Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lingam tape report out today - minus thunder

Shall we review all decisions of Ahmad Fairuz, Eusoff Chin....etc or just all the decisions of court since 1988 - since we do not yet know HOW many of them judges were "bought" and decided because they were "paid to" or "ordered to" or "told to" decide in a particular manner. Smart judges can, of course, write judgments justifying their decisions one way or the other -- so this will be a most difficult exercise. Shall we just purge the lot -- and get in NEW judges?

Who will NOW compensate the victims of these "corrupt judges"? Were some sent to their death by these "corrupt judges"?

Mahathir, as Prime Minister, can choose anyone as a Judge. He can get advice, suggestions, recommendations from anyone --- and at the day appoint any person as judge and/or elevate any judge.. There may have been no Judicial Appointment Commission before ---- or maybe there was such a "Judicial Appointment Commission", whose members could have been Datuk V.K. Lingam, (businessman) Tan Sri Vincent Tan, (Umno secretary-general) Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and others...whose duty was to forward names of proposed Judges, proposals as to who should be elevated to a higher position, etc..

So, we must really be asking whether having
a Judicial Appointment Commission, who will be giving "advice" or "recommendations" to the Prime Minister, who is at liberty to follow the advice or otherwise is sufficient.

Maybe, the Prime Minister should be deprived of that discretion and be bound to the decisions of the Judicial Appointment Commission?

Or maybe, we should just let the people elect them Judges..., and the law should set down just qualifications and the election process.


It would be WRONG for a Judge to rule in a particular manner because he was paid to do so, or asked to do so....

It would be WRONG for persons who 'bribed" or did something outside the court processes to get a Judge to deliver judgment in a particular manner..

It would be WRONG for a Judge to ask for an appointment, elevation or transfer for a consideration (an agreement to do certain things that he has the power to do...and this may not be just delivering judgments, but also appointing other judges, etc...)

The ACA chief should have been looking to eliminate corruption within the Malaysian Judiciary since 1988, at least, and if he had not been doing this - he has done WRONG. Why was it not the ACA that brought out the "corruption" of the Malaysian judiciary - Did the ACA, like the Election Commission, also get directives from the Prime Minister and/or the Cabinet?

The current Prime Minister, who by the way, despite knowing that
Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was implicated, did proceed to choose him as an UMNO-BN MP candidate in GE2008, and also did just recently make him the Secretary General of UMNO. Will UMNO now remove Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as the UMNO Secretary pending investigations? Possibly not..

Also hope that there is something in that report about the Father-Son team who took that video tape.The said Lingam trusted so much so to be able to talk over the phone as he did in their presence. --- Since then, the VDO takers have been "rewarded" with seats by PKR in GE2008, and now sits in Parliament.

Were they there trying to get some case settled? ... I hope the report dealt with this matter as well --- for we are thankful for their role in getting this VDO tape out --- but then we should not forget the question as to what their role was in the whole matter?

Lingam tape report out today - minus thunder

KUALA LUMPUR (May 19, 2008): The four-volume report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Lingam video clip goes on sale tomorrow afternoon - with the thunder of its content stolen by an information leak.

The report by the Commission of Enquiry on the "Video Clip Recording of the Images of a Person Purported to be an Advocate and Solicitor Speaking on the Telephone on Matters Regarding the Appointment of Judges", is made up of the main report (RM161.40), the notes of proceeding (RM123), statutory declaration (RM120) and exhibits (RM136.90).

The public may buy the report from the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya, from 2pm.

Last Friday (May 16), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim announced the cabinet decision to go public with the report, days after three newspapers had published the gist of its findings, quoting excerpts of the comments and recommendations.

The report, in a nutshell, found that the video clip recording of lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam talking on his handphone with a "Datuk" on appointment of judges is authentic and recommended appropriate action against individuals identified and said to have committed certain offences.

Zaid said the cabinet agreed that the Attorney-General (A-G)'s Chambers immediately investigate all allegations levelled against individuals identified in the report.

To a question, he named the individuals as (lawyer) Datuk V.K. Lingam, (businessman) Tan Sri Vincent Tan, (Umno secretary-general) Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, (former Chief Justice) Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin, (former Chief Justice) Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and (former premier) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

When asked whether these people were implicated, he had said: "No. No. I don’t want to say implicated. I said these are the findings of the report."

