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Monday, October 29, 2007

Mr Incredible (The Missing Sections)

I erroneously omitted reference to additional parts of the interview. This was entirely my mistake. The additional parts appeared under 2 separate captions. Both parts are reproduced below with my comments in bold/italics. I apologise for the error.


If you tell the truth, what is there to fear?

Q: The third party that brought forward the video clip says they are not going to talk to the panel; it is only going to talk to a royal commission.

A: We cannot be dictated to. Before we set up the royal commission and go to the next step, we have to verify first. This is a complaint against the judiciary. You have to verify the authenticity of the video clip first.

Of course, the authenticity of the video clip has to be verified. This however does not appear to be a difficult task. And there is apparently no need for the full clip in order to do so. So, it is possible to infer that the Government is keen to identify the identity of the whistle-blowers. This is worrying as it not only shows that the core issue may not be addressed but that, consistent with past practice, the whistle-blowers may face reprisal.

Q: If people come forward and give their statements to the panel, and the authenticity of the video clip is verified, what would the next step be?
A: If it was verified to be true, the next step would be to investigate the judiciary, the person there.

The process of ensuring that the video clip is in fact a genuine item does not require people coming forward. It is a matter of technology. Thus far, the rakyat have not been given any technical explanation as to why the full clip is needed for the process of ensuring authenticity. The Minister’s statement that the ACA only has to view the whole clip, without even taking a copy, reinforces this.

Q: Using what?

A: Maybe a royal commission.

Q: Why not just set it up from the beginning?

A: No, you can’t. If you set up a royal commission over something that is false, it’s a waste of time. It is important to verify the authenticity. The video clip is like a surat-layang (poison pen letter).

For every surat layang that comes along, should we set up a royal commission? There must be a genuine complaint before we set up a royal commission. For as long as we cannot verify the authenticity, equate the video clip to a surat layang.

A royal commission is a serious matter. So, the allegation must be serious.It has to be a genuine concern. It cannot be a surat layang, or a false video clip. Malu kita nanti. (Or it would be embarrassing.)

It is a genuine concern. And a Royal Commission is the only way the authenticity of the video ought be determined.

Q: There is less than two weeks for people to come forward with what they have. Are you hoping that they will?

A: I hope so. We set up the panel to investigate the authenticity of the tape.

The investigative panel, by its own admission, has no power.

Come forward, lah. Apa nak takut? Takkan kita nak bantai orang kita! (What’s there to be afraid of? We won’t beat up our own people!)

The Government has prosecuted whistle-blowers before. Irene Fernandez’s conviction is a stark reminder.

Every five years, we put ourselves up as candidates for election. If we do something wrong, do you think that people will let you go just like that? No way!

Q: Maybe the informants’ concern is not so much the government, but that the parties in the video clip might take action against them.

A: But that is something beyond us. Even for us, if we do something, the lawyer can also take action against us.

The Government prosecutes, detains at will and can do a range of things. The Minister is being disingenuous.

It is not only the informant who will be left unprotected, the government can also be sued by the lawyer.

The right to sue is separate and distinct from the range of reprisals a whistle-blower may face. Furthermore, the Judiciary is under scrutiny. One cannot expect the whistle-blowers to feel confident about their rights being held by the very institution they have implicated. This is a question of the whistle-blower’s confidence and not one of objective theory.

But that’s how it is. We can only do certain things. Beyond what we can do, we can’t promise. Even the panel can be sued.

Q: So how is anyone supposed to do their work, if they are not protected?

A: If you tell the truth, what is there to fear? If you write something about a person, and the person sues you for libel, you can plead fair comment, and you can get away.

If someone sues us, it does not mean that we are guilty, we have a defence — fair comment, doing our duty — you have to go to court, lah. The only thing that we cannot guarantee is that you will not be sued by anyone. But when you go to court, you have all these defences. What should you be afraid of?

Let them take us to court — bukan kita bersalah (we are not at fault). In court we will fight it.

Is the Minister willing to give an assurance that the ISA will not be used. The Judiciary is in issue here.

Q: Where is the Witness Protection bill now?

A: At the moment, it is at various ministries and agencies for their comments. When the cabinet approves it, the bill will be sent to parliament.

In other words, nowhere near a point where the whistle-blowers can rely on it

Q: You have said that even without a Witness Protection Act, the government can still protect witnesses.

A: There are specific acts which provide protection for informants. If the government decides that it wants to protect informants, like in the case of the video clip, that is something which we can do.

Q: So, why do we need a Witness Protection bill?

A: At the moment, the various protection (clauses) are in various acts, so it would be better if we could compile them into one singular act. At the moment this is berterabur (all over).

So, we want to protect the informers in general, so we should have one specific act.

This is well and good. The immediate question is what protects the whistle-blowers? The Minister has no answer.

Q: If someone were to come forward now, on the video clip, how much protection could you offer?

