By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secreatary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 5.1.1990:
DAP calls on Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to agree to the formation of a Parliamentary Inquiry Committee into the involvement of Deputy Speaker, D.P.Vijandran, in the pornographic videotape scandal
One month after the pornographic videotape scandal was brought to Parliament, the Prime Minister, Datuk Ser Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, has at last spoken about it. However, his long-overdue reaction and comment is most disappointing for a Prime Minister who had started his administration with the slogan “Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy” government.
In Kuala Terengganu yesterday, Dr. Mahathir said the conviction of anyone involved in the pornographic tapes controversy should be left to the courts. He alleged that the DAP MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, was by passing the courts and “convicting people who may in fact be in the wrong and abusing people who are not in the wrong at all”.
The Prime Minister has evaded the important aspect of political morality of the pornographic videotape controversy, which is different and separate from the question of court convictions.
Even on the question of court conviction, the Prime Minister has failed to satisfy the Malaysian people why the police and the Attorney-General had been so remiss in their duties in failing to take the any action to prosecute anyone in connection with the pornographic videotape, although over a year has since passed. How can the court convict anyone in the connection with the pornographic scandal when the government scrupulously avoids and refrains from prosecuting anyone involved?
Apart from the court conviction aspect, the Prime Mnister must address the eqully important problem of political morality. I ask the Prime Minister to answer the following question:
Isn’t it true that the Cabinet, at its meeting of Wednesday, 13th December 1989, discussed whether officially or unofficially the opposition of the Deputy Speaker, D.P.Vijandran, concerning the pornographic videotape scandal and decided to instruct or ask Vijandran not to assume his duties as Deputy Speaker in the Dewan Rakyat for the rest of the budget meeting?
Isn’t it true that before the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 13th December 1989, key Cabinet Ministers had a special viewing of the pornographic videotape in question?
Wouldn’t he agree that it was most popular and a gross abuse of privilege and power of Deputy Speaker for DAP Vijandran to suspend DAP MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, and DAP MP for Ipoh, p.Patto, in connection with the pornographic videotape scandal when he himself had a vested in the question- a gross violation of the rule of natural justice that a person should not be a judge in his own case!
Why did the Barisan Nasional Government frustrate the efforts of the DAP MPs to refer D.P Vijandran to the Committee of Privilegers for a wide-ranging and thorough-going investigation into the whole matter? Does the he agree that the honour and privileges of Parliament must be safeguarded by Parliament itself, and cannot be left to the Courts, which may never even have a chance to hear any case concerned with the scandal?
Why did Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and the Foreign Minister, Datuk Abu Hassan bin Omar, gave full support to D.P Vijandran on the pornographic videotape issue in responding to his proposal to move Ministerial motions to suspend Karpal Singh and P.Patto, instead of demanding full inquiry into the true facts and circumstances of the pornographic videotape scandal?
When Dr.Mahathir Mohamed said yesterday that Karpal Singh was trying to by-pass the courts “and convicting people who may in fact be in the wrong”, is the admitting that there are people involved in the pornographic videotape scandal who should be convicted? If so, why no one had been prosecuted yet?
Why is the Prime Minister disregarding the political morality of the pornographic videotape scandal? Is he not aware that Malaysia is now even more famous in the international arena than during the CHOGM meeting last October because of the allegation of the Deputy Speaker’s involvement in the pornographic videotape scandal? Is someone trying to promote the Visit Malaysia Year 1990 worldwide through this scandal?
The government had been in full possession of the pornographic videotapes, and it had a political responsibility to conduct itself in accordance with what is right and proper from the standpoint of political morality. Its conduct in this regard has been most disappointing.
Firstly, if there are no pornographic videotape involved, then the Government should come out openly and say no. However, on this question, the government through the statements of both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob, had confirmed that the tapes concerned were indeed pornographic.
Secondly, if the Deputy Speaker, D.P Vijandran, was not involded in those pornographic videotapes, the Government should come out openly and take a stand. I have no doubt for instance, if there had been any untruthful allegations connecting any top UMNO Minister to the pornographic videotapes, the Home Minister and his Deputy, and even the IGP would have instantly made an open denial.
Thirdly, if the Government itself has doubts as to whether D.P.Vijandran was involved in the pornographic videotapes, then it should officially suspend Vijandran and allow a full inquiry into the scandal. Unofficially suspending Vijandran, as in the Cabinet decision on Dec. 13 that Vijandran should not assume his duties as Deputy Speaker, is not good enough. The attempt by the MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu, to dissociate himself and his party from the scandal, claiming that it was Vijandran’s personal matter, is also unacceptable. As the dignity, honour and privilege of Parliament is deeply involved in such a scandal, the Prime Minister should agree to the establishment of an all-Party
Parliamentary Inquiry Committee into the pornographic videotape scandal.
It is noteworthy that a Chinese press reported that the MCA has taken steps to wrest back for MCA the post of Deputy Speaker in Dewan Rakyat, after losing the post of Deputy President in the Dewan Rakyat to Gerakan recently. I am not interested in the antics of the MCA, whereby the eight MCA Senators followed the footsteps of the eight MCA Selangor Assemblyman in public capitulation after pretending to be tough, but in the signifinace of such a MCA move at this stage. This shows the that top MCA leadership has no confidence in D.P Vijandran at all, and does not think he would last to be Deputy Speaker when Parliament meets again- whether in March this year or after the general elections.
What we have today is a situation whereby the government is not prepared openly and publicly to clear the name pf D.P.Vijandran and yet to iving the D.P.Vijandran full support, such as by the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and Foreign Mnister, Abu Hassan Omar, to remove Karpal Singh and P.Patto from Parliament so that they could not pursue the matter in the Dewan Rakyat.
The Prime Minister should realize that the Vijandran issue is no more a personal matter concerning the MIC Secreatary-General, but concerns the political morality, integrity and honour of the Barisan Nasional Government The Prime Minister cannot delay any further to account to the people on the government’s stand on the Vijandran issue.