By Wong Choon Mei, Suara Keadilan
Islamic-based PAS has asked the Malay Rulers’ Council to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe if Prime Minister Najib Razak was indeed involved in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.
“Reports alleging the existence of a relationship between Najib and Altantuya through the purchase of a fleet of submarines have been reported in India, Australia, Korea, Thailand, etc,” PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar wrote in the official party letter to the Council.
“This shows that Najib’s credibility as a prime minister has been openly questioned at the international level.”
PAS also urged the Rulers to grant the request as soon as possible as it was the only way to let the international community know that Malaysia was prepared to answer all allegations.
“These reports have been featured by no less than 19 international media organisations, and all of them depict the prime minister as a person who is corrupt and involved in abuse of power, sex scandals as well as the murder of the Mongolian model,” PAS said.
Otherwise, the negative publicity surrounding Najib and his lack of credibility could tarnish the country’s reputation and that of the Rulers’ themselves.
Foreign investors would also lose confidence in Malaysia’s legal system as Altantuya’s family has threatened to take the case to the International Court of Justice, PAS pointed out.
“We are also worried that if Altantuya father, Setev Shaariibuu, is unsatisfied with the Malaysian High Court, he may bring the case to the International Court of Justice.”
Not so easy for Najib and Dr M to gag the foreign media
The 28-year old Altantuya, who was pregnant when she was killed in 2006 by two elite policemen from Najib’s security detail, has haunted the newly-appointed prime minister but did not prevent him from taking over the country’s top job earlier this month.
Najib has denied all allegations including that she was his mistress at one time before she became the lover of his close associate, Razak Baginda. But with too many questions and coincidences surrounding her gory killing, the speculation has refused to die down.
The 55-year old Najib has now resorted to suppressing the media to prevent the stories from spreading. Soon after he took over as PM, the government ordered four local TV stations to stop mentioning Razak Baginda’s name, his name and his wife Rosmah Mansor’s name in their coverage of the murder case.
However, the Malaysian prime minister was not able to silence the international media.
While Najib’s mentor, ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, has accused the foreign press of a plot to demonise and topple him, the 83-year old has quietly omitted that perhaps part of the reason for the heightened international attention is that French shipbuilder Armaris is also involved.
To reward Malaysia’s order of three high-cost submarines, including two Scorpenes, Armaris paid a 114 million euros (about RM530 million) as commission to Najib through his intermediaries Razak Baginda and Altantuya, according to French newspaper Liberation.
The order was placed during Najib’s tenure as defence minister. Critics in Europe have asked if it was proper for Armaris to have paid out such money.
In Malaysia, there is also a growing movement to demand why the government has not carried out detailed investigation as the commission is huge and could have been used to reduce the acquisition price, saving tax payers some RM500 million.