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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Scorpenes-Altantuya: Guilty as charged! Calls grow for Najib to quit

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:31 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The verdict is in. Loud and clear. Guilty as charged. The news flashed across the world, resounding through the electronic media, leaving Malaysians stunned and concerned that they are now being led by a man who has "lost it".
Prime Minister Najib Razak has tried all ways and means to insist that he was above board - firom financial skullduggery in the RM7 billion Scorpenes submarines case to the Altantuya murder, in which he even took an oath on the Quran to say that he never knew her.
But his actions belie his words. On Friday morning, flying in to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Penang, French lawyer William Bourdon was arrested and will be deported at 11.30pm on Friday night.

The 55-year old Bourdon was hired by Malaysian NGO Suaram to sue submarines vendor DCN for paying kickbacks and bribes to top Malaysian officials, of whom Najib is likely to be one given that he was the Defense minister sanctioning the deal.
Before Bourdon could spill the beans on the Malaysian leader at the second of a 3-part briefing in Kuala Lumpur over the Scorpenes corruption and kickbacks case, he was hauled up and shut up.
Shortened vacation to block Bourdon: Resign now
But for how long can Najib cling to his enforced advantage? Until Bourdon reaches Paris of course, where he can then be expected to air his grievances to the international media, which won't mince their words either.
Najib would have done better for himself and his nation to have held his hand. Instead, he cut short a family holiday in Europe, saying he wanted to be with the people. Najib also expressed gratitude to his wife, who has also scandalised the nation with her extravagant splurges, the latest allegedly being a gargantuan RM24.4 million diamond ring.
"I told my family I felt that I should return to Malaysia and that I was prepared to forgo the holiday for the sake of Malaysians back home," Bernama reported Najib as saying when he arrived home at the airport.
However, it is clear now his true intentions were to block Bourdon and the truth from coming out. Calls are now ringing  in for Najib to step down immediately,.
"This is a silly move and is happening because Najib is on his last legs, politically. There is no justification especially when days ago, he was preaching to the Pope about the need for moderation, now look at his own conduct at home. How many people believe in his innocence in both the Scorpenes and Altantuya cases, but we gave him the benefit of doubt. Now, it is he himself who is telling the world that he is guilty by his actions," Batu MP Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
"UMNO is guilty of abuse of power as they are using immigration to protect Najib and themselves. An embarrassment to Malaysia as it involves a French citizen and has become international new. This desperate act proves that they have something to hide," PKR vice president N Surendran told Malaysia Chronicle.
Fears for Bourdon's safety 
There are also fears among the civil society groups and the diplomatic community here that the Malaysian authorities might 'stuff' Bourdon with false charges to cover up for their high-handedness. To avoid this, both Bourdon and his wife Lea Forestier have issued a statement, categorically denying that they had done anything wrong. Their return flights are booked for Sunday and the Malaysian authorities had initially wanted to detain them until then.
Lea (pic) and Suaram demanded that they be allowed to leave on the 11.30 pm flight out tonight. Suaram officials have since confirmed that the Malaysian authorities have agreed to this, prompting a sigh of relief all round.
With all due respect, the Malaysian government has attracted so much notoriety of late that there is real fear that something unfortunate could befall Boudon especially if he remained in custody until Sunday.
Custodials deaths are on the rise, with human rights lawyers condemning the police for 'killing' with impunity. Recently, there have also been two very suspicious deathfalls at the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission offices, believed to have been trigged by excessive interrogation and outright torture to extract false confessions.
'It is an abuse of power and till now, no explanation has been given," Cynthia Gabriel, Suaram director, toldMalaysia Chronicle.
"William Bourdon taken from KLIA to Immigration refused to sign any documents in Bahasa Malaysia (Malay language). Hopefully, the Immigration office is on the ground floor," DAP MP for Sibu Wong Ho Leng said on his Twitter, in a clear swipe at the spate of MACC 'homicide-suicides'.

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