Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Altantuya continues to haunt Najib and Rosmah

The recent airing of the interview of Raja Petra Kamaruddin on TV3 prime time news seems to have reignited interest in the mysterious murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

This together with open court hearings in Paris that are due to begin next month into naval ship builder DCNS, which is alleged to have paid huge commissions to proxies of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

DCNS is a key player in the notoriously dirty world of international arms wheeling and dealing. It is alleged to have paid under-table money to secure the Malaysian government's purchase of 2 Scorpene and 1 Agosta submarines in 2002.

Altantuya had purportedly worked as a translator for Najib's friend Razak Baginda, who was also involved in the deal and the alleged kickbacks.

Since the murder was discovered, there has been speculation that Rosmah Mansor, Najib's wife, had also been involved in the complex trail of events that eventually led to two of her former body guards being sentenced to hang the Altantuya murder.

Don't mention her name

The Altantuya saga had quietened down in the last couple of years due to the overwhelming news coverage on the death of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani, both of whom died mysteriously under the watch of MACC.

Besides that, the Najib-led government had also been eager to divert public attention away from the murder case, and instead focus on character assassination against his political nemesis Anwar Ibrahim.

Without a doubt, Najib Razak is very sensitive at the mention of the name ‘Altantuya’. Some might still recall that the government banned the usage of the name during the Permatang Pauh by-election back in 2008.

This should go down well in the world books of records as Malaysia is one of the first in the world to impose such an absurd ban. The mainstream media also gave no space for the case to be broadcasted or published, even though the murder was of enormous public interest.

The court proceeding itself was baffling and highly mysterious. Even though there was concrete evidence that Najib had a connection in the case, his name was never mentioned throughout the entire proceedings. Other questions were also left unanswered, and the public continues to be puzzled. Hence, the undying curiosity and speculation.

The murder also angered the Mongolian government, as they point out the killing was not as simple as the court had held it to be. Some Mongolian officials even threatened to end bilateral ties with Malaysia, as they believe that the real minds behind the murder are still at large and within the top leadership.

Immigration records wiped clean

The Malaysian High Court had ignored key questions, such as, how two special squad but low-ranked, uniformed police constables could get hold of C4- explosives, which were used to blow up the body of Altantuya. Both cops had previously been detailed to bodyguard duty for the first couple.

These explosives are scarce and available only to the military in the country. In fact, only the Malaysian Defence Minstry and Royal Armed Forces have legal possession over it. The coincidence is of course that Najib was the Defence Minister then, thus sparking further linkage of him with the bombing tools.

Altantuya’s entry records to Malaysia were also erased, prompting questions as to how the two cops could manage to swing so much authority to the extent of asserting control over the Immigration and Customs Departments. The lack of ‘mens rea’, or simply the ‘guilty mind’ or ‘intention to kill’ by the two policemen added on to the suspicious nature of the case. On top of that, there were allegations that the policemen were paid RM100,000 each to finish off Altantuya.

Besides that, Altantuya’s brother had also testified that he once saw a picture of Altantuya together with Najib and Razak Baginda. This also rebutted the denial of Najib, that he had never met the Mongolian lass. The acquittal of Razak Baginda despite concrete evidence also drew huge public disgust, especially when the Attorney-General's Chambers also decided to not appeal against the High Court’s decision to discharge him.

The translator cum lover

As the court hearings into the DCNS scandal begins in France next month, those who seek justice for Altantuya can only hope that an exploration will be conducted to find out if she was really the translator for Najib and Razak Baginda when they contracted with the French company.

This would answer all the questions which have bugged Malaysians and Mongolians for the past 5 years. It would also totally destroy Najib’s already sinking future as Prime Minister if the answer was yes. He would be deemed as the most evil liar in Malaysian history.

Apart from her language skills, it has been alleged that Altantuya had also been Najib's and Razak Baginda's mistress.

Regardless of Altantuya’s name being brought up in the probe, Malaysia would also take a severe blow to its reputation if the alleged payment of commission turns out to be true. Malaysia would become a tainted country in international eyes, and investors might think twice of coming into the country and invest when the government itself is proven corrupt.

The probe seems to be a lose-lose situation for Najib, as he seek to fight for survival and cling on to his position as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Jason Tan, Malaysia Chronicle

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