Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Oppsition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in DAP Hqrs in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 14.1.1990 at 12 noon
Lim Kit Siang writes to Dr. Mahathir asking that Cabinet decide on Wednesday to suspend Tan Sri Abu talib as Attorney-General and to set up Tribunal to remove him on three grounds
I am sending to the Prime Mnister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, an urgent letter by hand first thing tomorrow morning asking him to raise at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 17th January 1990, the question of the invocation of Article 145 of the Constitution to set up a Tribunal to remove Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General.
I am giving three reasons why Tan Sri Abu Talib should be immediately suspended as Attorney-General and a Tribunal establishment by the Ynag di Pertuan Agong to remove him as chief legal officer of the government, These three reasons are:
Firstly, in destroying the eleven Vijandran pornographics videotapes and the four envelops of 2,000 photographs, the Attorney-General had obstructed the process of justice. This had now hampered police investigation into various police reports that had been lodged in connection with these videotape and photographs. Or as the CID Directors, Datuk Haji Zaman Khan, told the press on Wednesday:”How can we proceed with the investigation without this tapes? If someone can provide the tape we may be able to continue”.
Why were the Cabinet and Parliament misled for over a month to believe that the tapes were in safe custody of Police when they had been destroyed a year ago
Secondly, the surreptitious, secretive and mysterious manner in which the eleven videotapes and 2,000 photographs were destroyed under the directive of the Attorney-General where even the Deputy Home Mnister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayud, the Inspector- General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, the CID Director, Datuk Zaman Khan, and other senior Home Ministry and Police officials were kept in the dark about the destruction and were led to make statements misleading the Cabinet, Parliament and the whole country for over a month about the videotapes.
Why was the Cabinet led to believe that the tapes were still in the safe custody of the Police, and not told that they had been destroyed as far back as January 1989?
Clearly, the Attorney-General was hoping that the whole controversy over the eleven videotapes and 2,000 photographs would blow away and he would not have to reveal that the tapes and photographs had been destroyed on his directive. It is only when Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman realized that the controversy would not blow away that he belatedly confessed to the destruction of the videotapes and photographs. Such surreptious, secretive and mysterious conduct is most unbecoming of a person holding the high office of Attorney-General.
Thirdly, in deciding that the eleven videotapes and four envelops of 2,000 photographs should be destroyed, instead of returning them to their owner, D.P.Vinjadran, the inescapable conclusion is that the Attorney-General did this because the tapes and photographs were pornographic. In failing to charge D.P.Vijandran under Section 24(1) of the Films (censorship)Act 1952 which makes possession of obsence videotapes a serious offence punishable by a fine up to $10,000 or maximum jail sentence of six months or both, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman has demonstrated bias, favouritism and gross abuse of his prerogative as Attorney-General on criminal prosecutions.
In my letter to the Prime Minister, I am also asking the Cabinet to decide on Wednesday on the appointment of an independent Special Prosecutor for all cases connected with the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes. I would warn that public confidence in the independent, impartiality and integrity of the administration of justice would be irresponsible damaged if no steps is taken to satisfy the public that Tan Sri Abu Talib would not in anyway influence the Police on investigations into the police reports lodged against him or participate or influence the decision on whether he should be arrested and prosecuted for the obstruction of justice in ordering the destruction of the videotapes.
Is Dr.Mahathir saying all Barisan Nasional Ministers and Deputy Ministers have pornographic videotapes?
I find the comments by the Prime Minister, Datuk seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, yesterday on the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal most disappointing.
I find the Prime Minister’s frivolous attitude that many are keeping pornographic tapes, including those in the higher classes, most shocking. Is the Prime Minister suggesting that all the Barsian Nasional Ministers, Deputy Ministers and leaders have pornographic tapes?
In any event, in this particular case, the Police had evidence of the tapes, but instead of prosecuting D.P.Vijandran, the Attorney-General ordered the incriminating evidence destroyed!
Challenge to Tan Sri Abu Talib to declare he did not know about nature of contents of the videotapes and photographs.
The Prime Minister seems to be creating a new reason to explain why the government did not get to the bottom of the scandal.
