision was based on facts and law.

Wee: I’m asking a few questions. Why Tan Sri finds it so difficult? I’m going to ask him a few questions and then I’m going to sit down.

Haidar: Based on my experience sitting here for the last 10 days …

Wee (smiling): I thought we made up already, Tan Sri?

Haidar (also smiling): Be careful with your choice of words (amid laughter).

To Wee’s earlier question, Ahmad Fairuz said he could not remember whether there were two other petitioners besides Dr Lee.

Wee: I say that there are three candidates.

Ahmad Fairuz: If you say so.

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Written by ak57

January 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Lingam RC, Local News

Tagged with ,

Ahmad Fairuz Testifies to the RC

Ahmad Fairuz took the witness stand yesterday. The following related articles were published on 29 January 2008:

NSTP
It was not me talking to Lingam (link)

The Star
Former CJ: I did not call Lingam (link)

Video clip related statements

  1. Viewed the video on his former secretary’s computer but it was not clear and kept breaking (most likely streaming – ak57)
  2. Was given a copy of the news article and transcript of the video on the evening of 19 September 2007, by his former secretary
  3. Felt it was defamatory but claimed it was a fabrication and the man speaking was trying to impress his listeners
  4. Had written to the PM, DPM and Nazri on the allegation and his position.
  5. Did not lodge a police report when the video clip was posted online last year because the news portal revealed that a report would be lodged with ACA and Bar Council
  6. Did not want to file a defamation suit as newspaper articles did not name him as the person speaking to Lingam
  7. Was not the man speaking to Lingam and the contents of the transcript were false, and just a monologue
  8. Did not respond to reporters as he did not want to jeopardise ACA investigations
  9. Did not know Lingam’s number and had never given his mobile number to him
  10. Had not met or contacted Lingam after September 19, 2007
  11. Could not identify Lingam in the video clip, but said the voice was similar

Corruption related statements

  1. Knew Lingam, Vincent Tan and Tengku Adnan thru functions and official business
  2. Had only met VK Lingam once or twice in court and once at the PM’s residence
  3. Never had a meeting with Lingam, Vincent Tan and Tengku Adnan to secure his appointment as President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice
  4. Never sought the help of Tengku Adnan and Vincent Tan through VK Lingam to confirm his position as President of the Court of Appeal
  5. Never made a plan or pact between himself, Lingam, Vincent Tan and Tengku Adnan to secure his appointment as President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice at any time
  6. Does not know if Dzaiddin ever recommended Abdul Malek Ahmad as CJ
  7. Denied calling Lingam to thank him for his efforts in securing his job position

Nothing surprising to me here really, he gave ok answers explaining his silence to the public after the clip was released. Why did nobody ask about the day Nazri spoke on his behalf though? Fairuz could have released a statement saying he is maintaining his silence until the ACA investigation is completed, that seems safe enough whether he is guilty or innocent. Maybe Fairuz is just arrogant and doesn’t care about public view of the Chief Justice? *shrugs*

The ‘news portal’ is Malaysiakini by the way, NST has yet to acknowledge its existence directly. Reading NST and Star can be quite amusing as both are controlled by the government. If you read the Star article they mentioned Malaysiakini specifically. I’m not sure when they started though, I rarely read The Star as I have never read anything it that was not biased towards the government.

Written by ak57

January 29, 2008 at 10:57 pm

VK Lingam Testifies to the RC Part 2

VK Lingam took the witness stand again yesterday. As the commission ruled that the Malaysian Bar could continue questioning Lingam on the trip, it was quite a comedy! The following related articles were published on 25th January 2008:

NSTP

  1. I booked my holiday separately, says Lingam (link)

The Star

  1. Lingam was bragging (link)
  2. Lawyer insists he and Eusoff Chin planned their NZ trip separately (link)

Factual statements

  1. His flights were booked by Holiday Tours & Travel (same as Eusoff Chin), only confirmed after being confronted with evidence
  2. His family and Eusoff Chin’s stayed at separate hotels
  3. Met Eusoff Chin in Auckland at the zoo, then at a bird park
  4. Shared a van with Eusoff to journey from christchurch to Queenstown
  5. There was a discussion with Eusoff on sharing the cost of the Queenstown trip