He said the various offences mentioned in the report included the Official Secret Act, Sedition Act, Penal Code and obstruction of justice.

"But I have to remind you, this report or recommendations are advisory in nature. So, you have to have another investigation."

He said the Cabinet urged the public, including the media, to allow investigation to proceed uninterrupted without undue pressure or any prejudice against any individuals.

Reactions to the report so far:
> Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not want any public prosecution or persecution by the media, as it would be unfair to make assumptions or hurl accusations against them. “That sort of things should not happen.”
He said the people and the media should not carry out their own investigations. "Just wait for the A-G's report."
He agreed with a number of recommendations in the report, such as action be taken to improve the state of the judiciary.

> A-G Abdul Gani said he would have to go through the report in detail before deciding whether to order a probe.

> Former premier Mahathir said he was prepared to be investigated and charged in court with regard to the commission's findings, so that he would have an opportunity to explain many things that the judges did, including lobbying.

"I want to tell about the judges who had come to me to lobby. If lobbying is wrong, then these judges should be probed," he said when asked by reporters on the cabinet's directive to the A-G to initiate immediate investigations into allegations on individuals named in the inquiry report.
Mahathir said he did not expect the judges who were lobbying had committed any wrongdoing as throughout his tenure as prime minister, many people had approached him to lobby for positions whether for a minister's post, deputy minister and other government positions.

He said the decisions he made on the appointments, including that of judges, were based on his own assessment.

"My decision is based on my assessment. I don't care who lobbied or who spoke to me. If I decide that the individual concerned should be appointed, then I will appoint. If a person should not be appointed, even though he was recommended by the judge, I will not appoint.

"I am not a postman, when the chief judge recommends, I straight away approve and see the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the King endorses. If that is the case, it can be said the appointment of the chief judge is decided by the outgoing chief judge.

"Then, I don't have any role at all. I don't want to be a postman," he said in a Bernama report datelined Johor Baru.

Asked on the recommendation by the commission that Vincent Tan and Tengku Adnan be investigated, Mahathir said he did not know about their roles as they had never lobbied with him.
"Anybody can give their views on the appointment of anyone, the prime minister or future deputy prime minister," he said, adding that the present system of appointing judges was good. What makes the system to be flawed is the human element."

> Salehuddin Saidin, counsel for Tun Ahmad Fairuz: He and his client could not comment because they had yet to receive a copy of the report. "I have not received any instructions from Tun Ahmad Fairuz at this point of time."

> DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng: A review of cases decided by Eusoff Chin and Ahmad Fairuz would be the most appropriate way of restoring the integrity of the judiciary. He said if a probe is ordered, it should focus mainly on Eusoff Chin and Ahmad Fairuz because as judges they carried a higher responsibility.

He claimed he was a victim of what happened, and so did lawyer Wee Choo Keong (MP for Wangsa Maju).

> Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer S.N Nair: His client is seeking to review all of his criminal and civil cases presided over by the two former judges.

"The standard of the commission’s findings is lower than the outcome of the investigations, which should unearth evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

The burden of proof will be higher with the A-G. This is why the investigating agency must be able to build up a strong case for prosecution. A lot of credibility is at stake for investigators, so that there will not be a reason for the A-G to dismiss the case for lack of evidence.

> Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail: There's a need to re-examine cases which Tun Ahmad Fairuz and Eusoff Chin had presided over as this blot on their names created doubts as to whether they had dispensed justice fairly.

She welcomed the decision to investigate the six individuals although she questioned whether A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail would do so fairly.

> DAP chairman Karpal Singh: The personalities cited in the commission’s report are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

"It will be premature for anyone at this point of time to suggest that any criminal offence has been committed by any one of them. It is my view that they are entitled to a fair police investigation and a fair trial before criminal culpability is proven.”

> Bar council secretary Lim Chee Wee said the council was studying whether to lodge a second complaint against lawyer Lingam for breaches of the Legal Profession Act. He said these charges would arise out of the evidence adducted at the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the commission’s findings.

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