Panel takes Aliran and Anwar to task over articles

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(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: Non-governmental organisation Aliran and Parti
Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are on the “verge of
contempt” over online articles questioning the integrity of the Royal
Commission of Inquiry.

Commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar cited the articles as Lingam Inquiry: Aliran is Shocked and Devastated and another entitled ‘Unseen Hand’ Manipulating the Inquiry.


The first article claimed that the commission had an ulterior motive
in not calling Anwar, PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa and party
coordinator Sim Tze Tsin as witnesses in the inquiry.

The second article quoted Anwar on the reasons why he, Sivarasa and Sim were not called.

“In the ruling given (on Monday), we had said that from the evidence
produced thus far we don’t see the need at this stage to call Anwar,
Sivarasa or Sim because the proposed evidence is not directly linked to
matters in the inquiry, and does not have substantial connection to the
subject matter.

“If they want to give evidence, we need detailed proof of what
exactly is the evidence they want to give, we can’t have skimpy
statements,” he said, asking the counsel for Aliran and Anwar to advise
their respective clients on the matter.

“The only hands I have are the ones God gave me. I think I speak for the other members of the panel,” he said.

Anwar’s counsel M. Puravalen then told the commission that his
client was unhappy with commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor
for stating that he (Anwar) was releasing the video clips in
instalments.

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“I had specifically said that the third clip was obtained over the
weekend. It reflects badly on him. It was not within his control,” he
said.

Haidar replied that maybe he did not pick up on the part where
Puravalen told the commission that Anwar had gotten the video clip late.

“So, that was my first reaction. It was my natural reaction,” he concluded.

Puravalen continued by saying that his client was more than willing
to take the stand and that he was not doing it for any agenda.

Mahadev later asked where Aliran’s lawyers were and when told that
they were not present, said: “They are on the sidelines, but not there
when you need them most.”

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