List of denials (i.e. VK Lingam denied …)

  1. That his secretary’s name being on Eusoff Chin’s itinerary was because it was planned by himself and Eusoff
  2. That his ticket was issued by Holiday Tours & Travel until confronted with evidence (the cheque)
  3. That the 15 minute time difference between the KL-Singapore flights was planned to avoid being seen with Eusoff Chin in KL
  4. Tagging along with Eusoff Chin the whole time his family was in Auckland
  5. Spending most of his time in Auckland with Eusoff Chin
  6. Staying in the same accommodation as Eusoff while in Auckland

List of “I don’t remembers” (i.e. VK Lingam does not remember …)

  1. When his family decided to go on the NZ trip
  2. Which travel agency he used, claimed it was Udara Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
  3. If his family spent the night in Queenstown

Ambiguous statements

  1. Insisted that it was a coincidence that his trip was booked through the same travel agent as Tun Eusoff Chin’s
  2. Did not know why his secretary’s name was written on Eusoff Chin’s itinerary (quote, “There are many Indian women called Jeyanthi”)

Additional statements by Lingam

  1. It was a coincidence that Lingam and Tun Eusoff used the same travel agent, the itinerary covered the same locations and the flights were on the same dates
  2. Their meeting at Changi Airport was a coincidence

Misc. events

  1. Eusoff’s counsel Zamani Ibrahim aligned himself with Thayalan and Ahmad Fairuz’s lawyer on their submissions regarding the relevance of the NZ trip

Noteworthy evidence presented

  1. A Bank of Nova Scotia cheque dated Dec 21, 1994 for RM24,912 signed by Lingam and made out to Holiday Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd.
  2. Eight photographs of Lingam and Eusoff and their families during their NZ trip (negatives with Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah)

I am reminded of a saying that goes something like this, “Two coincidences might be just that, but three coincidences is a conspiracy”. It appears that VK Lingam has not learned any lessons from his previous testimony and subsequent newspaper reports on it. Either that or he’s determined to make a public mockery of the RC hearings.

So the poor answers continued, e.g. this explanation of why Jeyanthi’s name was on Eusoff’s itinerary, “There are many Indian women called Jeyanthi“. He could have added, “I do not know why Eusoff Chin has my secretary’s name written on his itinerary, perhaps you should ask the two of them“.

I’m a bit curious why Shafee Abdullah has the negatives to photographs that both Lingam and Eusoff Chin wouldn’t want spread around. What’s his involvement?

The next part of the questioning focused on the video clip:

‘I can talk rubbish in my house’

KUALA LUMPUR: “My house is my castle. I am the king in my house. I can choose to talk rubbish even if I am drunk,” lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam said yesterday.

He was replying to a question by Ranjit Singh who appeared for the Bar Council at the hearing by the Royal Commission of Inquiry on a controversial video clip.

Ranjit had asked Lingam why he discussed the appointment of judges when he was drunk.

(cut)

Ranjit: Why talk of judicial appointments in the presence of Loh Mui Fah and his son Gwo Burne?

Lingam: I can even pretend to talk to President Bush if I like.

Ranjit: Why specifically say that?

Lingam: I don’t remember saying that. If I had referred to then chief judge of Malaya Datuk Ahmad Fairuz’s (Sheikh Abdul Halim) name, then I am sorry. But I was bull****ting and bragging.

Ranjit: Are you suggesting that you were bull****ting and bragging?

Lingam: Yes, I could be bull****ting and bragging.

Ranjit then referred to the clip which showed several wine, whisky and 7-Up bottles.

He asked Lingam whether the lawyer was now claiming to be tipsy after seeing the bottles in the clip.

