A bit odd when you come to think of it: the investigative practices of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau was the subject of interrogation in court over the Ng Boon Gay-Cecilia Sue affair.
Since we’re not supposed to comment on how the CPIB fared on the stand, I’ll just confine myself to some curious practices of the Bureau so that anyone who has to lim kopi with the officers will know what they are in for:
A. Seems it takes ages for officers to get down taking a statement. Like 11 hours. Maybe this is normal practice, you know, to “soften’’ up a witness before formal recording. I hope they gave Ms Sue a loo-break.
B. It’s not just one person who takes a statement. In her case, there were four. Maybe this is normal practice too: good cop, bad cop, fat cop, thin cop?
C. The person who interviews is not the person who does the recording. In fact, sometimes the person who does the recording even mistakes the person who did the interviewing. Like how recorder Mr Khoo said it was Mr Teng who did the interviewing but Mr Teng said it wasn’t him. Which makes you wonder if the CPIB has lookalikes that confuse even their own staff.
D. Even the recording officer can ask questions it seems, not necessarily the interviewer. Like how Mr Teng said the recording officer could have asked why Ms Sue changed her position on when her relationship with Ng is supposed to have ended.
E. There is a thing known as a station diary. Seems like it’s for officers to put in side notes. It’s reliable. Or rather NOT reliable since sometimes officers forget to put in a critical NOT. Like how Mr Teng wrote that Ms Sue said she will (NOT) take a polygraph test.
F. CPIB officers are quite nice. They share your concern for your family and the effect of media publicity. They even suggest ways to minimise adverse impact.
What’s the net result of this all? Nope, not saying a thing about how CPIB fared….but it does tell you that if you ever get called for an interview with CPIB, you should empty your bladder, ask to see the IC of every recorder and interviewer and get their names right, ask what’s going into the station diary and whether the officer missed out critical NOTs. And ask about how you can avoid media publicity. Doesn’t always help but you can always try I suppose…I do NOT suppose you can smuggle in your own tape recorder…