A: We can offer any protection, for as long as it is not against the Constitution or against any laws.

The Minister should explain how this is to be done.

Q: But that requires the person to come forward first. This is no guarantee of protection.

A: He can always communicate (his protection requirements) through a third person. Whatever we can do, we’ll do.

Much ado about nothing

Q: What happens, if, by the closing of office hours on Nov 7, no one has come forward to the Independent Panel) ?

A: Then, I think you, too, can conclude that there’s nothing to discuss. It’s (the video clip) not genuine. That’s all.

This is a baseless assertion. The authenticity of the video clip does not depend on any party stepping forward. This goes to show that there is apparently no will to investigate into the issues arising. There is enough circumstantial evidence to found the basis of an investigation.

Q: So, the conclusion is that there is no issue?

A: No issue.

What about the serious implications and the national interest?

Q: But at the same time, a video clip has been released, there’s been a walk, there’s been concern?

A: Much ado over nothing.

On the part of the nation. One wonders whether the Minister realizes he is a Malaysian Minister.

Q: So, the government’s not going to do anything?

A: What can we do? We already set up the panel, if people don’t want to come, what do you expect us to do? There’s nothing we can do. It’s not our problem.

It is the Government’s problem. It is a national problem.

Those people who are supposed to be informers or witnesses should come forward. If they don’t come forward, what can we do? You’re going to be angry with whom? With thin air? Close-shop, habis (it’s over).

Q: Would you be sad, if no one came forward?

A: Ya. I feel that if I make a complaint, and the government sets up a panel, I would be very pleased to co-operate. But when the government responded, by setting up the panel, it’s really sad, because we could have looked into the real issue.

But because this is a video clip whose authenticity has not been verified, then no further action can be taken.

The constant repetition of this phrase without any substantiation is grating. There are ways in which the video can be tested to show that it is a genuine clip. The Minister has not explained why these ways are not being utilized.


Anonymous said...

reading nazri's response gave me a seizure and a heart attack. Everything also not his problem. You would think the government or the minister himself is faultless (yeah right, as if that's the case). Mr nazri, might as well resign from ur post and balik kampung lah!

Dan-yel said...

Isn't that obvious? While reading it last night, I had the laugh of my life. Besides, it's not my habit to laugh for reading the news. Mr Nazri really knows how to pull the magic. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Are these HIS Logic?

A thousand or two is minority
The MP of hundred is majority
Executive needs no publicity
as he is only a privacy
towards the ministry

Why should it be a crisis
when whistle-blower doesn't met their cries
to present the extra minutes
to realize the genuines
even to pay prices
to raise fair comments to judges!

The Rakyats want an investigation
so a powerless panel for some "action"
why protection
and no submission?

The Government can protect
even without an Act
So why need the Act!
Anyway the Parliament will Act
but a long queue to react
before it could be an Act!

Bloggers are lousy
and they are noisy
a product of technology
Why judiciary or ministry
and not chit-chat in privacy.

A law minister is administrative
no interference with the judiciary
even there should be negative.
Knowing not the future of the judges
as they are in PM's nuts.

The Executive and the judges are human
so should be consulted
without a shout
even in a walk like a scout
by the lawyers without consult!
But people under ISA can be insulted!

Anonymous said...

Tape shows a Tragedy
Lawyers lack the strategy
Admins forgot the dignity
so come the Comedies
and bigger Tragedies!

Tragedy of lawyer mingled with judges
Comedy with panel of questionable judges
coming without powers
talking of justice with the whistle-blowers
not the doers.

Comedy to talk not the content of the tape
but the tape
and witness to come for a day
so lawyers busy finding protection to stay
unfortunately nothing in place
to avoid possible misplace.

Comedy and Tragedy as the can of worm grows
not only the judiciary
but also the ministry
for procedures seem to be mystery.

ACA, Police, DB, aren't they be in the business
to take the lawyer in?
To tell what the tape means
why the tape should be be the only means?

The lawyers talking the legal means
if politician thinks of other means
at the end
what will it mean?

should we see who are in the Tragedy?
or WHO will be in the Comedy?

Anonymous said...

I bet IF there is a bomb threat alert, they would set up a men panel again to verify the authencity first.

I bet they do not care about this question either: "what if it is real and nothing was done because the informant did not turn up?"

Unknown said...

Much ado over nothing???? Huh??? Where did this guy come from???

Unknown said...

Much ado over nothing??? Huh???? Where did this guy come from??? What does it take before it becomes something? A systemic collapse of the judiciary??

Mr. Smith said...

May I ask the ACA, if it needs to drink an entire bottle of wine to verify its quality?
Or need the ACA drink the entire ocean of water to test its salinity?
One teaspoon is enough to determine its salinity, stupid.
If rape took place, need the ACA see the entire video tape to determine if rape took place?
8 minutes or 14 minutes, does it matter?
What a stupid government? What a stupid ACA?

Anonymous said...

