June 26, 2011
Dato T Conviction, Anti-BERSIH 2.0 and Datuk Seri Judin: The Hoaxes
by Din Merican
On Friday 24th June, the mainstream media played to the hilt the fact that the “Datuk T” Trio- Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, Datuk Shuib Lazim and Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik–were charged in the magistrate’s court over the public lunch time screening of a sex video at the Seri Makmur Room of Carcosa Seri Negara Hotel on March 21. The purpose of the video was to eliminate the opposition leader, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The media slant was orchestrated to show that the Police and A-G Gani Patail had acted without fear or favour. The mainstream media screamed that this proves that there is Rule of Law in Malaysia. Ketua Pemuda UMNO, Khairy Jamaluddin, went on air that this absolved Barisan Nasional (BN) and UMNO from any involvement in the sex video scandal.
Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Datuk Shuib Lazim pleaded guilty to public screening of pornography under Section 292 (A) read with Section 34 of the Penal Code which carried a three years’ jail term. However, they were fined just RM3,500 and RM1,500 respectively. Whereas, former Melaka Chief Minister Rahim pleaded guilty to abetting them and was fined RM1,000.
It was unusual that during reading the statement of facts for the accused who have already pleaded guilty, Senior DPP Dato’ Kamaludin Said, who is the Head of Special Projects in the AG’s Chambers, sought to entertain the public to pornography in court when the sex video was again screened, but this time under the cloak of protection of the law. The Bar Council and legal fraternity frowned at this strange occurrence. But Deputy PM, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, instead slammed the Bar Council. It is shameful that a Deputy PM, who takes pride in his ulama family background, should support public pornography to desecrate the honour of our courts. But then these are perplexing times.
The prosecution even agreed with the defence led by Dato’ Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah that the video was genuine and that the man was Anwar. As a fait accompli and in his mitigating submissions, Datuk Seri Shafee said that a video forensic report conducted by Professors Hany Farid and Lorenzo Torresani of Dartmouth College in the United States where a facial recognition analysis concluded that “About 99.99% of the similarities showed that Mr X (man in the video) is Anwar Ibrahim.”
Now, it becomes clear why Dato Kamaludin Said, Head of Special Projects in the A-G’s Chambers led this prosecution and not Dato Tun Majid who is the Head of the Prosecution Division. This was indeed a special project! The objective was none other than to ensure that the A-G Chambers could introduce irrelevant and prejudicial evidence to be admitted and become part of the court records. The objective was clear when Rahim Thamby Chik told reporters– “It is a mission accomplished today and we are very happy that we have proven this to the people through the judicial system of the country.”
What will happen next is that Anwar Ibrahim, who lodged a police report that he was not the man in the sex video, will now be charged for lodging a false report under s. 182 of the Penal Code:
s182. “Whoever gives to any public servant any information orally or in writing which he knows or believes to be false, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, such public servant to use the lawful power of such public servant to the injury or annoyance of any person, or to do or omit anything which such public servant ought not to do or omit if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were known by him, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to two thousand ringgit or with both.”
The objective is not so much to convict Anwar by that charge but to drag this smearing campaign through GE 13. The Prosecution will rely on the court records in this case to show that Anwar had been found to be “99.9%” the man in the video and thus his police report was untrue or false. To the legally trained mind, there is no value to a foreign forensic report in which the maker of that report is not subjected to cross-examination.
But, this is a Special Project by AG Chambers coordinated by that brilliant legal mind, Dato Seri Shafee Abdullah. Shafee is cleverly calculated that all that rule of evidence can be bypassed when the Trio pleaded guilty and the court admitted the “evidence” without calling the maker. In actual fact, Dato’ Kamaludin Said was just there to ensure that the young Magistrate, Aizatul Akmal Maharani, will pass the “pre-agreed” sentence. This was to be the young magistrate’s test before he takes on something bigger. On July 4, this young magistrate will act as Coroner in the Inquest of Ahmad Sarbani’s death. So, the public can now anticipate what will happen in that Inquest.
A great hoax has just been pulled against the Malaysian public in this all out war against the opposition indicating how close GE 13. Any dissenting views will be regarded as anti-government and a threat to national security.
The same modus operandi against Anwar Ibrahim is now being used to malign Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan over the BERSIH Rally scheduled on July 9.
Dato Ambiga maligned
In today’s Utusan Malaysia, the Malay Muslim sentiment is being fanned to portray Dato’ Ambiga as being anti-Malay and anti-Islam. As much racial and religious hatred are being generated, that it is being done by a mainstream media is shameful. Such scurrilous attacks against civil society and civil liberties movements can only show the government’s fear that street rallies in the Middle-East which had toppled several oppressive Arab governments will be replicated in Malaysia.
It is alarming that BERSIH’s simple demands for a clean and fair elections can be viewed as subversive and anti-national. The following are BERSIH’s demands:
- 1. Clean the electoral roll, which is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.
- 2. Reform postal ballot, to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia, residing in or out of the country, are able to exercise their right to vote.
- 3. Use of indelible ink to reduce voter fraud.
- 4. Minimum 21 days campaign period to allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.
- 5. Free and fair access to media, where all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.
- 6. Strengthen public institutions to act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti- Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to uphold laws and protect human rights.
- 7. Stop corruption, and take serious action against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.
- 8. Stop dirty politics, as citizens and voters are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.
Instead of considering BERSIH’s 8 demands as urgent national issues which are part and parcel of a rakyat’s movement to bring about a better reformed electoral processes, laws and policies to advance the democratic process in Malaysia for all, the authorities consider these demands as a national threat. UMNO and BN have demonized BERSIH and regard it as part of the opposition movement.
I have received so many sms and messages to say that there will be a nationwide arrests against leaders of MCLM, BERSIH and other NGOs, all on the pretext of maintaining public peace and security. That is why you see PERKASA and UMNO Youth openly declaring that they will also bring their supporters to the streets to heighten the sense of alarm and emergency. I am also warned that bloggers like me and my associates too will be picked up as we have been deemed to be overtly critical of the abuses in our public institutions. It is deplorable that the Police are being used to achieve this political objective.
Something amiss in JKR
While all these are happening, the confusion is enough to mask other problems happening in the government institutions. The Public Works Department (PWD) is facing an administrative crisis as it appears to have two director generals since early May.
Datuk Mohd Noor Yaacob was appointed to be D-G on May 1 but the man he is supposed to have replaced, Datuk Seri Judin Abdul Karim(right), has refused to be removed from his office. Judin had been assigned as Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) — a more junior post. This amounts to a demotion without prior disciplinary action and therefore contravenes the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.
A legitimate PWD director-general (DG) is crucial because all public works contracts have to be signed by him. The picture becomes clear when we note that in the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP), the amount of government spending on infrastructure is huge.
Word has it that Judin was not supportive of some of these projects, the parties awarded the projects and the pricing of these construction contracts. There is disquiet over the real costs of the new Istana Negara where the public is not told the truth about the actual costs.
These insanities must stop! PM Najib must realize that the public and the world’s attention is already focused on him. He must not react to internal party pressures by singing to the tunes of parochialism and racial sentiments while leaving public administration to fall into further disarray.
Otherwise, the public will regard all his aspirations and slogans for 1Malaysia and the 1MDB Projects as nothing more than public relations hoaxes!