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The existence of another six-minute sequel to the eight minutes of Lingam Tape released by Anwar Ibrahim is true as I have seen it, where Lingam in a post-call conversation said the person he was talking to was Ahmad Fairuz, at the time Chief Judge Malaya

2008 Budget Debate Speech           
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Tuesday): The three-man Haidar Panel to determine the authenticity of the Lingam Tape has come out with a shock decision to submit three separate reports to the government.

This is the explanation given by the Panel Chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor for this extraordinary turn of events: “In view of the time constraints, it would not be fair to load one member with the task of preparing the report. That is why we have decided to submit separate reports instead.”

Even a school-child can see that Haidar is not telling the truth, and that the real reason is that the three-man panel cannot reach agreement on its finding and recommendation.

As no witness had appeared before the Haidar Panel, which had only the report of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to go by, what is the heavy task about preparing the report which Haidar is talking about? It must be the easiest report in the nation’s 50 year history for any inquiry committee to write, as there is very little to say – since all that is required of the Panel is to determine whether the Lingam Tape is authentic or not.

There are only three possible answers to the very narrow and restricted terms of reference of the Haidar Panel, that the Lingam Tape is authentic, not authentic or no way to establish either way.

If all the three members are agreed that the Lingam Tape agreed on anyone of these three answers, and that is all they want to say, then there is no need for three separate reports.

It is only when there is disagreement among the three members that there is need for three separate reports.

I can envisage the following scenarios to warrant the writing of three separate reports:

Scenario One – The three-man Panel divided into two camps, whether two-one or one-two, with one camp holding a position on these three variations different from that of another.

Scenario Two – The panel divided into two camps – one holding that although the Panel cannot determine whether the tape is authentic, the government should nonetheless, in view of overriding national interests, establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into it and the serious allegations of perversion of the course of justice on fixing of judicial appointments, particularly in view of the recent proceedings of the 14th Law Conference and the opening speech by the former Lord President and Perak Sultan Azlan Shah calling for return of the judiciary to its former golden days. The other camp objection to such a recommendation.

It is possible that there is a member of the Haidar Panel who felt that the panel should not be used to justify any government “cover up” of the Lingam Tape scandal, so as not to probe the shocking disclosures about the perversion of the course of justice which had done so much harm in undermining public confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the judiciary.

It is ridiculous that those in authority are insisting on getting the original copy of the Lingam Tape. Why isn’t a copy of the tape adequate for the purpose? When Osama bin Laden occasionally emerged from his hideout to issue dire warnings to the United States government in his videotapes, no one from the White House, FBI or CIA would take the position that unless Osama or some witness surface to vouch for their authenticity, or unless the original tape is produced, the tapes concerned would be regarded as fakes!

As the MP for Bukit Glugor, Karpal Singh had pointed out in this House, a copy of the Vijandran tape was adequate in the past and a Japanese expert could testify in court as to its authenticity.

In determining the authenticity of a tape, there should not only be forensic investigation on voice and image matching, but also content analysis as to whether it is consistent or reveals contradictions or anomalies to show doctoring and tampering. Why was this not done with the Lingam Tape? A content-analysis of the Lingam Tape will show that they were consistent with the facts, whether with regard to Fairuz’s promotion to Court of Appeal President and later Chief Justice of Malaysia or his being conferred as a Tan Sri.

Why didn’t the Haidar Panel undertake a content-analysis, including calling up the witnesses including the senior lawyer involved, V.T. Lingam?

Questions have been raised whether the Lingam Tape revealed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim really lasted 14 minutes, with six minutes not yet made public, or whether there were only eight minutes.

I can vouch the existence of another six-minute sequel to the eight minutes of Lingam Tape released by Anwar Ibrahim is true as I have seen it.

In the six minutes, Lingam had finished the telephone conversation and it recorded a conversation between Lingam and another person who asked who was Lingam who he was speaking to on the phone, and Lingam distinctly answered that he was talking to Ahmad Fairuz, at the time Chief Judge Malaya.

In the six-minute tape, Lingam mentioned that former Chief Justice, Tun Dzaiddin had wanted Justice Abdul Malek Ahmad (who died on 31st May 2007 as Court of Appeal President) to be the Chief Judge of Malaya but this was averted in a “power play” which resulted in Ahmad Fairuz being appointed the Chief Judge of Malaya instead.

Justice Abdul Malek was five years senior to Ahmad Fairuz in the judiciary, as he was appointed High Court judge in January 1985 while Ahmad Fairuz was appointed High Court judge only in August 1990.

The government should be reminded that it should not procrastinate any further and establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape and the crisis of confidence in the judiciary, or a judicial crisis will become a crisis of confidence of the entire government.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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