By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, January 11, 1990:
The Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal is blowing up to become the Barisan Nasional pornographic videotape burning scandal- DAP calls for sacking of Vijandran and resignation of Tan Sri Abu Talib as Attorney-General
With the statement by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman yesterday, the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal has blown up to become an even bigger Barisan Nasional pornographic videotape burning scandal!
I have no doubt that if anyone should commission a public opinion poll to ascertain how many people believe the Attorney-Generals statement yesterday, only a tiny handful, with D.P.Vijandran in the lead, would be found who are prepared to accept the Attorney-General’s statement as the last word on the Vijandran pornographis videotape scandal while some 99 percent of the people would have no faith in both the credibility and veracity of his statement.
The Attorney-Generals statement may have been intended to end the public controversy on the Vijandran pornographic videotape
scandal, but it will only have the opposite effect: blowing up the scandal to a larger scale- and it this case, implicating not just Vijandran only, but the entire Barisan Nasional government in an attempt to cover-up the scandal.
What Tan Sri Abu Talib said yesterday had not in any way exonerated D.P.vijandran, but on the contrary, had pointed an even stronger accusing finger at Vijandran, and reinforced all public suspicious that Vijandran has a lot of things to hide in the whole episode of 11 videotapes and four envelops of 2,000 photographs in his safe which was burgled in broad daylight in his home on 3rd August 1988.
If anyone thinks that burning of the 11 videotapes and 2,000 photographs would burn awat the entire scandal, he cannot be more wrong.
In fact, this revelation of the Attorney-General has put Tan Sri Abu Talib in the dock himself having misconducted himself and abused his prerogatives, raising the question as to the motives behind his decision to destroy the tapes and the photographs.
If the 11 videotapes and four envelops of 2,000 photographs are harmless tapes and pictures, why weren’t they returned their rightful owner- D.P.Vijandran? Or when did the Police start a new public service of destroying videotapes and photographs for members of the public of the public for free?
If the videotapes and 2,000 photographs were pornographic, disclosing offences against the law, why were these tapes and photographs destroyed, unless it was obstruct the due process of law itself? Apart from the burglary aspect, did the Police investigate the circumstance in which the pornographic tapes were filmed, whether they had been used for any criminal purpose- as being filmed without knowledge of the participate or used for blackmail or other nefarious motives?
Under what law did Attorney-General act which gave him powers to oreder the destruction of the 11 videotapes and 2,000 pornographics leadeing to the CID Director, Datuk Mohamad Zaman Khan, saying yesterday:”How can we proceed with the investigation without the tapes? If someone can provide the tape we may be able to continue.”
This must be the first time in Malaysian history where the Attorney-general seems to be obstructing justice and poluce investigations because of his unwarranted, improper and even illegal decision to destroy the videotapes and photographs.
Tan Sri Abu Talib has restorted to the Constitution to justify his action, saying that under the Constitution, he has the prerogative to decide whether or not to institute criminal prosecutions. Where does the Constitution give the Attorney-General the prerogative to decide whether to destroy the 11 videotapes and 2,000 photographs?
Furthermore, Tan Sri Abu Talib must not forget that although the Constitution conferred on him the prerogative to decide whether to institute criminal prosecutions, such prerogative is not absolute, in the sense that he is finally accountable to Parliament for the exercise of his prerogative and to the people of Malaysia as well! The Constitution never gave the Attiorney-General the prerogative to abuse his Constitutional powers on criminal prosecutions.
Tan Sri Abu Talib said that there was no case to institute criminal proceedings against the four suspects as the mother of Vijandran could not identify any of the four robbers although Vijandran had reported that the robbery took place in daylight. The public would have their own conclusion as to why Vijandran’s mother could not identify any of the robbers. But the more relevant question is why none of them were charged with being in possession of stolen property, namely the safe, the videotapes and 2,000 photographs.
The inescaplbe suspicion is that the Government, in particular the Attorney-General and the Police, were bending backwards to prevent any case from being instituted from the robbery for the simple reason that any such court case would bring to public light the existence, content and nature of the 11 videotapes and 2,000 photographs. Ana that the same considerations led to the improper, unwarranted and illegal decision to destroy the 11 videotapes and 2,000 photographs.
Tan Sri Abu Talib should also explain why a week after DAP MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, had first raised the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal in Parliament, he said on Dec 1 that the was going t on medical leave the next day and would only look into the police report on the pornographic videotapes on his return? What is there to look into, when a year ago, he had already decided that no criminal prosecution was needed, and that all the 11 videotapes and 2,000 photographs be destroyed?
In fact, the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob, said a day earlier on 11th December 1989 that the case involving stolen pornographic tapes had been referred to the Attorney-general for further action, and that the police were waiting for the decision of the Attorney-General on the action to be taken against the owner of the tapes and those suspected to have stolen them. As Datuk Megat made this statement five days after Karpal singh raised it in Parliament, the Deputy Home Minister must have done so after a full briefing by the police.
How come the highest police authorities who gave this briefing to Datuk Megat did not know that a year ago, the police had closed the case, that the tapes had been destroyed, and that no action would be taken against anyone? How come the Attorney-general himself also forgot that he said he had decided not to prosecute anyone on the Vijnadran tapes and had ordered them destroyed?
DAP calls for Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal
We have reached a situation in the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal where the more the government tries to explain its inaction, the more doubts and queries are thrown up, strengthening public suspicion that they are witnessing a major cover-up scandal by the Barisan Nasional Government.
The Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal has done enough damage to the reputation and image of Malaysia, both inside and outside the country. It is theremore most shocking that this has now led to the Attorney-General’s burning of the videotape scandal.
