OBSESSION WITH WHISTLE-BLOWERS INDICATES AUTHENTICITY OF LINGAM TAPE.
GUEST BLOGGER: KIM QUEK
The government’s obsession at pursuing the whistle-blowers while meticulously avoiding mention of the two principal alleged culprits – lawyer V K Lingam and present Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz – is the surest tell-tale sign that the Lingam video clip is not only authentic, but is also known to the government to be authentic.
Significantly, three full weeks after the exposure of this explosive video clip (on Sept 19) which revealed political manipulation and illicit fixing of senior judicial posts, both alleged culprits have not openly denied the serious charges, and have also steadfastly remained incommunicado and invisible to the public.
Instead of going after the alleged culprits, de-facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz made a desperate attempt to dig at the whistle-blowers. Quoting a non-existent “Witness Protection Act”, he went to the extreme of offering a face change through plastic surgery as the ultimate protection to lure the anonymous source behind the video to come forward to the government.
Nazri warned that “a probe into the clip will come to nothing if the whistleblower does not come forward to verify its authencity.” He added that if the witness failed to appear, “we can conclude that they are lying”.
Nazri’s stipulation of the whistleblower’s appearance as pre-condition to this investigation defies all logic.
The evidence is the video clip. Authenticity should be built primarily upon a technical analysis of the clip -- whether the person that appears in the video is actually Lingam himself or an actor impersonating Lingam, or whether the voice in the clip belongs to Lingam or dubbed from another person. These can be ascertained by analyzing Lingam’s mannerism, voice, tone, accent, linguistic expressions and vocabulary, and compare these with those found in the clip. Unless Lingam claims that the clip is a fake, there is even no necessity to go into these exhaustive technical details.
SOURCE OF WHISTLE-BLOWER IRRELEVANT
In the absence of a challenge from Lingam, Nazri’s insistence in hinging the whole investigations on the appearance of the video maker is all the more unreasonable, for there is still the question of credibility of any self-claimed video maker that may emerge. If a person emerges to claim he films the video, can we take his word as proof that the clip is authentic? Of course not, we still have to go through the technical analysis, if Lingam insists it is a fake. Finality is rested with the technical analysis, in case of dispute. Then why turn the video maker’s appearance into an absolute pre-requisite for the entire investigation?
That the original whistle-blower’s identity is not even relevant to the uncovering of a major scandal was amply illustrated in the President Richard Nixon. Throughout the lengthy investigations, the identity of the mysterious whistle-blower codenamed “Deep Throat” was never revealed, and yet this non-revelation of the source did not prevent a fruitful conclusion of the entire investigations. Incidentally, the two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who first exposed the scandal, were honoured by the award of the nation’s top literary prize - the Pulitzer - to the newspaper, in recognition of their journalistic achievement. This is of course in contrast with the treatment received by our poor whistle-blowers – PKR vice-president R Sivarasa and Anwar Ibrahim’s political aide Sim Tze Tzin - who have been hounded by our Anti-Corruption Agency. They were served with notice under Section 29 (c) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 to reveal the source of the video clip to ACA within seven days from Oct 4, failing which they are liable to be jailed for two years and fined RM 10,000. in US in the early seventies when the scandal was finally resolved with the resignation of former
What a contrast in the way a genuine democracy handles a major government scandal with that adopted by a corrupted pseudo democracy like The former honours its whistle-blowers and punishes the culprits (even the chief executive of the nation), while the latter punishes its whistle-blowers, and protects the culprits.!
VIDEO IS GENUINE
Why did I say earlier that the video clip is genuine and that the government knows that it is so? The answer is apparent from the conduct of the alleged culprits and from the government, elaborated as follows.
- The alleged culprits have chosen to be in hiding and refused to publicly declare their denial or admittance on the serious allegation of illicitly “fixing” top judicial appointments, even three weeks after the eruption of scandal. If this prolonged silence is not prompted by guilt, then what causes the silence?
- All the top political leaders including PM, DPM, Nazri and other ministers, ACA, police, and even the newly appointed three-men panel have meticulously avoided the mention of Lingam and Fairuz. Why? Shouldn’t these two alleged players be the first target of enquiry – unless everyone already knows the answer?
- Nazri’s earnestness in seeking the video maker to the extent of offering plastic surgery reveals his subconscious acknowledgement that the source is a genuine video maker capturing the Lingam conversation, otherwise, how could Nazri in his wildest imagination have expected a criminal making a fake video to be so foolish as to appear himself just because there is assurance of full protection including face change?
- Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi joined the chorus of support to seek out the source of this video clip. He was quoted in on Oct 7 to have said that the video maker should know a lot more about this video clip which could enable the authorities to secure more comprehensive information and evidences for a fair investigation. Pak Lah appealed to the whistle-blowers and photographer to co-operate with the authorities. (Sin Chew Press, Oct 8). Now, if that is not an acknowledgement that the clip is genuine, then what is? Or is it conceivable that Pak Lah was persuading a con video producer to tell the truth to the government? Hadn’t Pak Lah already pre-supposed the authenticity of the video clip?
Since in reality no one is in doubt of the video, then why appoint an “independent” three-men panel to investigate the authenticity of the clip, if it is not an exercise to cover up the ugly truth?
LAME-DUCK PANEL SUPERFLUOUS
The lame-duck, morally deficient panel hardly concealed its role as a stooge of the ruling power UMNO on its first meeting with the press on Oct 3. Apart from confirming the panel’s total lack of legal power to carry out its task properly such as compelling evidences, panel leader Haidar Mohd Noor emphatically rejected the suggestion to call Lingam to testify. When pressed further, he said: “If he wants to come …….I don’t know”. Isn’t that amazing -- the investigator fighting shy to call Lingam when the latter should have been the most urgently sought witness to answer the prime question of whether he (Lingam) did or did not make that incriminating phone call? Haidar’s telling answer to the reporters leaves one with no room for imagination as to whether he already knows the answer.
In the same press conference, Haidar invited the public who have knowledge of the video clip to come forward to give evidence. But that invitation was swiftly slammed down by Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who appointed the panel a few days earlier, with the directive that the panel was not to interview anyone other than receiving reports from the ACA, police or other government agencies. With no power to investigate and no access to witnesses, the panel’s superfluous function is self-evident.
With Najib deliberately setting up a dummy panel on one end and Nazri frantically and irrationally pursuing an elusive whistle-blower at the other, we are left with no alternative but to conclude that the entire government strategy in dealing with the present crisis is imbued with dishonourable intentions – to cover up the scandal at all costs to preserve the status quo.
If that is not the case, an honourable government would otherwise have set up a fully empowered royal commission of inquiry in the first instance so as to get to the bottom of our judicial scourge, as a prelude to full judicial reforms.
And that is what all patriotic Malaysians must fight for, if we are serious about restoring independence and integrity to our fallen judiciary.
PS. You may make history by being signatories to the petition to Yang di-Pertuan Agong to set up a royal commission of enquiry. All you need to do is to email your name and IC number to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The full text of the petition can be read at: http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com.