Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, during his constituency tour of Tanjung on Tuesday, 16.1.1990
DAP to send a petition to the Yang di Pertuan Agong to remove Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General if Cabinet shirks its responsibility to sack the Attorney-General
If the Cabinet shriks its responsibility tomorrow and does not take any action to remove Tan Sri Abu Talib as Attorney-General, the DAP will send a petition to the Yang di Pertuan Agong to dispense with and terminate the services of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, as under Article 145, the Attorney-General serves at the pleasure of the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
The Yang di Pertuan Agong is the fountain of justice, and it is most appropriate that the present The Yang di Pertuan Agong, as former Lord President, should right the grave wrong and injustice of the scandalous conduct of the Attorney-General in ordering the destruction of the eleven Vijandran videotapes and 1,000 photographs.
Since his shocking revelation last week about his directive to destroy the Vijandran tapes and photographs, the Attorney-General has not been able to give any reason to justify such an improper, unthinkable and unlawful action.
Malaysians are entitled to know from Tan Sri Abu Talib as to what both the Attorney- General and the Deputy Speaker, D.P.Vijandran, have got to hide that the videotapes and photographs had to be immediately destroyed in January 1990.
DAP to contact other political parties and civic organisations to mobilize public opinion in Malaysia for removal of Attorney- General
Yesterday, DAP and Semangat 46 leaders met in Kuala Lumpur and discussed, among other matters, the AG/VIJI Scandal, and in particular the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs on the direction of the Attorney-General.
Leaders of both parties agreed that if the Barisan National government continues to be contemptuous about public opinion and the national moral outrage at the AG/VIJI scandal, it would be necessary for both parties to co-operate in a joint national campaign to restore public confidence in the office of the Attorney-General, and the impartiality, independence and integrity of the process of law and the administration of justice by sacking the Tan Sri Abu Talib as Attorney-General.
The DAP is also prepared to contact other political parties and civic organisations to mobilize public opinion in the country for the removal of the Attorney-General.
It will be most disappointing if in the Cabinet meeting today, the Ministers shirked their responsibility from dismissing Tan Sri Abu Talib for his gross abuse of his prerogative as Attorney-General.
DAP to move a motion in February Parliament for the expulsions of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General and D.P. Vijandran as Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament
The national press reported today that the MIC Secretary-General and Kapar MP, D.P.Vijandran, is expected to tender his resignation as Deputy Speaker to the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat, Tan Sri Zahir Ismail, on Monday.
A high-level source, who is clearly a key Cabinet Minister, was quoted by one national daily as saying that the Cabinet yesterday was briefed on the AG/VIJI videotape scandal , but did not make any decision whether to ask Vijandran to step down as Deputy Speaker or go on extended leave of absence. He said the Cabinet was leaving it to Vijandran’s good sense to decide what he should do, even adding:“Should he decide to resign, which he should, Mr. Vijandran should backdate the letter so as not to give the impression that the Cabinet force him to resign in its meeting today.”
Even if it is true that Vijandran submits his resignation as Deputy Speaker on Monday, it is too little and too late.
Parliament is being summoned to meet for three weeks from February 26 to March 16, and the DAP had decided to move a motion in the next meeting of Parliament for the expulsions of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General and D.P. Vijandran as Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament because of the AG/VIJI videotape scandal.
Even if it is true that Vijandran resigns as Deputy Speaker on Monday, the AG/VIJI videotape scandal remains very much alive. This is not only because he remains as a Barisan National Member of Parliament, but also because the AG/VIJI videotape scandal has reached a proportion and magnitude where it is no more concerned about Vijandran alone but wider and more fundamental issues about the integrity of the entire Barisan National Government.
Until a week ago, the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal as a political scandal could have been ended if the Government had directed Vijandran to resign as Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament, and retire from politics. However, after the shocking confession by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, that he had directed the destruction of the eleven Vijandran videotapes and four envelopes of 2,000 photographs as far back as January 1989, the AG/VIJI videotape scandal have raised issues transcending the personal political fortunes of Vijandran.
