Utusan Malaysia (page 2) under the heading "BPR timbang ambil keterangan Eusoff Chin" quoted the ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Zaki Husin as saying that the ACA was considering getting clarification from Eusoff Chin on his holiday trip to New Zealand in 1994.
The Utusan Malaysia report said:
"Kita sedang meneliti kenyataan Eusoff yang didedahkan dalam akhbar dan kita belum membuat keputusan mengenai perkara tersebut," kata Ketua Pengarah, Datuk Ahmad Zaki Husin ketika dihubungi disini, hari ini.
"Sementara itu, Eusoff yang ditemui para pemberita petang ini, menafikan beliau disiasat oleh BPR berhubung dakwaan beliau bercuti di New Zealand pada Disember 1994 atas tajaan seseorang.
"’Saya tidak tahu mengenainya dan tiada sebarang pegawai BPR yang datang. Ini khabar angin,’ katanya kepada pemberita hari ini."
This Utusan Malaysia report contradicts the mass media reports on Eusoff’s statement on Tuesday when he took the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Rais Yatim to task for commenting on the Malaysian judicial system when in Canberra at the end of last month.
In his first press conference, Eusoff had said that his controversial
holiday trip to New Zealand in 1994 had been investigated and cleared by
the ACA, as could be seen from the following Sun report of Wednesday
June 7, 2000:
"He said he, through the Attorney-General, had invited the authorities to investigate all judges named in the letter.
""The ACA (Anti-Corruption Agency) confronted me with the allegation. I showed them the receipts. Nobody paid for the trip. I paid them all myself,’ he said."
The pertinent question is why should the ACA now be considering whether to take a statement from Eusoff on his controversial holiday trip to New Zealand in 1994 if the ACA had already throroughly investigated and cleared him of any impropriety back in 1995? Was Eusoff’s controversial New Zealand holiday mentioned in the "poison-pen letter" of the High Court judge in 1995?
The second question is if the ACA had "confronted" him with the allegation, and he had "showed them the receipts", why did Eusuff deny in the Utusan Malaysia report today that he had been investigated by the ACA.
Be that as it may, as Eusoff had said that he had been investigated by the ACA during its investigations into the so-called "poison-pen letter" by a High Court judge in 1995, the ACA should explain what were the allegations involving Eusoff which it had investigated at the time and the outcome of the ACA investigations.
Referring to the photographs of him holidaying with lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam which had been posted on the Internet and which attracted Rais’ criticism as "socialising ..not consistent with the proper handling or behaviour of a judicial personality", Eusoff said the photographs were taken after he "coincidentally met Lingam while on holiday there".
According to the Sun (June 7, 2000), this was what Eusoff said:
"I told him I was taking a bus there and he said he did not mind, so he came along. He also wanted to take pictures with me and I obliged."
Four photographs were posted on the Internet in connection with Eusoff’s holidaying in New Zealand with Lingam. There was no picture of any bus but one of photographs showed the two families in a boat. Malaysians are still waiting for Eusoff’s explanation for the "boat" photo.
Veteran journalist MGG Pillai has put up an Internet posting today challenging Eusoff’s claim that he had "bumped" into Lingam in New Zealand, giving particulars that Eusoff and Lingam had travelled together on the same New Zealand Airways flight NZ73 from Singapore to Auckland on business class on 22nd December 1994 and on Flight NZ1541 between Auckland and Christchurch later that day.
Pillai has come out with a very serious allegation which if not rebutted would undermine the whole credibility of Eusoff’s explanation that he had just "bumped" into Lingam while holidaying in New Zealand.
Eusoff should resign immediately as Chief Justice of the Federal Court if he is not prepared to instantly rebut Pillai’s allegation to spare the Malaysian judiciary and system of justice further embarassment.