“That is quite a lot for people to drink and get drunk,” Lingam said.

Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor asked Lingam why Mui Fah and Gwo Burne, who claimed to be social friends, would go against him.

Lingam: If they believe that I was involved in fixing judges, they should have gone to the ACA or the police and made a report. They should have said, “Charge this fellow” but they kept the clip for over six years.

Commission member Datuk Mahadev Shankar also asked Lingam whether he was disputing that the person in the photograph taken in New Zealand was him (Lingam).

Lingam said he was not disputing it.

Mahadev: Why is it that when it comes to the clip, you are now saying that it might not be you? How many per cent of that is you?

Lingam: I only said that the man in the clip looks and sounds like me. I did not say he was 100 per cent like me. I do not want to enter into a mathematical debate.

He added that the expert findings by Mohd Zabri Adil Talib on the identity and the voice of the man in the clip was fundamentally flawed.

“I will be the first to admit if my experts say so.

“Until then, I will not confirm without the report,” he said.

Haidar then interjected that Mui Fah and Gwo Burne had positively identified that he was the man in the clip.

“You will have my evidence.

“Fairness demands that I be given the opportunity. I think I have made myself clear about the matter,” Lingam said.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 25th January 2008 (link)

I agree with Lingam somewhat on one thing – that a person should be free to say what he/she likes in the privacy of their home, without the expectation that what they say will be recorded and spread around in the public domain. Especially if they are drunk, a state that can’t be proved or disproved in this case. You don’t believe politicians speak on camera the same way the speak at home right?

Other than that the rest of his statements were nonsensical, though I am curious how the RC will resolve conflicting evidence once Lingam’s experts return with a report saying the video clip could have been manufactured. Remember Lingam won’t send the video to be analysed by anyone unless they can confirm or throw serious doubt on it authenticity, due to the official secrets mentioned.

Written by ak57

January 25, 2008 at 10:33 pm

VK Lingam Testifies to the RC

VK Lingam took the witness stand yesterday. The following related articles were published on 22nd January 2008:

NSTP
Lingam: Man in clip looks and sounds like me (link)
‘I did not have Ahmad Fairuz’s phone number’ (link)

The Star
Lingam: ‘It was not Ahmad Fairuz’ (link)
I never represented Mui Fah, says Lingam (link)
Lingam: ‘I talk rubbish when I drink’ (link)
Lawyer: Don’t bring NZ holiday into the picture (link)
Vacation photo taken sometime in 1995 or 1996, says Lingam (link)

Sun’s article (including summary of Gwo Burne’s testimony) published on 22nd January 2008 (link)

Factual statements

  1. Loh Mui Fah and Gwo Burne were merely social friends who visited his home 3-4 times
  2. Knew Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah as they were neighbourhood friends
  3. Had gone on a holiday with Vincent Tan and Mohtar Abdullah to Spain and Morocco in 1995/1996
  4. Loh Mui Fah had visited (on the night in question?) as a social friend, as he often did in the past with either his son, mistress or second wife
  5. Loh Mui Fah used to visit Lingam at his office 3-4 times a year
  6. Loh Mui Fah would usually bring 3-6 bottles of wine whenever visiting Lingam in his home
  7. Had only been to Mahathir’s house in September 2005 when acting as counsel in a defamation suit against Mahathir by Anwar Ibrahim
  8. First knew Tengku Adnan when the latter was a director in one of the Berjaya Group of companies
  9. Described Vincent Tan as a good friend
  10. Described his relationship with Tun Eusoff Chin as “not extremely close”

List of denials (i.e. VK Lingam denied …)

  1. Having spoken to Tun Mahathir, Vincent Tan or influencing anyone else to appoint Ahmad Fairuz as Chief Judge of Malaya, Court of Appeal president or chief justice
  2. Representing Loh Mui Fah or Loh Gwo Burne at any time, however Lingam did represent Mui Fah’s father, Kim Foh
  3. Ever speaking to Fairuz on the phone
  4. That Loh Mui Fah came to his house empty handed on the night of the recording

