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Friday, July 22, 2011

The cover-up Prime Minister: From Scorpenes to Mongolia to Communism

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:10 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu can never be swept under the carpet just like any other issue found decremental to the highest leader in Malaysia. A human life should never be bartered or made a pawn in a web of lies spun specifically to amass wealth for oneself. In true karmic fashion, Altantuya has come back to bite her tormentors. And Najib Razak, whether directly or indirectly, is one of them.
As the Malaysian PM winds up a high-profile tour of Europe, concluding a string of meetings with the British Prime Minister, Oueen Elizabeth and the Pope, waiting to greet him in Malaysia are French lawyers with a slew of new revelations and allegations. The Defense minister in charge of procurements at the relevant time, Najib still has to answer for his role in the purchase of Scorpene submarines, where huge kickbacks in the hundreds of millions have been alleged.

US took Bala's claims seriously
Not only have French investigators moved forward in their work, a US cable recently leaked by Wikileaks showed that the US government had paid serious attention to the statutory declaration made by a private investigator P Balasubramaniam, who was hired by Najib's close friend Razak Baginda.
The deposition is based primarily on statements reportedly made by Altantuya and Baginda, who was also a negotiator in the Scorpenes deal, and indicates that Najib too had an affair with Altantuya.
Bala said he was told by Baginda that Altantuya had assisted Najib in the controversial purchase of French submarines, and Najib attempted to intervene on Razak Baginda's behalf at the time of his arrest for her murder. The investigator claims that this information was suppressed by police and ignored by prosecutors.
Balasubramaniam based his statement on conversations he had with Razak Baginda and with Altantuya, on events he witnessed acting as Baginda's investigator, and his experiences under arrest and in the courtroom at the opening stage of the murder trial.
Among other things, the Bala affidavit includes the following damaging allegations against Najib and others:
* Najib and Altantuya had an affair and that Najib introduced her to Baginda. (Note: Najib has repeatedly denied knowing Altantuya. End note.)
* Najib, along with Razak Baginda, was with Altantuya in Paris in connection with the negotiations for the purchase of French submarines, and that Altantuya believed she was due $500,000 for her services.
* Najib asked Razak Baginda to take care of Altantuya, as Najib did not want Altantuya harassing him.
* Najib, in a text message, told Razak Baginda he would meet with Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan to resolve the issue of Razak Baginda's impending arrest for murder.
* Police omitted the above information that Balasubramaniam provided during his seven-day interrogation regarding the murder, and that prosecutors never addressed any questions to him during his court appearances.
A massive cover-up operation
The Wikileaks further points to the massive cover-up operation launched by Najib himself to protect his interests in the submarine purchase. Najib’s apparent manipulation of the Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan and Attorney General Gani Patail to assure that Baginda’s arrest would be ‘resolved’ is unbecoming of a leader of his standing.
In 2002, Najib was the Defense minister when he pushed for the submarines acquisition and when he sought to protect Baginda, he was already the Deputy Prime Minister and anxious to move into the top seat held by Abdullah Badawi.
The revelations in this recent Wikileaks document adds to the pile of fumbles Najib has amassed since assuming the PM's seat in 2009 after ousting Badawi in an internal UMNO party power tussle. This means Najib was never popularly elected as PM. This is a prime minister leading on borrowed time and without a clear mandate from the voting public of Malaysia.
Contrary to what Najib continues to assert, he may not be as popular as he keeps insisting that he is. The people have not been given the chance to decide if he is to lead Malaysia. Najib merely assumed the role from Badawi by taking over the helm of the UMNO presidency.
Now that blunder after blunder has been made especially in the handling of the Bersih rally, Najib and his administration are in fierce damage-control mode. This includes censuring foreign publications, threatening foreign media from reporting the rally and massive crackdown on supporters of the Bersih movement for free and fair elections.
Expected response to the fresh Scorpene revelations - more lies!
If Najib is capable of manipulating the administration to cover-up his alleged involvement in the mulit-billion ringgit Scorpenes deal and also the Altantuya murder, then it won't surprise anyone that his administration will continue to lie to the Malaysian public.
Just like the Bersih-related arrest of 6 Parti Sosialis Malaysia activists, where the Najib administration was again caught red-handed in a blatant lie. Minister in the PM's Department Nazri Aziz insisted the police had no choice but to arrest the 6 on an archaic Emergency law that allows for indefinite detention without trial. Why? Because they threatened 'national security, the minister said. The PSM were trying to revive Communism and that's why they were arrested.
But actual court documents filed by the police showed their arrest was for carrying out Bersih-related activities and did not mention a single word on Communism. The common thread in the PSM 6 and the Scorpene-Altantuya cases is how Najib and team are willing lie bare-faced on all and every matter that is unfavourable to them and which can threaten their stay in power.
We now have a Prime Minister who is an embarrassment to the Malaysia. Malaysians are stuck with a PM who is willing to go to great lengths to cover-up his mistakes and fumbles. He thinks nothing of manipulating the apparatus of government especially the media. Instead of moving government to serve the people, Najib has turned the government into his own tool for sustaining his hold on power.
But it looks like the last few straws are being placed on the camel's back. And Altantuya, a vision as she smiles gently, will surely be among those who will be placing those final pieces on Najib's stressed-out back.

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