Saturday, 17 May 2008

RCI Report on Lingam-gate Video

The concerned parties:-

Copies of the Royal Commission's report will be sold to the public as published and handed in to the King last Friday. However, the price has not been determined as yet.

Extracts from the report

On the authenticity of the video clip:

"In the final analysis, when all is said and done by the experts, both local and foreign, stripped off all the technical jargon that they used in their findings, when examined in the context of the direct or primary evidence of the maker of the video clip, coupled with that of the eyewitnesses, a simple question confronting the Commission can be posed in layman's terms: Is the video clip genuine, real, reliable or trustworthy and therefore authentic? We have no hesitation in answering in the affirmative." – page 45, paragraph 11.

On the identity of the person whom Datuk VK Lingam (DVKL) was speaking to over the phone:

"In our view, when the testimonies of DVKL and Tun Ahmad Fairuz, which consist essentiallyof bare denials, are examined against the direct evidence elicited from the phone conversation in the video clip as well as the evidence of two eyewitnesses and the circumstantial evidence alluded to above, an irresistable inference can reasonably be drawn, namely, that the person to whom DVKL was speaking on the other end of the phone was Tun Ahmad Fairuz. In the circumstances, having heard the submissions before us and having regard to the totality of the evidence adduced in the Enquiry, we are constrained to come to the conclusion that the identity of the other person concerned is none other than Tun Ahmad Fairuz." – page 52, paragraph 40.

On the identity of the "Chinese man" at the end of Lingam's phone conversation:

"The third part of the equation concerns the identity of the 'Chinese man' shown in the video clip conversing with DVKL. This was after DVKL had ended his phone conversation with Tun Ahmad Fairuz. On the evidence, we have no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that he is Mr Loh Mui Fah. The other personalities mentioned therein shall be identified in the course of our consideration on Term 3 of the Reference relating to the truth of the content of the conversation in the video clip." – page 52, paragraph 41.

On the parties who interfered with the appointment of judges:

"In the final analysis, having regard to the totality of the evidence and for the reasons stated, we are of the view that there was, conceivably, an insidious movement by DVKL with the covert assistance of his close friends, Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan, to involve themselves actively in the appointment of Judges, in particular, the appointment of Tun Ahmad Fairuz as the Chief Judge Malaya and subsequently as President Court of Appeal. In the process, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also entangled. That possibility was ominous when examined against the factual circumstances surrounding the rejection of Tan Sri Malek Ahmad as Chief Judge Malaya. Their ultimate aim or purpose could not be ascertained with exactitude, given the limitation under the Terms of Reference. It could be related to the fixing of cases, as submitted by Counsel for the Bar and others. Certainly, it is reasonable to suggest that it could not be anything but self-serving." – page 75 and 76, paragraph 99.

"In the circumstances, we are satisfied that the content of the conversation dealt with in the course of our analysis, contains the truth in substance and in material particulars." – page 76, paragraph 100.

On the impact on the judiciary:

"This issue has been satisfactorily covered in our Appendix (Detailed Analysis of Evidence). As such, we would adopt the content therein. We do not wish to regurgitate the details. It is sufficient for us to state here that the collective and cumulative actions of the main characters concerned, had the effect of seriously undermining and eroding the independence and integrity of the Judiciary as a whole." – page 76, paragraph 102.

On the recommended legal action to be taken:

"The fifth Term of Reference relates to what appropriate action or actions to be recommended. This issue is fully covered in our Appendix (Detailed Analysis of Evidence). As such we need merely adopt the recommendations therein." – page 76, paragraph 103.

"For the moment, we would state that there is sufficient cause to invoke the Sedition Act 1948, the Prevention of Corruption Act 1961, the Legal Profession Act 1976, the Official Secrets Act 1972 and the Penal Code against some of the principal individuals involved. We do not discount the possibility of other laws being contravened. In any case, the findings have, at the very least, provided the catalyst for further investigations so that, hopefully, there would be complete transparency and full accountability. This is absolutely essential if we are to wipe out, once and for all, the stain of that remark once made by Mr. Justice N.H. Chan, in reference to the Judiciary, that 'Something is rotten in the State of Denmark'." – page 76 and 77, paragraph 104.

On reforming the judiciary:

"In the circumstances, we are of the view that there is an urgent need for the necessary judicial reforms to be effected by the relevant authorities. In this connection, the Malaysian Bar Council has urged the Commission to consider recommending to the Government the setting up of two bodies, namely (a) a Judicial Appointments Commission and (b) a Judicial Complaints Tribunal." – page 175, paragraph 3.

On the reasons for establishing a Judicial Appointments Commission:

"In the evidence before the Commission, two issues appear clouded. Firstly, the basis or criteria for the Chief Justice to nominate the candidates for appointment as Judges of the High Court including the Heads of various Courts (except the Chief Justice). Our concern here is that there is no established and discernible system or criteria in the selection process of Judges and their promotion. It therefore follows that the power to nominate the candidates to the various Courts if left entirely to the discretion of the Chief Justice. This subjective approach appears to have also operated in the minds of the Executive personages (i.e. the then Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN)) and is a manifest structural weakness in the selection process." – page 177, paragraph 11.

"Secondly, from the evidence before the Commission, the meaning attributed by the then Prime Minister and KSN to the word 'consult' is so totally at variance with the ordinary meaning that they seemed to have thought it was equivalent to the word 'notify'. This would explain the Prime Minister's resort to the word 'prerogative' as a rationale for conducting himself the way he did. ..." – page 177, paragraph 12.

"Given the perception by Tun Mohd Dzaiddin (the then Chief Justice) that the then Prime Minister had the prerogative of rejecting his recommendation on the choice of candidates for appointment as Judges without assigning any reasons, it would appear that he (Tun Mohd Dzaiddin) did not find it appropriate or necessary to question the then Prime Minister further on the matter. He merely adopted what can be described as the 'Hobson's Choice' and accepted the nomination or suggestion made by the then Prime Minister. This presented an unsatisfactory scenario which might well have been avoided with the formation of a Judicial Appointments Commission." – page 178, paragraph 13.


Let us hope Justice is served,
without Fear or Favour.