by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, July 22, 1992:
Most shocking that Tan Sri Zahir is talking about Karpal Singh ‘makan diri’ because of production of Vijandran pornographic videotape in Parliament when as Speaker, he should be defending parliamentary privileges and immunities from encroachments even from Attorney-General
The southern edition of Utusan Malaysia today carried a front-page report under the headline “Video Lucah Boleh ‘Makan Diri’ Karpal” with the following opening paragraphs:
“ Kuala Lumpur 21 Julai- Indakan Karpal Singh membangkitkan semula isu pita video lucah yang kononnya dilakonkan oleh D.P.Vijandran di sidang Dewan Rakyat sekarang mungkin akan memakan dirinya sendiri kerana beliau boleh didakwa ‘menyimpan’ dan ‘membawa’ pita video lucah.
“Hanya Peguam Negara boleh menentukan sama ada dakwaan boleh dibuat ke atas tindakan ahli Parlimen DAP dari Jelutong itu kerana membawa pita video lucah dan menyerahkannya kepada Dewan semalam.
“Yang Dipertua Dewan Rakyat Tan Sri Zahir Ismail ketika membangkitkan persoalan ini kepada para wartawan di bangunan Parlimen berkata, mengikut undang-undang negara, menyimpan dan membawa pita video lucah adalah satu kesalahan.
“ ‘Bagaimanapun dalam kes Karpal hanya Peguam Negara yang boleh menentukannya dan terserlahlah kepada beliau untuk membuat dakwaan atau tidak,’ katanya.”
I find it most shocking that Tan Sri Zahir should be talking about the possibility of Karpal ‘makan diri’ for producing the Vijandran pornographic videotape, when in the true tradition of the Speakers of Parliament, he should be defending parliamentary privileges and immunities of MPs from encroachments from the Executive, including the Attorney-General.
It is symptomatic of what is very wrong in our high political society that after Karpal Singh had produced a Vijandran pornographic videotape in Parliament, Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders are more interested in finding out how Karpal could be prosecutedfor performing a great public duty rather than to get into the bottom of the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal, and even important, its cover-up since December 1989.
In Malaysia, corruption in high political places is no crime- but expose of such corruption is the real crime
This is a variation of top political and government attitude towards corruption and financial scandals- that corruption and financial scandals in high political places in Malaysia is no crime, but expose of such corruption and financial scandals is treated as the real crime?
Karpal produced the Vijandran pornographic videotape in Parliament not to pander to the prurient interests of any MP, but in the larger national interests, particularly:
(1) to vindicate his allegation in December 1989 with regard to the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal; and
(2) to focus national attention as to why there was a high-level cover-up of the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal since December 1989, with its vast implications and ramifications concerning accountability, political integrity and morality.
Parliament is the proper place to produce the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal in view of the police record of destroying eleven Vijandran pornographic videotapes and 2,000 photographs and negatives
It is very sad to see Barisan Nasional leaders even up to this stage defending the Vijandran pornographic affair.
The UMNO MP for Parit Sulong, Ruhanie Ahmad, said in the Dewan Rakyat Yesterday that Karpal should have handled the videotape to the Police. In view of the record of the police in destroying eleven pornographic videotapes and four envelopes of 2,000 photographs and negatives, how could anyone trust such a videotape with the police anymore?
Karpal was right in producing the Vijandran pornographic videotape in Parliament because this is a matter which concerned the honour, dignity and credibility of Parliament.
Karpal was suspended from attending Parliament precisely for raising the Vijandran pornographic videotape scandal in December 1989 – and Parliament is the most proper place for its production to prove that Karpal Singh had not abused his parliamentary position by making baseless accusations against the then Deputy Speaker.
Speaker has no right to surrender the Vijandran pornographic videotape to the Police or Attorney-General without authority from the House
Tan Sri Zahir said he was contacting the Attorney-General’s Chambers to find out if it was an offence for Parliament to be in possession of a pornographic videotape.
This question should not arise, as Parliament enjoys parliamentary immunity, and the writ of the Executive and the Attorney-General cannot reach into the precincts of Parliament without the approval and authority of the House.
The decision whether to allow a viewing of the Vijandran pornographic videotape produced by Karpal should properly be decided by the whole House if Tan Sri Zahir does not want to assume the personal responsibility of making a decision – which undoubtedly is the first case in Malaysian parliamentary history.
In any event, it should be stressed that the Speaker has no right to surrender the Vijandran pornographic videotape to the Police or to the Attorney-General without authority from the House.
In fact, the Speaker should not seek any opinion from the Attorney-General without the authority of the House, for this creates a dangerous and ridiculous precedent.
The Attorney-General is subservient and answerable to Parliament, albeit through the Prime Minister, and it is not the other way round. The Attorney-General nay be the Government’s chief lega; adviser, but he is not the chief legal advisor of Parliament.
This distinction is important if the whole principle of parliamentary sovereignty is not to suffer further emasculation.