A New Crisis of Confidence
Even if Vijandran should resign as Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament, the great and fundamental issues raised by the revelation of the Attorney-General about the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs remain to be answered by the Government.
After the shocking confession about the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs, the AG/VIJI videotape scandal has transformed from a personal political scandal to a government political scandal, creating a new Crisis of Confidence, involving five important questions:
1. Firstly, it concerns Vijandran himself. If Vijandran is innocent of the accusations leveled against him by Karpal Singh, DAP MP for Jelutong, of his involvement in pornographic videotapes, then Vijandran should stand his ground to establish his innocence. He should have fully agreed with my proposal at the December meeting of Parliament that the entire matter be referred to the Committee of Privileges for a speedy enquiry so that Parliament and the country could get to the truth of the issue in the shortest possible time. Instead, Vijandran had belatedly resorted to legal action, and from the delay in instituting legal action, and the issue he raised in the defamation suit against Karpal, he has given the people the impression that the whole object of the exercise appeared to be to drag out time more than anything else.
2. Secondly, the gross abuse of prerogative by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Talib Othman , in directing the police to destroy the eleven Vijandran videotapes and 2,000 photographs in January 1988, which clearly raises the assumption that the Attorney-General is guilty of destroying evidence which could be used against D.P.Vijandran for committing a criminal offence. If the Vijandran videotapes and photographs were harmless and inoffensive, why didn’t the Attorney-General return them to Vijandran as the rightful owner? Furthermore, the Attorney-General’s action has now obstructed the process of justice as it has hampered police investigations into various police reports lodged in connection with the videotapes and photographs.
3. Thirdly, the Police’s role in the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs. The Attorney-General has said that he agreed with police recommendations that no criminal prosecutions be instituted against the four suspects arrested in connection with the robbery of Vijandran’s safe, which contained the videotapes and photographs. At whose instance came the proposal for the destruction of the videotapes and photographs: the police or AG? Even if the whole idea of the destruction of the videotapes and photographs came from the Attorney-General to justify the commission of an unlawful and even criminal act, as in the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs without getting a magistrate’s order?
4. Fourthly, why did the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob, the Director of CID, Datuk Zaman Khan and other senior Home Ministry and Police officials publicly state that investigations into the Vijandran videotapes and photographs were still going on, and that they were awaiting Attorney-General’s decision on the matter, when about a year ago, the Attorney-General had already directed the case to be closed and the videotapes and photographs destroyed? This clearly smacks a major cover-up of a major scandal and a crime.
5. From the Attorney-General’s statement about the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs, can anyone believe that the Attorney-General had not informed the Prime Minister about the nature of the videotapes and photographs at the time concerned? Since the Prime Minister must be assumed to know the nature of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs as far back as January 1989, or latest by December 1989, why did the Prime Minister and Government continue to support and back Vijandran, with UMNO Ministers giving open support by moving motions at the directive of Vijandran in the Dewan Rakyat to suspend Karpal Singh and DAP MP for Ipoh, P.Patto from Parliament when they tried to raise this issue? Even now, why is the Barisan National government continuing to support Vijandran as BN MP?
Because of the far-reaching implications of these grave issues in the AG/VIJI videotape scandal, the DAP calls fo
(i) Immediate expulsion of Vijandran as Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament;
(ii) Immediate removal of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General;
(iii) Full public inquiry into the cover-up of the AG/VIJI videotape scandal, including the role of the Attorney-General, the Police, why the Deputy Home Minister and top Police officials made statements contradicting the Attorney-General and when the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers knew about the nature of the Vijandran videotapes and photographs.
The DAP will be pursuing these larger and greater issues of the AG/VIJI videotapes scandal in the February Parliament, and undoubtedly, the AG/VIJI videotape scandal is going to dominate the February/March meeting of Parliament.