List of “I don’t remembers” (i.e. VK Lingam does not remember …)

  1. Saying what is in the transcript of the video to Ahmad Fairuz (basically did not remember making any recorded statement)

Ambiguous statements

  1. Would not confirm or deny if the person in the video clip was him, rather saying “it looks like me and sounds like me”
  2. Would not confirm if Loh Mui Fah was the man in a photograph taken that night (“looks like him”)
  3. Said he may have been intoxicated as the footage showed wine and whisky bottles
  4. Despite refusing to identify the person in the video clip as himself, Lingam stated:
  • That he did not know who he was speaking to and it was definitely not Ahmad Fairuz as he did not have his number nor did Fairuz have his
  • He did not know when the recorded conversation took place
  • Must have had too much to drink
  • Learned about the official secrets (regarding Zainuddin and Dr Andrew’s recommendation and subsequent rejection for judicial appointments) from gossip by the legal fraternity

Additional statements

  1. Insisted on getting his own experts to verify the authenticity of the video clip – whether it really was VK Lingam
  2. Thayalan stated that evidence related to the 1994 trip with Eusoff Chin was not relevant as the issue of ‘closeness’ being brought up by Bar Council was looked into and closed by the ACA

Either VK Lingam did not rehearse what he was going to say, or he was dead set on making a mockery out of the hearing. We know he can’t confirm that he is the man in the video clip because of the official secrets mentioned, however the ‘gossip excuse’ isn’t too bad an attempt at explaining how he knew. Better than saying he doesn’t remember or doesn’t know how he came to know official secrets. Alberto Gonzales (former USA AG) did a better job, as he consistently did not recall anything 😉 I haven’t figured out what Lingam’s strategy is yet, other than doing everything he can to throw doubt on whether the person in the video recording is really him. He’s mainly in trouble for the official secrets you see, other than that the only evidence shown so far has been a monologue on video (since it can’t be proven whether there was someone on the other end of the line), and some photos of him on holiday with Eusoff Chin, Vincent Tan and Tan Sri Mohtar.

Its not me but I may be drunk? Its not me but I wasn’t talking to Fairuz? Why didn’t the RC members press further? Only Datuk Mahadev Shanker and DPP Nordin picked on this obviously flawed testimony, as shown in the following article excerpts:

Commission member Datuk Mahadev Shanker told Lingam that his reply to Nordin could give an inference that he (Lingam) had made such statements, only that he could not remember now.

– NST

However, the lawyer denied that it was Ahmad Fairuz when asked whom it was that he was allegedly speaking to in the video clip.

“I don’t know (who it was). But certainly, I was not speaking to Tun Ahmad Fairuz because I don’t have his phone number and he doesn’t have mine.

“I’ve never spoken to him on the phone and he’s never spoken to me on the phone.”

When DPP Nordin pointed out that by replying in such a way, he was admitting to being the person in the video clip, Lingam replied: “It looks like me. You can ask me a hundred times, I’ll give you the same answer.”

– The Star

DPP Nordin asked Lingam who the person in the video was referring to when he said: “But you know the old man, at 76 years old, he gets whispers from everywhere and then you don’t whisper, he… he get… aa… aa taken away by the other side.”

“I don’t know who it was,” Lingam replied.

At this juncture, commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar pointed out that there were two aspects of this question – whether he had made the statement and if he did, whom was it referring to.

“I do not know whom I was referring to. I can’t remember having said this,” Lingam replied.

From this point onwards, the senior lawyer’s response to the portions of the transcript read to him was “I can’t remember having said this.”

Later, Mahadev again remarked that the inference drawn from his answer was that he had in fact made the statements but could not remember doing so.

– The Star

Written by ak57

January 22, 2008 at 11:18 pm

CJ’s Last Day

Ahmad Fairuz retires as CJ

PUTRAJAYA (Nov 01, 2007): Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim has retired as Chief Justice (CJ) of the Federal Court of Malaysia when his term ended on Wednesday.

