Sub judice my foot! Before the Mongolian murder trial even began, the Attorney-General himself had publicly declared that there were only three people involved in the murder - Abdul Razak Baginda and two members of the Unit Tindakan Khas (Special Action Squad) assigned to Najib Razak as bodyguards. Isn't that "sub judice" to the max? The BN seems to have adopted former PM Mahathir's infamous modus operandi of accusing everybody else of being a liar and opportunist except himself.
The Altantuya murder trial, even more so than the grotesque Anwar Trial nine years ago, has worn out the public's patience with the rusty grind of ill-fitting wheels that passes for Malaysian justice. Not a single person I know has the slightest confidence in the impartiality of Attorney-General Gani Abdul Patail - or the presiding judge hand-picked to play his part in the charade. Nor does anyone (apart from, of course, his political masters in Umno) believe for a moment that Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan is worth a single cent of his salary. Indeed, the general perception is that both the A-G and the IGP work exclusively for Barisan Nasional and not on behalf of the Malaysian public. As such, we find ourselves in a total quandary where there is no longer any authority figure or public institution that can be relied upon to do its work independently and effectively.
Imagine a situation where a young woman has been abducted and gang-banged. Finally, she manages to free herself and escape. Her friends take her to the nearest police station to lodge a report - and there, to her utmost horror, she finds the same gang that just raped her standing behind the counter, smiling smugly in their uniforms and eager to take her report. Well, that's more or less the nightmarish predicament Malaysia is in right now.
The devastating information presented in Raja Petra Kamarudin's June 18th statutory declaration at the Kuala Lumpur High Court reveals that there was indeed a military intelligence report delivered to the Prime Minister of Malaysia who, at the time, also served as Home Minister. RPK does not indicate when this military intelligence report might have been submitted to the PM - but he states unequivocally that the report was subsequently handed over to the PM's son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, "for safekeeping."
What does all this imply? What are the broad ramifications of this truly mind-boggling development?
Let's connect a few dots so we can step back and look at the ugly picture that emerges. The background to Altantuya Shaariibuu's gruesome abduction and murder can be traced to the Defence Ministry's shopping spree over the last few years that resulted in the acquisition of Scorpene (2) and Agosta (1) submarines and 18 Sukhoi SU30MKM jetfighters. Abdul Razak Baginda, the main accused in the ongoing Altantuya murder trial, is a close friend of DPM and defence minister Najib Razak. Razak Baginda is - or was - a consultant to the Defence Ministry and also doubled as a purchasing agent and high-level negotiator via his private limited company, Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, whose subsidiary, Perimekar Sdn Bhd received a record-breaking RM534.8 million commission on just the submarine deal alone. (Perimekar Sdn Bhd is jointly owned by Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, Boustead Holdings Bhd, and KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd.)
Abdul Razak Baginda's sworn affidavit, filed on January 5th, 2007, named Altantuya Shaariibuu (alias Aminah) as Razak Baginda's mistress. As she was reportedly conversant in several languages, including French and Russian, it can be surmised that she might have come in handy as a paid interpreter at negotiations between the Malaysian Defence Ministry, Perimekar, and the French and Russian manufacturers. She accompanied Razak Baginda during his stay in France to conduct the negotiations - and it has been established that Defence Minister Najib Razak was also in France at the time (June 2005) and handed out jackets sponsored by Perimekar Sdn Bhd to Malaysian submariners undergoing training at the Brest naval yard. On June 11th, 2005, Najib Razak gave a press conference after visiting the site where the Scorpene submarines were being built. This indicates that the Defence Minister took a personal interest in the French submarine deal and it's unimaginable that he would not have been in contact with his purchasing agent, advisor and negotiator, Abdul Razak Baginda (who would have had Altantuya in tow). In effect, Najib's vehement insistence that he never met "the Mongolian woman" rings particularly hollow - and even more so when Altantuya's friend, Burmaa Oyunchimeg mentioned during the trial that she had seen a photograph of Altantuya dining with "the two Razaks." In short, we detect an extremely high possibility of untruthfulness in the Defence Minister's public denial of any personal acquaintance with the murdered Mongolian.
