DAP calls for the resignation of Solicitor-General, Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamad, for involvement in the cover-up to exonerate the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, for the offence of destroying the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives without addressing the central issue as to whether they were pornographic


By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, February 22, 1990:

DAP calls for the resignation of Solicitor-General, Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamad, for involvement in the cover-up to exonerate the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, for the offence of destroying the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives without addressing the central issue as to whether they were pornographic

The 16-page statement by the Solicitor-General, Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamed, announcing his decision and reasons for exonerating the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, from any offence of destroying the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives is another major step in the Barisan Nasional government cover-up of the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal.

The statement by the Solicitor-General has only succeeded in destroying whatever remaining public confidence in the integrity of the government, and in particular in the process of administration of justice and the upholding of law and order.

Even to an ordinary layman, the Solicitor-General’s statement is even more unconvincing and unbelievable than the initial statement by the Attorney-General on January 10 shocking the whole nation by the revelation that the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives had been destroyed.

Simple Rights and Wrongs in the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal

The complexity of the law cannot camouflage the simple rights and wrongs in the matter, which is very straightforward and easily understood by every Malaysian, whether schooled in the law or not.

The simple rights and wrongs of the case presented by the Solicitor-General are:

1. It is right for the Solicitor-General, who is the subordinate of the Attorney-General, to exonerate his superior and direct that no prosecution should be instituted for destroying the videotapes, photographs and negatives taken from the safe of D.P. Vijandran?

Can the Solicitor-General find the Attorney-General as having committed an offence and should be arrested and prosecuted?

2. Would any one believe that the Solicitor-General could have come to any other conclusion, apart from justifying the Attorney-General’s action – especially as the Solicitor-General must have been involved, whether directly or indirectly, in the earlier decision by the Attorney-General to destroy the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives.

In other words, can the Solicitor-General really find that the Attorney-General had committed an offence and should be arrested and prosecuted?

3. As it is not only the Attorney-General himself, but the entire Attorney-General’s Chambers (including the Solicitor-General himself) who is on public trial as to the propriety, justification and lawfulness for the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives, wouldn’t it have been more correct, responsible, proper and even lawful that the entire review be taken by those who had in no way been involved in the earlier decision to destroy the videotapes, photographs and negatives – as by the appointment of a Special Independent Prosecutor as DAP had suggested, or by leaving the matter in the hands of the judges by the Attorney-General submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the courts?

How can the Attorney-General be the Judge, Jury and Accused all in one?

How can the Attorney-General (through his subordinate the Solicitor-General) be the Judge, Jury and Accused all at the same time in this case arising from the Police report lodged by DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, against him?

4. But most fatal of all in the Solicitor-General’s 16-page exoneration of the Attorney-General of any offence of the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives, is his complete failure to address the central issue of the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal – as to whether the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives were pornographic or not. This is the mark of the Barisan Nasional cover-up of the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal!

5. The Solicitor-General said he found that the Attorney-General was acting within his powers when he decided to destroy the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives, and he saw “no indication that the decision was tainted by any bad or improper motive” and that it was “a bona fide decision”. It does not require a highly-trained and experienced lawyer to know that in reviewing whether the Attorney-General’s decision to destroy the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives was right, proper, bona fide, or wrong, male fide, tainted by bad and improper motive, the crucial question must be whether these Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives were pornographic or not.

If these Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives were pornographic, then the strong assumption is raised that in failing to prosecute Vijandran for possession of pornographic materials, and in ordering their destruction, the Attorney-General’s action is “tainted by bad and improper motive” and therefore not a “bona fide decision”.

How can the Solicitor-General expect to convince the Malaysian people that he had carried out a full, thorough and bona fide review of the actions of the Attorney-General on the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives, when publicly he is not prepared to declare whether the materials were pornographic or not?

Solicitor-General’s 16-page statement not worth the paper they are written on

6. This omission destroys entirely the credibility of the 16-page statement by the Solicitor-General. This is because if the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and pictures were pornographic, then the next question that logically follows is whether the decision of the Attorney-General not to prosecute Vijandran for possession of pornographic materials, and to order their destruction, is because of Vijandran’s position as Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional Member of Parliament, as well as because of the nature of the contents of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives especially in terms of the personalities that appear there.

If the Solicitor-General cannot even address this central issue, then his 16-page statement is not worth the paper they are written on!

The Malaysian public must be very disappointed by the 16-page statement of the Solicitor-General, which is clearly nothing more than another major step of the Barisan Nasional Government to cover-up the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal.

The Solicitor-General’s statement is full of holes and insupportable and unacceptable premises. For instance, his interpretation of Section 413 of the Criminal procedure Code arguing that the Attorney-General can order the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives without any order from a magistrate must have shocked the entire legal and judicial community.

As the interpretation of Section 413 is the sole jurisdiction of the courts, and not the prerogative of the Attorney-General or Solicitor-General, is the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General prepared to submit this question to the courts for an authoritative decision?

The Attorney-General should be referred to Committee of privileges for frustrating and obstructing Parliamentary review of his discretion

The Solicitor-General said it was established law that the prosecuting authority could not be compelled to prosecute and his decision not to prosecute could not be questioned in the courts. But the Attorney-General’s decision can be questioned by Parliament, and the Attorney-General should not act to destroy the evidence whereby such Parliamentary criticism could be proved justified and legitimate, as in this case, by the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives.

In this sense, the Attorney-General has not only obstructed the administration of justice, he has breached parliamentary privileges by frustrating a meaningful Parliamentary inquiry into the correctness of his decision not to prosecute Vijandran with the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives.

For this reason, the dap now wants the Attorney-General to be referred to the Committee of Privileges for a full-scale investigation for frustrating Parliament from conducting a full-scale and meaningful inquiry as to whether he had abused his discretion as Attorney-General in the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal by ordering the destruction of the Vijandran videotapes, photographs and negatives.

The DAP also calls for the resignation of Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamad as Solicitor-General, for from his 16-page statement yesterday to exonerate the Attorney-General, it is clear that he is also involved in the Barisan Nasional cover-up of the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal. Far from exonerating the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General has only incriminated himself.

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