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Saturday, September 10, 2011

WikiLeaks: Anwar had "firm information" Najib's aide ordered Altantuya's killing

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:25 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A leaked diplomatic note from the US embassy in Malaysia to Washington has asserted that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was convinced it was Prime Minister Najib Razak's aide-camp, who had ordered two of the PM's former body guards to kill Altanutya Shaariibuu.
The Mongolian translator, who allegedly helped in the Scorpenes deal, was murdered in Malaysia in 2006 and Anwar also said she had been lovers with both Najib and his close friend Razak Baginda.
The note also said Anwar had in his possession "solid" information, even "documentary evidence" that Najib's frontmen had received kickbacks from the Malaysian government's purchase of Scorpene submarines in 2002 and Sukhoi jet-fighters in 2003.
The US cable also points to the corruption and rot already existing in the Abdullah Badawi administration and eventually hallmarking Najib's tenure as prime minister. The abuse of power has not diminished but grown stronger as Najib fights to stay in power, with corruption and interference entrenching itself even further into all arms of the government machinery, the civil service and the judiciary.
And this perhaps explains the Pandora Box of events currently being played out as Malaysia heads towards its 13th General Election, widely expected to be called later this year or early next year.

An excerpt from the cable dated January 24, 2007, reads:
“Anwar asserted that DPM Najib's aide-de-camp ordered the killing of Altantuya and that Anwar possessed firm evidence of the 2003 Sukhoi kick-back scheme. 
Anwar claimed that Najib had been romantically involved with the Mongolian woman prior to her relationship with Abdul Razak Baginda (Najib's confidante accused of abetting the woman's murder), and implied that Altantuya had intended to incriminate Najib as well as Razak Baginda. Leaning forward and in a hushed voice, Anwar asserted that he had firm information that Najib's aide-de-camp ordered the two members of Najib's security detail (who are charged with murder) to kill Altantuya."
Former Deputy Prime Minister and opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim told polchief during their January 18 meeting at Anwar's Damansara home that high-level corruption had reached dangerous levels and had damaged the nation's integrity.
Anwar raised as examples the alleged cover-up in the Altantuya murder case and kick-backs paid to fronts for DPM Najib Tun Razak for the procurement of French submarines and the 2003 purchase of Sukhoi aircraft. He felt emboldened to raise these matters in recent press conferences (picked up mainly by internet news services) because he possessed solid information, including documentary evidence in the case of the Sukhoi deal. Much of the information about the latter cases came directly from senior officials who met with Anwar, including the Director General of at least one ministry and a senior officer at the Central Bank.”
Sleepless nights for Najib: Did Anwar know too much?
So, did Anwar know too much? Note that he had spoken to the US officials in 2007 and the concerted attacks against him began in 2008, allegedly spearheaded by Najib himself.
Is Anwar too great a threat to the political survival of UMNO, the largest party and in control of the country for the past 5 decades? Was it time to bring Anwar down again, especially after the 2008 election where he had led the opposition to unprecedented gains and almost succeeded in brokering a September 16 switch in federal power from the UMNO-led BN to the Pakatan?
No doubt the calls to constrain Anwar must have hit the roof in UMNO, where he was once their best-loved leader until his jailing and sacking on trumped-up sodomy charges by ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad in 1998.
Ten years later, Najib - still a deputy prime minister - needed no encouragement to cook up a second round of sodomy charges to stymie his arch rival for the affections of the Malay community. Not only did Najib needed to consolidate his grip on PM's chair, but giving him sleepless nights must have been the enormous worry that Anwar would expose his secrets to the world at large, leaving him with nothing but disgrace, failure and perhaps even jail time.
The US cable also supports the 2008 statutory declaration made by private investigator P Balasubramaniam, who has since spoken to the French investigators now finalising the Scorpenes probe into whether shipmaker DCN had bribed top Malaysian officials including Najib to seal the deal. Bala had revealed that it was Baginda who told him that Altantuya had been Najib's lover before she was 'passed' onto Baginda.
Two bodyguards, who have since been sentenced to hang for Altantuya's death, have also separately confirmed to the police that they were asked by Najib's aide-de-camp to help Baginda. They told the court that Baginda had hired them to stop Altantuya from harassing him and his family. Altantuya herself in a letter admitted she was blackmailing Baginda. It has been reported that her share of the Scorpenes commission allegedly received by Baginda on Najib's behalf amounted to US$500,000.
Baginda is no idiot. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics and government from London's City Polytechnic and gained a masters in War Studies at King's College, London. Initially charged with abetting Altantuya's murder, he miraculously escaped prosecution, while the aide-de-camp was never even brought to court. It is little wonder that the Malaysian judiciary is suffering its worst crisis of confidence during the Najib administration.
Interestingly, it was also Baginda who told US officials of a plan to "nuke" Anwar in the late 1990s until he could no longer stand up politically. Coming from Baginda, a long-time confidante, the comments underscored Najib's willingness to betray Anwar, even though they had an existing pact wherein he would be Deputy PM to Anwar's PM should they succeed in ousting Mahathir in the UMNO elections.
Baginda, whi joined the Malaysian Armed Forces Defense College as a lecturer and was eventually promoted to head of strategic studies, later formed a think-tank called the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre. He also acted as Najib's negotiator in the Scorpenes deal. Finally in 2002, amid huge public opposition due to the exorbitant price tag and unsuitability of the ships for patrolling Malaysia's shallow coastline, the RM7 billion submarines deal was hammered through by Najib, who was then the Defense minister. Will Baginda also be the link or the "fronts"as the US cable put it, in the Sukhoi deal?
Duellists: Whose shot will hit the mark
September seems to be a month of awkward confluence for Najib. All ill-factors as far as he is concerned seem to be converging, such as the Scorpenes open court hearing, the summons to take the stand as a witness in Anwar's sodomy trial, the global release of the latest and last batch of WikiLeaks that is bound to uncover even more shocking stories of his wheeling and dealing during his defense days.
Already, to pre-empt the shit from hitting the fan, the UMNO-owned Utusan newspaper has carried a story insisting that Najib's enemies were paying WikiLeaks in order to publish "slanderous" information about him.
"This is an example of slander that is deliberately created and then published onto websites such as WikiLeaks with the intention to influence the citizens. It is slander without any proof at all," Ng Lum Yong, a former PKR member turned BN supporter, was quoted as saying in Utusan's Friday edition.
Meanwhile, like duellists of olden days, Anwar and Najib continue their walk towards each other, waiting for the right moment to lift their guns and fire the final shot. Who will hit target or will both be taken down?
Given that Najib is the sitting PM, it is a done deal that he will imprison Anwar if the UMNO-BN wins GE-13. Sometimes, knowing too much can disadvantage a person, especially in a country like Malaysia, which is still much more an authoritarian state than a democracy where law and order and civil behaviour reign supreme.
But should Anwar's bullet find its mark, whether Pakatan loses or wins GE-13, Najib can be sure that he will have to say goodbye not only to his PM's chair but also the UMNO presidency.
In line to gain the most is Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. And the transformation of power structure in Malaysia is already happening.

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