The DAP calls on the government to act with full moral, political and legal responsibility and accountability on this matter, and stop its cover-up campaign. The government should without delay set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct public investigation into the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal, and why the 11 videotapes and 2,000 pornographis were destroyed.
The DAP calls for the immediate sacking the of D.P.Vijandran as deputy Speaker. The DAP alsp calls for the resignation of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as he had come out very shabbily in this episode, for in ordering the destruction of the 11 videotapes and 2,000 photographs, he had abused his constitutional responsibilities, and he is no more fit to continue in this high office as Attorney-General.
Lim Kit Siang
And MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 13.1.1990:
Call for the appointment of an Independent Special Prosecutor for all cases connected with the destruction of the Vijandran pornographic videotapes
Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, said yesterday that people who are unhappy with the destruction of the Vijandran pornographic videotapes could take legal action.
In response to this statement, DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, had lodged a police report in Penang yesterday against the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, for committing a criminal offence in destroying the 11 videotapes and the four envelops of 2,000photographs.
What is shocking is the Attorney-General’s attitude on the police report against him, as he said:” The police report has been lodged and it will be considered.” Clearly, Tan Sri Abu Talib sees nothing wrong with a situation where he himself will decide on the police report lodged against him, or where he directs the police what to do with the police report.
Can anyone imagine that Tan Sri Abu Talib would ever agree to direct the police to prosecute himself for obstruction of the process of justice by ordering his own arrest? How can Tan Sri Abu Talib be placed in a position where he would be the judge of his own case? Tha Attorney-General should know better than anyone else than the fundamental principle that justice must not only be done, but justice must be seen to be done.
As a first step, Tan Sri Abu Talib must openly declare that he would be not in anyway influence the Police on investigations into the police report lodged by Karpal Singh against him for the obstruction of the process of justice by destroying the videotapes and photographs, and that he would not participate or influence the decision whether he himself should be prosecuted in court for criminal offences in destroying the videotapes and photographs.
This can only be done by the appointment of an Independent Special Prosecutor for all matters and cases connected with the Vijandran pornographic videotapes and photographs, and in particular relating to their destruction.
The Cabinet should hold an emergency meeting to appoint an Independent Special Prosecutor for all matters related to the Vijandran pornographic videotapes. If the Cabinet is not prepared to do this, then public confedence in the impartiality of the administration of justice and the Rule of Law would be irremediably damaged.
Is Datuk Megat Junid going ti apologise for makingthe mistake of claiming that Police were waiting AG’s decision
Public confidence in the process of justice had already been gravely undermined by the scandal of the destruction of the eleven videotapes and four envelops of 2,000 photographs and in particular by the pathetic spectacle of the CID Director, Datuk Zaman Khan, publicly claiming that he had made mistakes and the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, denying what he was reported to have said last month.
The police must be mystified as to how a senior and experienced police officer like Datuk Zaman Khan can make, not one but two, major mistakes on the Vijnadran pornographic videotape scandal. The public can probably understand that Datuk Zaman Khan had confused the dates when he sadi that the tapes and photographs were destroyed last October when it should be last January, as publicly stated by Attorney-General. But the public cannot understand how Datuk Zaman Khan could make the mistakes of stating in Johore Bharu last month that police were completing its investigations into the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal, when the Police, as claimed by the Attorney-General, had closed the case last January.
In fact, it was not only Datuk Zaman Khan who said that police was completing its investigations. The Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayub, said on 11th December 1989 that the case of the pornographic videotapes had been referred by the Police to the Attorney-General for further action. Is Datuk Megat going now to follow the example of Datuk Zaman Khan and publicly admit that he has made mistakes on the pornographic videotapes issue and that these mistakes were unintentional and not made to confuse the issue surrounding the destrcutionof the tapes and investigations into the case”?
The whole issue is getting more and more bizarre when the Attorney-General denies that he had said last month that he would study the police report on the pornographic videotape scandal when he returns from medical leave.
How is it that one simple case can produce so many contradictory statements by the Deputy Home Mnister, the CID Director and the Attorney-General? There can only be one explanation – the case is surrounded by mists of mystery – which shows that it is a most unusual and extraordinary case- and not just a case of simple burglary of the house of the Deputy Speaker, D.P.Vijandran
Destruction of tapes is destruction of Justice
It is most shocking that the Government cannot understand that thedestruction of the videotapes is the destruction of justice in Malaysia. Up to now, neither the Attorney-General nor the police has been able to explain why it was necessary to destroy the tapes. Were the tapes destroyed to protect public interest, or to protect personal private interest of D.P.Vijandran?
Furthermore, neither the Attorney-General nor the Police could convince the Malaysian public that they have the lawful authority to destroy the tapes. What is worse, the Attorney-General, the Police and the Government are now pretending as if what were in the Vijandran videotapes are great secrets of State which are protected by the Official Secrets Act!
DAP will not accept D.P.Vijandran as Deputy Speaker and will challenge his position every time position every time he sits in the chair
Ghafar Baba said yesterday that the Government would not ask D.P.Vijandran to quit as Deputy Speaker pending the some of his defamation suit against Karpal.
The Government should realize that the Attorney-General’s shocking revelation that the 11 tapes and four envelops of photographs had been destroyed had already condemned D.P.Vijandran, and unless the Attorney-General or the Government could come out with a satisfactory explanation for the destruction of the tapes, D.P.Vijandran must be removed immediately as Deputy Speaker.
I want to servr public notice that the DAP will not accept D.P.Vijnadran as Deputy Speaker, and will challenge his position every time he sits in the Chair in the Dewan Rakyat. Parliament is scheduled to meet in early March for the first official opening session by the new Yand di Pertuan Agong. If the government is so contemptuous of public opinion and insists on having Vijandran continue as Deputy Speaker, then it is going to be a daily Parliamentary battle in March.