Ak57\’s Weblog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Loh Gwo Burne

Loh Duo Enter Politics

KUALA LUMPUR: Loh Mui Fah and his son Gwo Burne, who were star witnesses in the recently concluded Lingam video clip inquiry, will stand in the general election on opposition tickets.Mui Fah said discussions were still under way to determine which seat and under what banner he would contest.”The seat will be finalised by tomorrow (today) but it will definitely be on a DAP or Parti Keadilan Rakyat ticket,” said the 58-year-old businessman.Gwo Burne will meet Datuk Lee Hwa Beng for the Kelana Jaya seat in Selangor.Mui Fah said he and his son decided to enter the polls following calls from opposition leaders and the public over the past week.

Gwo Burne, 34, a consultant, said he was to have left for China soon after Chinese New Year, but could not resist the call to offer himself as a candidate for the election.

The father and son said their campaign would touch on corruption, the current state of the judiciary, lack of ministerial responsibility, urban poverty, the rising cost of living and the crime rate.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 23rd February 2008 (link)

SurprisedAnother surprise. From their testimony previously, I understood them to be innocent bystanders, witnessing the crime of corruption. Gwo Burne’s involvement is still a mystery to me, because:

  1. He claimed the recording was accidental
  2. He claimed that the recording was not edited, meaning he pressed record, hit stop, and the 14 minute video that got released was the entirety of it
  3. Yet the third video proves that Gwo Burne ‘accidentally’ recorded Lingam again, possibly before the alleged phone call from Fairuz (more details). Two accidents?

Gwo Burne denied having anything to do with the release of the video, implying that as he left copies of the video all over the place, someone else might have taken it. Now he is running for PKR, I guess after seeing the farce of the Royal Commission. What is he going to tell his boss if he wins though?

Gwo Burne: Hey boss, I have to go back to KL to testify in court.

Boss: Oh..umm..ok but make sure you come back here and settle your work.

(weeks later)

Gwo Burne: Hey boss, I quit!

Boss: What the ???

Gwo Burne: Yeah, I’m a politician now sorry.

Boss: (speechless)

Written by ak57

February 23, 2008 at 5:47 pm

VK Lingam Video Part 3

Anwar released another video of VK Lingam today, apparently given to him by Whistle 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 is the video:

Transcript

A lot of the dialogue is Lingam referring to how judicial appointments work in the Constitution. I found other snippets worth commenting on:

Lingam: But between you and me. We have taken Dzaiddin for dinner three times.

[Voice off-camera]: Three times already.

Lingam: And we have given him the most expensive gift. Don’t ask about it lah. I have given him and Vincent Tan has given him. So, he also cannot attack us. Tomorrow we go say we give you this this this. He cannot go and say you are a agent. Correct or not? So, he is neither here nor there lah. That’s all.

[Voice off-camera]: But… Chief Justice..

Lingam: But in the court when I argue with him. He said, Datuk Lingam you said you will take one hour. I said, my Lord, it is only 50 minutes, I got another 10 minutes. But…I appreciate. Thank you, thank you… He is very nice with me, very polite with me. I have been sending cakes every hari raya. Vincent has been sending. He can’t go and say he is very clean, correct or not?

[Voice off-camera]: But then he is…

Lingam: But he is playing his game lah. He got the job, that’s it. Now, September he is finished that’s all. Make sure he is not extended.

[Voice off-camera]: But, he may ask for extension.

Lingam: He is hoping… he told somebody that he likes the job very much. Then he likes…Let him dream lah.

In short, Chief Justice Dzaiddin Abdullah who was Chief Justice from 2000 – 2003 had been receiving gifts from VK Lingam and Vincent Tan. VK Lingam also implied that due to these gifts prevent Dzaiddin from rejecting his proposals. That’s clearly bribery. Unfortunately like the original video, it can also be explained away as boasting.

It appears that Lingam is saying that next September Dzaiddin would be stepping down unless he got an extension. A CJ can get 6 month’s extension only, yet Dzaiddin was CJ from 2000 – 2003. Does that mean this video was recorded in 2002? Lingam does appear to be wearing the same shirt as in the 2001 video though.

Nobody should know I know you. Then you can help more. But people, see you know more, like Eusoff Chin, because I met him in New Zealand, became a problem. But if I didn’t meet him in New Zealand, it’s a… no problem. Correct or not? Unfortunate.

[Voice off-camera]: Then, in your…then they said you have taken photograph with him holidaying in…huh…huh…

Lingam: But unfortunately, I didn’t know. The worst thing I didn’t know Eusoff Chin put his hand like that! Alamak…so…I also didn’t know about it. What to do?

This portion of the conversation actually supports Lingam’s and Eusoff’s statements to the RC that they just happened to meet up in NZ. Also that Eusoff Chin was a bit touchy feely 😛

I know their NZ trip was publicised in 2000 and there was ACA investigation etc. So the ‘we bumped into each other’ story could have been cooked up before 2000. But to maintain that lie in the privacy of his own home, while spewing out lots of other things which should remain secret forever … VK Lingam, you are indeed an impressive liar sir.

The two of you know you can’t be seen together, yet Eusoff is inviting Lingam for Raya open house? Such good friends 🙂

I believe the person VK Lingam was speaking to is Loh Mui Fah (looks like him), also since Lingam used his name as an example while explaining the recommendation of judges’ names for promotion. There is something interesting about the fact that this separate video exists though:

  1. Gwo Burne testified that he had accidentally left the camera actively recording video, sat down on the chair/couch while reading a book
  2. He also testified that the video was a single recording from start to finish, implying that he had pressed the stop button or the recording ended on its own after the memory card was full

Now we have a separate video, in the same room. Did Gwo Burne just happen to press the start button again later? He does appear to be sitting in the same spot as the previous video, with a good view of Lingam. The camera was very steady, and even turned to keep Lingam in view when he stood up and walked to the other man. I reviewed the previously released video again and Gwo Burne zoomed in and out while accidentally recording. Isn’t that is a bit suspicious? Gwo Burne and his father Loh Mui Fah should testify again to confirm whether this new video was taken before the previously released one, or after, and how it came to be recorded in the first place.

The previous video had a Panel set up to confirm it before a Royal Commission could be formed, whose title focused entirely on said video. Are we to go through that process all over again? Somehow I feel that the RC will reject this video and reprimand Anwar (as Whistle Blower is still unknown) since they have previously referred to their title to escape responsibility – Commission of Inquiry of the Video Clip Recording of Images of a Person Purported to be an Advocate and Solicitor Speaking on the Telephone on Matters Regarding the Appointment of Judges Under The Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950.

There was no image of a telephone in this video 😉

Written by ak57

January 28, 2008 at 10:03 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

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