The Infamous “Can I Advise You Something?”. Is It Evidence?

(New Malaysia Herald) – I have often wondered whether life imitates art, or is it the other way around? Watching Stranger brought me back to the time when one particular incident had rocked the nation and turned netizens into Audio Recording Experts.

In the first season of Stranger, however, there were many instances of ‘Audio recordings’, and induced as conclusive evidence presumably, whether to justify admission or to convict a suspect. It is pertinent to note that they did not elaborate these instances in a trial setting, but merely showed outcome of finding of guilt or conclusive admission upon such audio recordings obtained.”

Having watched this series, I immediately recalled few past experiences, where the issue of Audio Recording as evidence was raised. A few years back, a friend called to ask for my personal opinion on his/her case of ‘breach of contract’- where he claimed that there were elements of ‘self-induced’ frustration on his counterpart, evidenced by an audio-recording.

A series of recordings were done from his phone. He forwarded them to me. A voice (only one voice mainly, others were not clear), was heard through the series of recordings, where his counterpart reprimanded him for sloppy works, and threatened to ‘frustrated’ the contract with lines like: “If you don’t complete your work xxxxxx, I will then Yyyyyyyy, and then void the contract.”

My friend was quick to “Presume” that this audio recording is admissible as evidence, asking only questions related to the impact-value of this evidence for his case. A few months after this, another event unveiled, that shocked the whole country.

This was the “Disclosure” by then MACC Chief, Lateefa Koya, on recorded conversations between then Prime Minister, Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor, and other individuals relevant to some of the on-going criminal proceedings against Najib. Whilst the phrase “Can I advise you something?” stole the limelight, I was baffled as to why Lateefa would reveal the audio recording in such manner, instead of having them tendered as Evidences in court.