THE Malaysian Bar is appalled by the stand taken by the government in Parliament on 9 Nov 2009 in relation to the Datuk VK Lingam video clip incident, in particular its viewpoint that investigations have revealed that no wrongdoing could be established.
Such a simplistic and irresponsible conclusion is an affront to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI)’s investigation into the evidence presented. The RCI found that wrongdoings had indeed been committed, and also identified statutes that had been breached.
The evidence went far beyond what the government euphemistically called “lobbying”. It is reasonable to proffer views on the suitability of judicial candidates when performed without expectation of benefit. But this is a far cry from the quid pro quo exchange of assurances revealed in the video clip. That exchange smacks of cronyism and the improper use of political connections. Lingam’s statement that he has the ability to fix the appointment of judges brings into contempt the administration of justice.
There is other evidence of serious misdeeds, such as Lingam’s authorship of a judgment in a case in which he had himself appeared as counsel for one of the parties. Another example is the clear evidence of the joint New Zealand holiday taken by Lingam and then Chief Justice Tun Eusoffe Chin and their respective families, which wholly discredited their claims for many years that they had met only by chance.
These incidents must be investigated thoroughly. If there is truth in the any of the allegations that have surfaced, stern and appropriate action must follow.
The Lingam case has undoubtedly brought the Malaysian judicial institution into shameful disrepute. To now say that no laws have been broken and to classify the affair under “No Further Action” is to selectively and arbitrarily apply justice.
The tragic irony will not escape the Malaysian public — the very system of justice that Lingam abused and made a mockery of now refuses to mete out justice against him.
11 Nov 2009