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Feb 6, 2008

Lingam Tape: Boycott commission, Bar Council

Raj | Feb 6, 08 3:27pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Lawyers walk out from inquiry.

The Lingam tape royal commission of inquiry’s decision to forfeit Anwar Ibrahim and his team of lawyers proves that the entire process is not keen at all to see restoration of the judiciary’s honour in this country.

Most of the us knew since the start of this inquiry that things are not been going to be as expected. With the so-called ‘terms of reference’, the inquiry is more interested in limiting information and where possible, even refusing to let witnesses speak out the truth in the case of Anwar.

To me, one of the strong reasons to prevent Anwar from testifying is because as a former deputy prime minister, he knows the facts. Letting him speak out could drive the final nail into the judiciary’s coffin.

The fact is that Anwar and Aliran have the same feelings of Malaysians who are actually very worried. The are many questions that we would like to pose to the inquiry:

  • What is the purpose of this inquiry into the ‘Lingam Tape’?

  • Out of the five commissioners, four of them have a judicial background. So aren't they interested in restoring the judiciary’s integrity in Malaysia?

  • Whether commission chairperson Haidar Mohd Noor has dealt with Ahmad Fairuz directly or indirectly is not an issue. There is a clear evidence to show that he is related to Ahmad Fairuz. Isn't it important to be see that the entire inquiry is free from all suspicious relationships even if not proven?

  • Having failed to disclose this material fact, Haidar has already failed in his capacity as the chairperson and his adamancy in continuing to heading the inquiry will without doubt destroy whatever little faith the people have left in the commission. Is he prepared for this?

  • Instead of disqualifying witnesses that it considers a threat, wouldn’t it better for the commission members themselves to recuse themselves if their presence would hamper efforts towards establishing the truth? Shouldn’t they show some respect for the very institution they come form?

It is important at this juncture for the Bar Council to take a firm stance. It should consider among others, a boycott of the commission as vital towards rescuing our judiciary. Everyone needs to make a choice now.


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