12 May 2008:
I have always stated that people need to judge the leaders very carefully before pledging their support and loyalty towards them. This support and loyalty could be an act of misplaced blind faith towards the wrong kind of leader.
In my previous post, I touched upon the issue of an apparent blackmailing activity by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with regards to a certain defence lawyer – VK Lingam. One of the accomplice is Loh Gwo Burne. In that post, I had mentioned about this incident in the paragraphs below;
“In the recent interview with BBC HardTalk, Dr Mahathir mentioned that Anwar was blackmailing VK Lingam via the secret recordings made in 2001. At this point, the allegations of fixing the appointment of top judges in the country is not relevant to me. What is more telling was the act of blackmailing VK Lingam itself. The one that was taking the recording was non other than Loh Gwo Burne.
This political greenhorn, who is still learning to speak proper Bahasa Malaysia, became the MP of Kelana Jaya under the PKR ticket in 2008 general election. Although Gwo Burne stated that he recorded the conversation out of boredom, it was a full 14 minutes recording nevertheless. He could test his new found camera at the time to record everything else, but he chose to record VK Lingam’s conversation non stop for the whole 14 minutes. Furthermore, what astonished me was the fact that Anwar kept the original copy all this while. How did he get the copy? From Gwo Burne himself no doubt.
Now, Gwo Burne is offering his seat for Anwar to contest in the possible by-election. That whole event was suspiciously conspired by Anwar. If blackmailing is Anwar’s modus operandi in obtaining power and gaining political mileage, we will see another round of surrendering our sovereignty to foreign powers.”
Today, Dr Mahathir spoke his thoughts about the same incident. He said that the objective of the recording was to undermine the credibility of VK Lingam who incidentally was the defence lawyer for Dr Mahathir against the defamation suit of Anwar Ibrahim.
SHAH ALAM: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has questioned the way in which the V.K. Lingam clips were released by his former deputy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The former prime minister said the fact that the clips were released in batches was not mentioned in the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s hearing into the matter.
“Anwar did not give the full tape at one go. He released the tape in two parts,’’ he said. “That constitutes tampering of evidence because we do not know what he kept behind and how many more tapes he has.”
He said this was the work of Anwar, who wanted to undermine the credibility of Lingam as he was Dr Mahathir’s lawyer.
“He has succeeded in making Lingam not credible and now Lingam cannot defend me in the courts of law.
“I have always emphasised that when people make secret recordings, the intention is to blackmail. And I am afraid this Government has made a blackmail attempt successful,” he said.
Now do we need a leader who has no qualms in blackmailing other people? If we have a leader who blatantly condone or in fact partake in a blackmailing act, shouldn’t we dismiss this kind of person as a leader? Notice how Gow Burne made different stand in his statement during the commission hearing and also after the commission finalised their findings;
He initially said;
KUALA LUMPUR: The person, who took the controversial clip purportedly showing a lawyer brokering the appointment of judges over a mobile phone, said it was made by accident.
Loh Gwo Burne, the 34-year-old son of businessman Loh Mui Fah, said he was trying to take a picture of a vase when he realised his digital camera was on video mode.
“I then continued to record the conversation between Datuk V.K. Lingam and the other person on the other line.
“I was bored and fed up with the lawyer for constantly talking on the phone, as he was supposed to discuss legal matters with my father,” said the 12th witness on the sixth day of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the video clip yesterday.
When Thayalan pointed out that the camera seemed to be placed behind a book, as it seemed from the video, Gwo Burne said he was reading a magazine and a coffeetable book at that time, and that the camera was hung around his neck.
Whereas in The Star 10th May 2008 he said;
PETALING JAYA: The real work has only just begun with the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the V.K. Lingam video clip, said Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne.
Loh, who recorded the video clip, said the findings should open the way for further investigations into whether there were other similar cases within the judiciary.
“This is just the flagpole at the tip of the iceberg. Who knows if there are others who are doing what V.K. Lingam did?” he said when contacted yesterday.
