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Nazri’s remarks over Lingam case “irresponsible”

PETALING JAYA, 18 Nov 2009: Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz‘s challenge to Karpal Singh to prosecute VK Lingam himself has come under fire by senior lawyers who have described his remarks as irresponsible.

Former Bar Council president Yeo Yang Poh said the remark by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department was “not responsible” because it showed a lack of will to get to the bottom of things.

“It’s like saying, ‘There are 600 unsolved murder cases. If anyone can solve it, I welcome you.’ How can ordinary citizens solve crimes? They would need powers which would allow them to investigate, question people and compel witnesses to come forward,” Yeo said today in a phone interview.

Yeo stressed that a thorough and independent investigation needed to be done before any prosecution could be initiated.

“It’s not enough to just say, ‘Go and prosecute’; this must be based on the results of a thorough investigation. If the investigation is not done properly, of course there can be no prosecution.”

Yeo explained that although the Royal Commission of Enquiry had concluded that there was misbehaviour on the part of several people, a separate investigation was still needed for criminal prosecution to take place.

He said it was therefore not responsible for Nazri to call for private individuals to prosecute Lingam since they would not have the power to investigate.

“If they (the government) want to relinquish responsibility for this particular matter to the private sector, then do it properly. First, they need to confer investigative powers on an independent team of persons, similar to the powers of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police. I’m sure there will be a team of persons who are willing to come forward and do it,” said Yeo.

Sufficient laws

Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan also refuted Nazri’s statement that Lingam had broken no laws.

“There are two aspects to it. A lot of people have just looked at the first part to do with the phone call and fixing. The second part, which is more compelling, is the evidence that Lingam wrote a judgment on behalf of a judge. Everyone seems to be focusing on the phone call, but what about this second part?” he said to The Nut Graph.

“There are enough offences [to charge Lingam with],” said Ragunath. “There could have been cheating, conspiracy to abuse the justice system, fraud, possible bribery, abusing the justice system — there are a lot of Penal Code offences there.”

Contrary to Nazri’s assertions, Ragunath said Lingam could also be charged with regards to the phone call and fixing of judges.

“The Attorney-General can initiate contempt of court proceedings for him undermining the judicial system. Whether or not he was actually involved in fixing the appointment of judges, telling a client that he can do so is in contempt of the court.”

Yeo and Ragunath also said that the case could not be left as it is.

“It’s such a clear case,” said Yeo. “Ordinary Malaysians who have watched the video and heard what they heard can draw their own conclusions. It’s an insult to their intelligence to say that nothing can be done about it.” 

See also: Why no action in Lingam case?

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7 Responses to “Nazri’s remarks over Lingam case “irresponsible””

  1. Nicholas Aw says:

    It’s a shame for the Hon. Mr Mohamad Nazri, the Minister in the PM’s Department to challenge Karpal Singh to prosecute.

    All I can say is that some of our Malaysian ministers are nothing more than clowns. I don’t have to state what they did as it is already public knowledge since it was widely reported in the local media and also in online news portal. We have Syed [Hamid] Albar, Hishammuddin, Muhyiddin and the latest addition, Nazri.

    My advice to them is to keep their mouths shut if they have nothing good to say. Making silly statements not only makes the rakyat annoyed but also gives a negative perception of our ministers. I believe the whole world is laughing at the stupidity of some of our ministers.

  2. Tan says:

    Just let PR run the federal government for a term and see for yourself whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute those implicated in the [Lingam case] and the PKFZ and KTM rail projects.

  3. M.K. says:

    This is a clear-cut case of “Malaysia Boleh!”. In Bolehland, anything is possible! No wonder, the Corruption Index 2009 has dropped further down to 4.5.

  4. Azizi Khan says:

    Fundamentally, the appointment of a judge must be ethical and beyond reproach. How can the [person] on the street expect justice if the justice system itself is tarnished?

    The bigger question that begs to be asked is:

    – Was Lingam the first and the last who fixed judges?
    – How sure are we that the torch hasn’t been passed on to someone else?
    – How many of our judges are tainted? If so, for how long?

    No wonder the public has lost confidence in the judiciary! It seems justice is not for the common folk, it is bought by the pound and paid for in millions.

    Nazri, like his fellow minister Hishammuddin displays sheer incompetence that we, the public, have come to expect of Barisan Nasional ministers.

    With men like these leading the country, who needs enemies?

    Ministers like Nazri also prove one thing. That the entire Barisan Nasional aristocrats believe that the common folk are still in the dark and they will buy whatever that is fed to them.

    We have to show them once and for all that this is no longer true. We have to reclaim our tarnished justice system and [ensure] it’s represented by [people] of honour, not thieves and crooks.

  5. Antares says:

    Nazri […] is another hysterical Umno hoof-in-the-mouth case. Without him and his colleague Bung Mokhtar Radin from Kinabatangan, parliamentary proceedings would be utterly devoid of comic relief.

  6. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    I think the lawyers bluff was called by a clever Nazri and the lawyers demonstrated by their response a clear cut case of not having the proverbials nor the legal knowldge required to provide a befitting response to the challenge.

    What on earth can […] Karpal Singh do to try VK Lingam? It’s the Malaysian Bar’s and Karpal Singh’s personal and professional credibility on the line.

    Now let’s see them shape up or ship out.

    Losers, the Malaysian bar.

  7. Catherine says:

    With Nazri around, what else can you expect?

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