In fact, he seemed to be putting the blame on the DAP for not reporting to the Police earlier. Dr.Mahathir could not have forgotten that in
August 1988, when the robbery of the safe, the videotapes and 2,000 photographs, took place in Vijandran’s house, Karpal Singh as well as other DAP leaders were detained in Kamunting by him under the Internal Security Act under Operation Lalang. Karpal Singh was not released until January 1989 and in my case, until end of April 1989.
In trying to justify the action of the police and the Attorney-General, Dr.Mahathir said that this occurred a long time ago and initially it was merely a theft which was reported. He said the police were concentrating on the theft, and the question of the contents of the safe did not arise. He further said that he was sure that if the contents of the safe had been brought up then, the police would have taken appropriate action.
This is a weak and lame excuse, which no rational person can buy. Firstly, Dr.Mahathir wants to give the impression that the case “occurred a long time ago”, as if it was a case of the 1960s or 1970s- when it fact it was of a very recent vintage, only slightly over a year ago. In fact, the speed with which the Attorney-General decided to destroy the videotapes and photographs was most surprising only five months after the robbery and which itself called for explanation.
Secondly, Dr.Mahathir is also trying to give the impression that the police and the Attorney-General must not be blamed because they did not know about the contents of the videotapes and photographs. This is completely unacceptable, or the police and the Attorney-General knew the contents of the videotapes and photographs, and this was why Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman ordered them destroyed. I challenge Tan Sri Abu talib to declare that he did not know about nature of the contents of the videotapes and the photographs? Why then is Dr. MAHATHIR trying to create a different impression?
Is Datuk Zaman Khan going to apologise for a third mistake
In fact, CID Director Datuk Zaman Khan said on Wednesday that after the police completed its investigations, it handed the tapes to the Attorney-General. Or is Datuk Zaman Khan going to come out with another statement saying that this is a third mistake he has made on the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal, and that the police never handed the tapes to the Attorney-General. Despite the Attorney-General’s denial that he had seen the videotapes, the public can only assume that Tan Sri Abu Talib had seen them as the police had handed the tapes to him.
Tan Sri Abu Talib has said that the Brickfields OCPD, Supt. Adam Bachik, has seen the videotapes. The Attorney-General would be straining public credulity if he wants the people to believe the that in the entire police force and the Attorney-General’s chambers, only one person has been the videotapes. The Attorney-General must have every low estimate of the intelligence of Malaysians if he thinks Malaysians are so gullible.
The proof of the cover-up of the Vijandran pornographic tapes is in the destruction of the eleven videotapes and 2,000 photographs
I note that the Prime Minister has said that he did not want to mean that he was backing the action of the Attorney-General for his action in destroying the videotapes. The time for such weak statement is long past and what is needed is action to be taken against the Attorney-General for the unlawful action of destroying the tapes.
Dr.Mahathir accused the DAP of wanting to gain political mileage in the matter. If there is anyone who si guilty of allowing political considerations to colour his judgemnet, it is the Attorney-General in his decision to destroy the tapes, and the Barisan Nasional Government in refusing to take firm action tpo remove D.P.Vinjdran as Deputy Speaker and Tan Sri Abu Talib as Attorney-General.
The Prime Minister said that the DAP must prove our allegation of a cover-up. The proof is there for everyone with eyes to see. The best proof of the cover-up is the decision by the Attorney-General to destroy the eleven videotapes and 2,000 photographs, and the inability of either the Attorney-General or the Police to explain why it was necessary to destroy them, or on what lawful authority they acted to destroy them.
Call on all Ministers and Barisan Nasional component parties to take a second on the AG/VIJI Scandal
The DAP Central Executive Committee at its meeting tonight will discuss the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal, the damage that has been done to public confidence in the impartiality, independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the steps that have been to be taken to restore public confidence in the police, the Attorney-General’s post, the process of administration of justice and the government.
I also call on all political parties, especially all the component parties in the Barisan Nasional, and all the Ministers, to take a stand on the fundamenta issues and principles involved in the AG/VIJI (Attorney-General/Vijandra) scandal. What is the MCA and Gerakan’s official stand on the AG/VIJI scandal? The people would also want to know the official stand of the UMNO Supreme Council, or is Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir’s stand automatically the official position of the UMNO Supreme Council?