Court of Appeal President Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamed has been appointed the acting CJ, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday“Tun Ahmad Fairuz has retired and we thank him for his outstanding contribution to our judicial system and hope that he will continue to serve the country with his experience,” he said.

“The vacant position, according to regulations, has to be filled, so we will fill the post with the second person in line, that is the Court of Appeal President Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamed.

– quoted from an article published in The Sun on 1st November 2007 (link)

Hurray! Well, a small hurray at least – now that he is retired I’m curious whether the government will state that there is no need to investigate him.

Written by ak57

November 9, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Posted in Legal Matters, Local News

Tagged with

Fairuz Extension Status Unknown

It’s ‘king’s prerogative’

KUALA LUMPUR: The extension of the chief justice’s tenure is the prerogative of the king, lawyer and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh said yesterday.

He said a phrase in Article 125(1) of the Federal Constitution stated that a judge shall hold office until he attained the age of 66 and a further six months “as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve” should be read together with Article 40(2).

Karpal said it was the king alone who had the discretion on whether to extend Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim’s tenure after he turns 66 on Nov 1.

“The king may consult the prime minister, but it is purely consultation and nothing else,” he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said on Tuesday that the king had to act on the prime minister’s advice in the extension of the term.

Ahmad Fairuz had applied to the king in July for a six-month extension, but with less than two weeks to go before retirement, he has not received a letter to allow him to remain in office.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 18th October 2007 (link)

I ignored commenting on Nazri’s statement the day before because I wasn’t sure whether he was right or not. However after reading Karpal’s comments I got myself a copy of the Constitution to check the quoted articles. I have reproduced the related points below :

Article 125 (Tenure of office and remuneration of judges of Federal Court)

(1) Subject to the provisions of Clauses (2) to (5), a judge of the Federal Court shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-six years or such later time, not being later than six months after he attains that age, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve.

Article 40 (Yang di-Pertuan Agong to act on advice)

(1) In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution; but shall be entitled, at his request, to any information concerning the government of the Fderation which is available to the Cabinet.

(1A) In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law, where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is to act in accordance with advice, on advice, or after considering advice, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall accept and act in accordance with such advice.

(2) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may act in his discretion in the performance of the following functions, that is to say :
a) the appointment of a Prime Minister;
b) the withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament;
c) the requisition of a meeting of the Conference of Rulers concerned solely with the privileges, position, honours and dignities of Their Royal Highnesses, and any action at such a meeting,

and in any other case mentioned in this Constitution.

Now I’ll admit its not 100% clear, because ‘as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve’ in Article 125(1) implies it may be covered by Article 40(2) as a case where he may act in his discretion. So I can’t really make fun of Nazri for his statements. It is worth considering though that he often misinforms the public and even makes stuff up whereas Karpal Singh is a respected lawyer.

Well come November 2nd we’ll know who sits in the Chief Justice’s office chair.

CJ’s Last Day

Written by ak57

October 20, 2007 at 12:54 pm

CJ Retiring Soon

Fill chief justice’s post fast, says Bar

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council has called on the authorities to fill the top position in the judiciary in view of the retirement of Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim at the end of the month.

“We urge that the appointment be made immediately upon the said retirement to avoid the post being left vacant for any length of time,” its president Ambiga Sreenevasan said in a statement yesterday.

The Conference of Rulers which endorses appointments and promotion of judicial officers will meet for two days from Oct 31.

Ahmad Fairuz, who has been holding the position since 2003, will turn 66 on Nov 1, the compulsory retirement age for judges.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 9th October 2007 (link)

I wonder if Ahmad Fairuz will be non-prosecutable after he retires? Will the government position be that there is no need to go after a retired old man now that he is no longer in a position of power?

Written by ak57

October 10, 2007 at 1:39 am

Posted in Legal Matters, Local News

Tagged with ,