The joker said setting up the Royal Commission from the start will be a waste of time if the tape is not authentic.

Now already over a month and they still can't determine whether the tape is authentic or not........... so this is not a waste of time??

Benny said...

They should get Malaysiakini or BBC to interview him instead of scripted Q & A from his controlled media. Steven Gan should drill his head until his brains come out..... I doubt if there any in his head...

Anonymous said...

i weep for malaysia....

Anonymous said...

I give up. I really really give up. This guy can't be that dumb, can he? Is he that big of a prick? Why is the ego so big?

One thing's for sure: He is not concerned about Malaysia or Malaysians. It's not his problem.

I feel really really bad for saying this, but I wish something really really bad would happen to him to make him see what an asshole he is.

MakLijah said...

Dear Malik,

I recently posted Beth Yahp's letter to the PM on my site and yesterday received a response from DaRealDeal. Just thought i'd let you know, in case you would like to respond to it.

Below is mentioned letter:
Dear Ms Yahp,

Why was it necessary for the one thousand odd lawyers joined by others to walk in protest while they could’ve met the Prime Minister to discuss the matter of their grievance through the good office of the Bar Council? Was the Council’s effort to secure a meeting with the PM frustrated which would justify the march?

On 10th November 2007, 40,000 people perhaps 80% of whom were members of the opposition parties gathered illegally to show the world a dark picture of our beloved country.

I’ve viewed most of the videos on the event in Malaysia Today and not one of them showed any evidence of people being beaten by the authorities. In this day and age where cameras and videos are incorporated into mobile telephones, I doubt if such an opportunity would have been missed by those in attendance.

Security forces are usually not deployed to safeguard the safety of those defying the law. They are there to enforce the law. They are not responsible to handle with care children who were “lovingly” brought by their “responsible” parents to an unlawful gathering.

It is certainly a journalist’s privilege to witness and report the event in full. Foreign journalists had no problems getting in. Even Harakah journalists did a full coverage on it. If the proper identification tags were displayed, I’m sure they would have been accorded the protocol. Today there are many parties claiming to be members of the media. Even bloggers claim to be such just because they do some pieces of reporting here and there.

You mention of “ state controlled” media like Malaysia is the only country in the world that has this practice. I urge you to look not to far in our neighbours. Our “state controlled” media at least are allowed to whack government officials and even cabinet ministers. Which other “state controlled” media in which other country will allow this? Perhaps being a non-Malay you may not subscribe to the Harakah Daily which is the opposition controlled newspaper. This newspaper goes to town with just about anything against the government but unlike its counterpart, they don’t highlight the wrongdoings of their leaders. On that score, I’d say the state controlled entity gets my vote.

This obedience that you speak of in journalists occur everywhere. State owned ones will take orders from the government leaders while the opposition ones do just the same with their leaders. So why are you complaining as this is not the fault of the bosses? On the contrary, it is the journalists whom we should blame for being normal human beings; loyal to the paymaster as long as they are on the payroll. The classic example is in the former “state owned” newspaper journalists who are knowned bloggers today, complaining about how the newspaper editors write their columns to suite their bosses when in truth, they did the same damned thing when they were in under a different leader.

“Riots” were used by the foreign media trying to amplify their description of this peaceful gathering. I say it was relatively peaceful because I didn’t see any water cannons nor tear gas being applied at the rightful venue where the 40,000 were, which was at the Istana.

I hope you have couriered the letter that you have written to the Honourable Prime Minister while posting it in here. It is only fair that you do. I‘m sure that despite the fact that the event was illegal, high-jacked by a knowned corrupt and abusive former leader of the government, the PM will take into account of the grievances put forth. As it is, the government has agreed to use indelible ink and transparent boxes as demanded by the people. This is evidence that the people’s grievances have not fallen on deaf ears.

In saying that he “pantang di cabar”, it doesn’t mean that he cannot be challenged. It means that he will take on the challenge if it comes his way. As it is every citizen’s right to challenge, it is also his right to defend or even counter-challenge as he is too a citizen of this country like you and I.

I urge those complaining too much about the freedom of speech, press and what not to step back and re-look at the whole picture without blinkers. I’ve watched several live telecasts of a forum which includes the opposition and they get to say more than their piece on national television at prime time. Also, while the live telecast was on, the bottom strip was running with text comments from the viewers and several of them even ran down the PM. So I hope the detractors would use another line to defame the government as this no longer holds water.

Ms. Yahp,I am a normal citizen of Malaysia. I’ve lived in many countries in four continents lasting 17 years. In my experience abroad I have found that there is no such thing as an absolute democratic country like the one you’re wanting. The most popular country that prides itself with democracy even beats people up in front of the United Nations in New York.

This is still the best country to live in, even for members of the opposition who are free to whack the government, yet still live luxurious lives with their families in tact. Take a hard look down south, and be grateful for what God has given us.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I remain,
Da Real Deal Esq.