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Posts Tagged ‘Tengku Adnan

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.

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Written by ak57

January 29, 2008 at 10:57 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

Tengku Adnan Testifies to the RC

I had nothing to do with it, says Tengku Adnan

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said yesterday that he had nothing to do with the appointment of judges, although lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam mentioned his name 11 times in a video clip.”I think the person who is engaged in a conversation in the clip is drunk,” he said in dismissing one of the statements read out from a written transcript by Datuk Azmi Ariffin, who is assisting the hearing by the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

(cut)

Tengku Adnan said he knew Lingam and tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, the other person Lingam kept referring to in the conversation.

“I knew them when I was in business. I had little contact with them after I joined the government,” said Tengku Adnan, who was a deputy minister and later minister in the Prime Minster’s Department between 2001 and 2002.

During that period, he was in charge of legal affairs which included the judiciary.

Azmi: Do you know Lingam?

Tengku Adnan: Yes, I know Lingam in the course of my business dealings.

Azmi: What was your relationship with Tan?

Tengku Adnan: I knew him since the 1990s when I was in business.

(cut)

He identified the man in the clip as Lingam. Azmi then showed Tengku Adnan the transcript on Lingam’s conversation in the 14-minute clip and proceeded to question him on the statements where Lingam mentioned his name on 11 occasions.

It was during the ninth question by Azmi that Tengku Adnan said Lingam could have been in a state of intoxication.

Tengku Adnan dismissed a suggestion by Azmi that he had influenced former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in appointing Ahmad Fairuz as chief judge of Malaya and Court of Appeal president between 2001 and 2002.

He also said it was not true that he had discussed with Lingam and Tan on the appointment of judges.

Azmi: Do you think what Lingam said in the clip was true after viewing the clip?

Tengku Adnan: No.

To a question by Bar Council lawyer Christopher Leong, the minister said he had no access to classified documents that were tendered in court on Wednesday through former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman.

The letters were correspondence between Dr Mahathir and former Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah from 2001 and 2002 on the appointment of judicial officers.

Leong: Would it be correct to say that you knew Tan because you were a shareholder in companies that belonged to him?

Tengku Adnan: Yes, because I was a shareholder in the Berjaya Group of companies.

Leong: Were you a director in some of the companies?

Tengku Adnan: Yes, but I cannot remember which companies.

Leong proceeded to ask Tengku Adnan of his past business connections in other companies, but commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor stopped him.

“Why ask this question? The minister has already admitted to being a shareholder and a director when he was in business,” he said.

Leong replied that this line of questioning was to show that Tengku Adnan and Tan were close associates.

Tengku Adnan said he only met Tan at public functions now. He said he knew Lingam was one of the panel lawyers of Berjaya and described his contact with the man as “extremely limited”.

Leong: There was a letter between Dr Mahathir and Dzaiddin to reject two names recommended for judicial appointment. The speaker (Lingam) states that his source of information came from you. What have you got to say?

Tengku Adnan: It’s strange but it did not come from me.

Leong: Would you have any objection to making your telephone numbers available to the commission?

Tengku Adnan: No problem.

M. Puravelan, counsel for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, asked the witness whether he had met Tan and Tan Sri Abdul Murad Khalid at his home in Jalan Duta in August 1995.

When Tengku Adnan said he did not meet the two men, Puravelan claimed he had documents to show that he did. Haidar stopped counsel from pursuing the matter, saying it was irrelevant.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 18th January 2008 (link)

Christopher Leong, who represented the Bar Council, had asked why he thought Lingam would “of all names, pick out your name when you hardly know him?”

Tengku Adnan replied: “My name is not only dropped here, not only by V.K. Lingam. People who want to build mosques, seek donations also use my name.

– quoted from an article published in The Star on 18th January 2008 (link)

Tengku Adnan sure helped Lingam by putting forward a ‘he might be drunk’ defense 😉 Its a pretty good defense because it can’t be disproved, plus the bottles of liquor and (I’m certain) upcoming testimonies of those present to say alcohol was consumed…well that just helps strengthen the argument.

I’m a bit curious with Leong’s interest in trying to establish that Tengku Adnan and Vincent Tan were best of friends or the equivalent. Honestly speaking, they could be BFF (Best Friends Forever) but that does not help prove corruption at all – tie that in with official decisions by Tengku Adnan that were always favourable to Vincent Tan and then you might have something. Though that would probably be outside the terms of reference for the RC.

Perhaps the Bar Council strategy is to establish friendly relations between Lingam-Fairuz-Mahathir-Vincent Tan-Tengku Adnan first, then follow up with those ‘overly favorable’ official decisions?

Leong’s question of why did VK Lingam mention Tengku Adnan’s name seems to imply that the mere mention of a person’s name is enough to imply guilt. Tengku Adnan’s reply that the practice of name-dropping his name is not restricted to VK Lingam was pretty good 🙂

Again Puravelan asked about the meeting with Tan Sri Abdul Murad Khalid, similar to the question he posed to Tun Mahathir, to which Tengku Adnan replied no. I am glad that Haidar stopped Puravelan from continuing though because that would be an attempt to broaden the search for corruption beyond the current scope, which is ‘corruption in the process of appointment of positions in the judiciary’.

Since Murad was not mentioned in the video clip that prompted the creation of the RC, trying to fish for corruption from all these famous chaps is not something I approve of anyway. You want to fish, get evidence.

