(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission of Inquiry clarified its decision to
bar Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and
Aliran from the proceedings after they refused to retract their “nearly
contemptuous” online statements or apologise.
Recounting the chain of events that led to the ruling on Feb 4,
commissioner Tan Sri Steve Shim said Anwar was initially summoned as a
witness because he was thought to be of some assistance to the
However, after going through the outline of his proposed testimony
supplied by his counsel M. Puravalen, the commission found that it was
too “lacking and skimpy” and proceeded to request for more details.
Shim said that Puravalen, however, replied that Anwar, as well as two
other secret witnesses, would only reveal everything once they were
called to the witness stand.
“These requests are highly irregular. The other witnesses, including Mr R (an unnamed witness), gave full particulars.
“The panel feels that no special treatment should be accorded to Anwar and the two secret witnesses,” said the commissioner.
Shim said the commission subsequently decided on Jan 28 not to call
Anwar, PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa and party coordinator Sim Tze
Tsin as witnesses in the inquiry at that stage as it felt their
testimonies did not go directly to the crux of the inquiry.
He noted that Anwar and Aliran were quoted in two online articles
published a day later (titled “Lingam Inquiry: Aliran is Shocked and
Devastated” and “Unseen Hand Manipulating the Inquiry”).
Shim said it was because of both Anwar and Aliran’s refusal to retract
their statements or apologise that led the commission to bar them from
Instead of assisting the commission, he noted that Anwar had refused to
cooperate and had cast aspersions upon the panel with his allegation of
an “unseen hand.”
As for Aliran, Shim said the commission considered the conduct of its
president P. Ramakrishnan in making the serious allegations as