Malaysia's first Scorpene sub, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, launched 23 October 2007 by Rosmah Mansor at the DCNS dockyard in Cherbourg, Normandy, France.
We are also inevitably drawn to the conclusion that astronomical amounts of kickback payments were involved and that "the Mongolian woman" may have been privy to the financial arrangements behind the Defence Ministry's shopping spree in Europe - at least circa June 2005. Could there have been the added bonus and titillation of some fun and games when negotiations were transferred from boardroom to bedroom? Dare we say it... a ménage à trois? If that was indeed what happened in France in June 2005, it would explain the subsequent wrath of Rosmah Mansor, official wife of the Defence Minister and DPM.
Jealous rage and power are a lethal combination - as we have already witnessed in another high-profile murder case, unsolved since 2002, involving Siti Hasleza Ishak, second wife of a member of the Perak royalty. There are many more unsolved murders involving pretty women: take the 2003 case of Noritta Samsudin (left) whose cellphone records were conveniently erased although rumors persist that she had called some extremely powerful politician on the night she was murdered.
So what we have before us is a deadly and scandalous combination: corruption of the first magnitude, sexual peccadilloes, betrayal, blackmail, harassment, intimidation - and finally abduction, possible torture, and cold-blooded murder ending with the body getting blown to a million bits with military-grade explosives. RPK's statutory declaration names three others present at the crime scene: Rosmah Mansor, Lt. Col Aziz Buyong (an explosives expert with the Defence Ministry's engineering corps), and his wife Norhayati (a Defence Ministry employee who also happens to be Rosmah's aide-de-camp). In every instance, the Defence Ministry is implicated, as well as police personnel assigned as bodyguards to Najib and Rosmah - and everybody knows who the Top Dog is at the Defence Ministry.
Some folks play high stakes poker, willing to risk everything to get where they want to go - in this case, the very highest rung of power in the country.
There is absolutely no way that Abdul Razak Baginda and the two accused UTK cops (Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar) could have accomplished the crime and the subsequent (albeit clumsy) cover-up without help from the highest echelons of power. Not even DSP Musa Safri (Najib's ADC) would have the necessary clout to order immigration records deleted so that there would be no traces of Altantuya and her cousin's arrival in Malaysia.
Then we have the blatant interference of the Attorney-General who replaced the trial judge and prosecution team under outrageously suspicious circumstances - and the dramatic resignation of Azilah's lawyer, Zulkifli Nordin, who publicly stated: "There were serious attempts by third parties to interfere with the defence that I proposed."
RPK alleges that the PM and his son-in-law have read the military intelligence report and are therefore accessories after the crime in that they have all this while been withholding crucial evidence for their own political advantage.
No wonder the BN-owned media have been absolutely mute over RPK's bombshell declaration!
In other words, if RPK is as "reliably informed" as he claims to be, he has just indicted the entire Malaysian government for various jailable offences - and under ideal circumstances we ought to be seeing on TV the arrest of everybody from the PM and his son-in-law, defence minister and DPM Najib and his wife Rosmah, the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police (for aiding and abetting a variety of serious crimes). Even without the anticipated crossovers, BN is dead meat. In any case, nobody in their right mind will accept Najib Razak as Malaysia's next prime minister. The only way he could rule the country would be by martial law - and that would spell ABSOLUTE AND IRREVOCABLE DISASTER for our beloved nation.
But will BN leave the stage without fussing and fighting and resorting to the ISA? RPK took pains to add in his declaration that a ruler had been briefed on the sordid details of the Altantuya murder and was fully in the know. We can only surmise that he was referring to his cousin, Sultan Sharafuddin of Selangor, who was subjected to an abusive phonecall about a month ago - according to an RPK blogpost on Malaysia Today - from none other than Rosmah Mansor! Now that was a really smart move, RPK. Because, when push comes to shove, we may have to call upon Royal Intervention to protect the nation from the vicious Crime Syndicate that has taken over the reins of government.
It's High Noon at the Not-So-OK Corral that Malaysia has become. We watch with bated breath as the showdown begins between those of us who love the country - and those who love only their own power and privilege, which they have abused for far too many decades.