Written by ak57

January 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Lingam RC, Local News

Tagged with ,

Mahathir Testifies to the RC

Tun Mahathir took the witness stand yesterday and after reading both the Star and NST’s transcript of the questioning I see he gave decent answers and see no reason to criticise him. Prior to this I read bloggers making fun of him for not remembering a few events or reasoning behind decisions he had made SIX years ago and I thought gosh, did Tun Mahathir behave in a hilariously incompetent manner like Alberto Gonzalez (former Attorney General of USA)? Turns out he did not, and shame on those people out there for making fun of him.

Yes there are many “I don’t remember” and “I’m uncertain” statements but if you read the transcripts in their entirety to get the flow and context, it looks quite alright in my opinion. As a general guideline if you are put on the stand:

  1. Confirm what can be proven
  2. Say what you like if its truthfulness can’t be proven (e.g. dealings that have no paper trail or documentation)
  3. “Don’t recall” if you can’t confirm whether your statement is true, even if you ‘think’ the statement is true – if you are not sure its best to ‘not remember’
  4. Be a bit ambiguous when the wording of the question can be used against you (e.g. the use of the phrase, “Were you influenced by anyone …”; influence can be misinterpreted as controlled)

Remember as former PM he is expected to know a LOT of things, even matters that he himself doesn’t personally know! Though in our country people at the top do have a despotic attitude about them so he could just blather on and still not get in trouble anyway 😉

NST transcript
Star transcript (more descriptive, but you should read both)

My summary based on Tun Mahathir’s statements follows.

List of denials (i.e. Tun Mahathir did not …)

  1. Receive a phone call from Vincent Tan in relation to Ahmad Fairuz’s appointment as chief judge of Malaya
  2. Telephone (then deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor every time Dzaiddin sent a letter to you and ask Tengku Adnan to discuss it with Vincent Tan
  3. Have meetings between him and Tun Ahmad Fairuz arranged by Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on the appointment of judges
  4. Meet V.K. Lingam, Tengku Adnan and Vincent Tan to discuss the recommendation to appoint (the late) Tan Sri Abdul Malek Ahmad as chief judge of Malaya
  5. Reject Malek Ahmad from being appointed chief judge of Malaya because he was “anti-PM”
  6. Upon receiving a letter from Dzaiddin, call Tengku Adnan and tell him to discuss it with Vincent Tan (it is presumed this is not the letter regarding Malek Ahmad)

List of “I don’t remembers” (i.e. Tun Mahathir did not remember …)

  1. Reasons were for rejecting Chew and Zainuddin from being High Court judges
  2. Receiving any memorandum from V.K. Lingam, but might have received a letter from Eusoff Chin
  3. If the chief judge of Malaya’s appointment (Fairuz) was the reason for rejecting Chew and Zainuddin
  4. Phoning Ahmad Fairuz and (businessman) Tan Sri Vincent Tan in respect of the six Court of Appeal judges which Dzaiddin recommended
  5. That before Ahmad Fairuz was recommended as chief judge of Malaya, Dzaiddin had nominated Malek Ahmad (though he does remember some talk of that possibility)
  6. When Dzaiddin recommended Malek Ahmad, and whether a rejection was made

Unable to confirm or deny, or ambiguously answered

  1. Whether Tengku Adnan as a deputy minister in charge of law have access to the documents containing information mentioned by Lingam in the video
  2. Whether he was influenced by anyone in making his decisions
  3. Whether Vincent Tan advised him on any decision

Factual statements

  1. Mahathir knows Tan Sri Vincent Tan very well
  2. Mahathir only knew VK Lingam recently after engaging him in a case where Anwar Ibrahim sued Mahathir for defamation
  3. VK Lingam has been to Mahathir’s home once or twice after his engagement as Mahathir’s lawyer
  4. Mahathir agrees that the person in the video clip knew about Official Secrets, and that he does not know how that came to be
  5. Mahathir listens to the advice of numerous people (civil servants, senior police personnel, the ACA, etc.) in making his decisions, but his decisions are his own

Oddities
Despite documentation that Dzaiddin had recommended Malek Ahmad, Tun Mahathir still would not confirm having received the recommendation or rejecting it following that. As the legal team did not present an official letter rejecting the recommendation its safe to assume that Mahathir was free to say what he liked as there was no paper trail to disprove him. If you look at the transcript carefully Mahathir was asked many times about Malek Ahmad’s recommendation by Dzaiddin, and not once did Mahathir acknowledge receiving or rejecting it. Best illustration of that :

Commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar: Were your reasons for rejecting Tan Sri Abdul Malek Ahmad discussed with Dzaiddin? He suggested it, you rejected it. Did you discuss it with him?

Dr Mahathir: I normally don’t explain to anybody. This is why I made the decision. This is why. I listen to a lot of people and I make my own decision. I don’t explain to anybody.

Sidetrack by Anwar’s Lawyer
M.Puravelan wanted to ask Mahathir about a meeting between him and former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid in August 1999 at the Palace of the Golden Horses, claiming this meeting led to another Tengku Adnan, Vincent Tan and VK Lingam. His reasoning was this involved persons mentioned in the video clip and events that affected the administration of justice. Mahathir did not remember meeting Murad.

Final comments
Aren’t we all influenced by outside forces in life? I did not care much for the repeated use of the term ‘influence’ during questioning, its so open to misinterpretation.

Written by ak57

January 18, 2008 at 10:37 pm