Lim Kit Siang at a DAP Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) Declaration convention
held at Ruby Hotel, Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, 19th January
2008 at 2 pm
great ordeal for Malaysians to see top national leaders like Mahathir
and Eusoff Chin competing with each other in selective amnesia at the
Royal Commission of Inquiry into Lingam Tape
first five days of the public hearings of the Royal Commission of
Inquiry into the Lingam Videotape should have been the first step to
restore national pride and confidence in the excellence and integrity of
national institutions, in particular the independence, integrity and
quality of the judiciary which in the past 19 years had plunged from
international esteem to become a global laughing stock.
this was not to be, and the first five days of the Royal Police
Commission hearings were painful days for national pride and honour.
been a sad and a great ordeal to all Malaysians to see top national
leaders like the longest-serving Prime Minister for 22 years, Tun Dr.
Mahathir Mohamad and former Chief justice, Tun Eusuff Chin competing
with each other in selective amnesia at the Royal Commission of Inquiry
into the Lingam Tape.
count showed that Mahathir said “I cannot remember” or its equivalent 14
times during his 90-minute testimony before the Royal Commission on
Wednesday while Eusuff Chin said “I cannot remember” or its equivalent
18 times in his half-testimony yesterday – with the former Chief Justice
testimony adjourned to next week to allow him to seek legal
representation and engage legal counsel!
Malaysians still do not believe that Mahathir has become so forgetful
that he had to invoke the “I cannot remember” mantra 14 times in his
short testimony especially as Mahathir is still famed for his poem,
Melayu Muda Lupa. Is Mahathir proving himself right with his sudden
As a commentator on my
blog has pointed out, the Malaysian public is aghast as Mahathir’s
testimony because of the public perception that Mahathir has an elephant
memory (that an elephant never forgets), especially as Mahathir has a
reputation for remembering details others could scantly recall as
illustrated by his mastery to recall effortlessly details of Rafidah
Aziz’s excesses in the AP scandal without any prodding.
legitimately been raised that as Mahathir is still very active in
public life, who continues to speak on domestic and international
circuits and highly respected for his analytical skills, how could his
many lapses in memory in his appearance before the Royal Commission of
Inquiry be credible and convincing?
Furthermore, Tun M is
reputedly writing his memoirs presently which may take volumes. This is
no task for a man with an amnesiac memory.
Before these and many
other questions are answered, Malaysians were presented with another
spectacle of a “pillar” of Malaysian society also subject to protracted
bouts of memory loss, out-forgetting Mahathir when the former Chief
Justice was only half-way through his testimony.
Apart from his very
questionable memory lapses, some of the things that he said raises
question whether Eusoff Chin should have been appointed the highest
judicial officer of the country in the previous decade.
It must be a
one-in-a-billion case of coincidence for Eusoff Chin when he was Chief
Justice and senior lawyer V.K. Lingam and their families to get into the
same flight from Singapore to Auckland, and then from Auckland to
Christchurch, and to visit the same places in Auckland and Christchurch
as well as return on the same flight.
Yesterday, Eusoff Chin
said he “bumped” into Lingam in Singapore but in 2000, the former Chief
Justice was on public record as saying that he had “bumped” into Lingam
“on the way to a NZ zoo”. Why the contradiction?
The Star report on
Eusuff’s testimony at the Royal Commission of Inquiry yesterday, “’Normal
to take pix with me’”
said in para 3:
According to a 2000 news
article tendered yesterday, the former Chief Justice had also reportedly
said: “When the man puts his hand on your shoulder, you can't simply
shove it aside.”
However, anyone looking
at the photograph of Eusuff holidaying in New Zealand with Lingam (front
page New Straits Times) will see that it was Eusoff who put his hand on
Lingam’s shoulder instead of the other way round.
A lot of reputations are
being destroyed at the Royal Commission of Inquiry public hearings, not
by any probing questions by the commissioners or the lawyers, but by the
missteps and refusal to come clean and true by the important witnesses.
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman