Pornthip-Razak verbal joust video a hit online

Already this latest blockbuster has received thousands of hits online and may likely go down Malaysia’s history as one of the most laughable displays of the Malaysian civil service at its worst.

Similar to the 2007 Datuk V.K.Lingam “correct, correct, correct” video, a new recording has been making cyberspace waves since its debut — showcasing MACC prosecution chief Datuk Abdul Razak Musa and Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand.

During the forensic expert’s second testimony for the Teoh Beng Hock inquest on August 18, Pornthip made the headlines for infamously asserting “I work for the rights of the dead” and followed-up by asking Abdul Razak on whether he was indeed a lawyer.

With that story appearing relentlessly on newspapers, online sites and television, the public waited with bated breath for its online release.

The three-hour long 805MB video clip was however only uploaded on the Attorney-General Chambers website more than a week after the lively proceedings, after much public pressure.

Now, the video clips can be found across cyberspace, with thousands clamouring for it.

Already this latest blockbuster has received thousands of hits online and may likely go down Malaysia’s history as one of the most laughable displays of the Malaysian civil service at its worst.

On broadcast site, the clip was divided into eight parts, labelled under the title “Malaysia’s funniest and tragic court video”.

The first clip, which is 10 minutes long, has attracted 138,782 views and almost 500 comments as of this afternoon. The remaining seven clips attracted between 30,000 and 60,000 views each.

On her own the experienced Dr Pornthip is quite a character to have, made rich by her trademark rockstar look and impressive resume.

But paired alongside Abdul Razak, in his penguin suit and feeble attempts to speak English, it is no wonder the video has caused such a stir.

Comments on the site centre zero-in on Abdul Razak’s poor English and his “illogical line of questioning”. One person even suggested that the video be used in law schools to show “how to fail your law exam”.

Indeed, what was meant to be a cross-examination session turned instead into courtroom comedy with Dr Pornthip successfully outwitting her co-star Abdul Razak with her calm confidence and unfettered testimony.

Despite Abdul Razak’s relentless attacks on her professional qualifications, Dr Pornthip held her own and even succeeded, several times, to trigger applause from the packed court gallery with her quips.

At one point, Dr Pornthip scolds Abdul Razak for his attempt to discredit her graduating university, Mahidol University, by pointing out that Malaysia’s medical laws did not recognise it.

“I think the quality of the work does not depend on the certificate (from the university). You cannot look down on Asian experts,” she said.

She then pointed out that Mahidol University was one of Asia’s top five universities.

Abdul Razak scrambled with a comeback of his own when the gallery erupted in mocking laughter and said: “Either top one or top two, its nevermind but we have the law. We have the law – the medical act. So that’s why you are not allowed to conduct the second post-portem. Because you are not qualified.”

His reply only triggered sniggers from the audience.

Perhaps one of the most memorable comebacks made by the expert was when she reminded the court of her role in the case, which was not to side with any particular party but to carry out her duties as a forensic expert.

“You have to understand. I work for the rights of the dead, not for the Selangor, or for the Malaysian or for the Thailand governments. So in this case, I try to find whether I can help from the evidence… without the benefit from anyone,” she said.

Her statement was followed by a round of rousing applause from the gallery and already, the line has been repeatedly used as a quotable quote by many bloggers and politicians.

Perhaps buoyed by the apparent support she had from the watching crowd, Dr Pornthip later even dared to question Abdul Razak’s own credibility as a lawyer.

When discussing the fracture found on Teoh’s head, Abdul Razak pointed out that he had spent three days to read through Dr Pornthip’s autopsy report.

Giggles were heard in the audience and defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo was heard muttering that his opponent needed a few months to study the report.

When Abdul Razak asked Dr Pornthip what type of weapon could have caused the injury, she flippantly said, “I have question, whether you are a lawyer or not?”.

The laughter that erupted was deafening.

“Maybe I’m younger than you but I already serve 24 years as a lawyer,” said Abdul Razak, in reply.

Yet another scene in the video that has become much talked about is when Abdul Razak suggested that the political aide Teoh had strangled himself then jumped out the window.

Abdul Razak, in pointing out that no other doctor had found evidence of strangulation, asked if Teoh had strangled himself.

Gobind leapt to respond to this and asked Abdul Razak how a person could do such a thing.

“You can,” Abdul Razak claimed.

“Can you show us how you…,” Gobind replied.

“Like this…,” said Abdul Razak and while using both hands, one in front and the other at the back, grabbed his own neck and demonstrated to the courtroom just how a person could strangle himself.

DAP Socialist Youth chief Anthony Loke described Abdul Razak’s suggestion as the “joke of the century”.

“It is really a big joke. I laughed and laughed when I heard it and now, everyone is laughing,” he said, noting that Abdul Razak would find it hard to live down this sore point in his career.

Now, added the Rasa MP, the story has become a hot topic for Pakatan Rakyat leaders in their ceramah speeches.

“The audience loves the story. They laugh and laugh whenever we tell the story that Teoh could have strangled himself then jumped off the window sill,” he said.

He added that another stupid assertion Abdul Razak had made was when he asked Dr Pornthip whether she’s ever jumped out of a window.