It is indeed perplexing why Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim refused to respond to Malaysiakini when asked about the Lingam tapes. His reply was “No comment”. What does this indicate? It only encourages all sorts of speculation.
By refusing to be forthright in his response, he only encourages Malaysians to believe even more that he was the one on the other end of the Lingam conversation.
If he was not the person Lingam was speaking to, he should have categorically denied this immediately and put a stop to the guessing game. But he did not. Malaysians are now wondering why he did not state vociferously that he had nothing to do with the Lingam tape and that he was not even remotely associated with that conversation. Wouldn’t that be the natural reaction of a person who was being falsely implicated?
Ahmad Fairuz owes an explanation to the nation. He is duty-bound to clear his name and uphold the integrity of the judiciary. Instead of doing this, he quietly rings up Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz to deny that that he was “the person at the end of a telephone conversation with prominent lawyer V K Lingam”. Why does he owe an explanation to Nazri and not to the nation? Does he think that Nazri is more important than the nation? Don’t the people count?
In the tape, Lingam tells the person on the other end, “ Being the old man, he is 76 years old, he gets whispers everywhere, and when you don’t whisper, he gets taken away by the other side.” Did Fairuz heed this advice and choose to whisper to Nazri? Why should he whisper and not shout out loudly that he was not the person Lingam was talking to so that everyone can hear what he has to say?
Why can’t he speak directly to the people who are devastated by the Lingam tapes. Why does he need a third party? Why does he need a messenger to convey this bit of news?
And why does Nazri act as a messenger boy to tell the whole world that Lingam was not talking to Fairuz? Couldn’t he have advised Fairuz to communicate directly to the people who are anxiously waiting for word from Fairuz?
We are still waiting to hear from the horse’s mouth. The longer he delays, the harder it will be for him to convince the people who are wondering what excuses are being cooked up in the interim.
24 September 2007