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An explosive, eight-minute video clip, that opposition lawmakers allege implicates a controversial lawyer and a top judge by showing them conspiring to 'fix' high profile cases and the promotion of judges, has shaken the country and sparked widespread demands for an investigation and overhaul of the judiciary.

The 2002 video conversation also implicates former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a business tycoon, a sitting minister and at least four serving judges.

Suaram, a leading human rights organisation has described the clip as "the most scandalous and shameful episode in the history of (the) Malaysian judiciary."

Elizabeth Wong, activist for Suaram, said ''it is an unforgivable act of abuse of power of the highest order''. ''The exposure has a permanent, crippling effect on public and international confidence in our judicial system.''

The blatant contents of the clip and the public outcry it sparked have forced the Malaysian Bar to take a tougher than usual stand. It is demanding an immediate and formal inquiry by persons of impeccable integrity, dismissal of the judge and disciplinary action against the lawyer.

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