He was asked to comment on the findings of the report.
One has to question his intention in recording the incident. Was it just because he was bored, or did he have some other sinister, ulterior motive? Reading between the lines in his latest statement above, it seems that it was all along his intention to snare VK Lingam.
And just because he took part in the blackmailing process, he was selected as a candidate of PKR in the last general election and consequently became an MP for Kelana Jaya. What a prize to be won for helping a leader blackmailing others as a political mileage. But of course, the public were quite senseless and fickle in their selection criteria. We are fed with so much propaganda and political misdirections that the public became utterly incapable of wisely choosing their own representative to the government. If blackmailing is condoned by these kind of leaders, imagine what kind of dirty tactics and other acts of power abuse they can do to you, the public.
Hence, the blackmailing MP and his blackmailing mentor got their way in blackmailing the government and the public. Now I am not saying that what VK Lingam did was right. Pending the Commission’s findings made public, any act of trying to broker the appointment of judges and influencing the top leaders decisions in appointing judges is a huge offence by anyone’s standards. But the act of blackmailing nonetheless, is wrong. You do not make two wrongs to make a right. An evil deed is still evil regardless whether it’s a lesser or greater evil.
Am I the only one who sees blackmail as a selfish, despicable act? Also, am I the only one who think that the BN MPs are just a bunch of ignorant idiots who are not doing anything in highlighting this gross act? Dr Mahathir had even complained on the issue of tampering with evidence. But nobody seemed to take the cue. Oh well, stupidity had always been the cause of many governments’ and nations’ downfall. I pray that the people would choose their leaders wisely in the future.
Update 14 May 2008:
Loh Gwo Burne made a boo boo in his interview with The Star today :
KUALA LUMPUR: The VK Lingam video clip shown to the Royal Commission of Inquiry is only some 20% to 30% of what was recorded that night at the prominent lawyer’s house in December 2001.
“I downloaded the video from my private computer into several hard disks and compact discs. When I went to work in China in 2004, I took it along,” Loh told The Star.
“What has been made public is only about 20%-30% of what I filmed,” Loh said.
The Kelana Jaya MP said he had not viewed the videos that he had left in China for some time and therefore could not be precisely sure of what else they contain.
However, from memory, Loh, 34, said he remembered that Lingam had mentioned about how he had manipulated cases to his advantage by using certain lawyers against certain judges to make sure the judgments would be in his favour.
That night in December 2001, he started his camera to film a bowl or vase in Lingam’s house because he was bored to be kept waiting by the lawyer “who was forever on the phone.”
“But when Lingam started asking someone on the other line not to worry, that he would be chief justice soon, I knew I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to document something that may one day help prove something is seriously wrong with the judiciary,” said Loh.
As I said in the original article, Gwo Burne actually had lied during his testimony in the Haidar commission. Originally he said he was bored but now he came out saying the recording was intentional. In my opinion, the credibility of the witness is quite damaged. What more with his own revelation that the 14 minutes recording is only 20% to 30% of the original recording, That means, he recorded a whole 1 hour out of boredom. And what perplexed me is, how can the commission took into account only parts of the main evidence and not the whole of it? Was the commission even aware of the rest of the recording? And why was only 14 minute video recording was released by Datuk Seri Anwar and not the rest of it? Surely there would be some other compelling issues which could have been highlighted to the courts. I smell selective prosecution in the air. Maybe his own name was mentioned in the recording. Maybe some other powerful people were implicated. We can never know.
Anyway, the commission should take into account and watch the whole recording before arriving at their conclusion. Either this was intentional or not, it is a clear case of implied malicious intent in the part of Gow Burne and also I think it is wrong to withold evidence. As for the commission itself, the acceptance of only parts of the evidence would create some reasonable doubt over the judgement itself. The burden of proof should be beyond any reasonable doubt. Hence, the exclusion of the rest of the recording could greatly discredit the commision’s report.