By Americk Sidhu
Apr 6, 2015
COMMENT This is the first time in 34 years I have actually found myself in agreement with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his recent, although rather belated, queries in respect of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder saga.
These questions make sense. These are the same questions a very large portion of the Malaysian population has been asking for over eight years now.
Khalid Abu Baka, our beloved inspector-general of police (IGP), has in the meantime, been performing backward somersaults trying to avoid the entire issue and instead, appears to have dedicated his entire career to tracking Twitter messages on social media.
‘Twitter Khalid’ has even had the audacity to threaten (which he is very good at) anyone who dares to bring up the issue of ‘motive’ in the grisly murder of an innocent female foreign national at the hands of two of Malaysia’s best trained commandos.
The excuse Khalid has given is that the Federal Court has made a decision and any questioning of the reasons behind that decision would be tantamount to contempt of court.
What Khalid has failed miserably to appreciate is the fact that no one is ‘questioning’ that decision. Everyone agrees the decision is correct.
However, it is the question of motive which has never been addressed in any of the three courts this murder trial has progressed through. In fact, evidence in respect of motive was never tendered by the prosecution.
Therefore, as far as I (and Mahathir) are concerned, it is still open season on motive.
So instead of terrorising twitterers, perhaps Khalid may see fit to revisit this issue with a little more fervour than he has shown in the past.
Despite the press releases being launched from the IGP’s office, none of them detract from the fact that convicted murderer Sirul Azhar Umar has categorically said no officer from the Polis Di-Raja Malaysia (PDRM) has visited him in Sydney to interview him.
If Khalid disputes this, all he has to do is release the names of those officers who ostensibly attended to Sirul (left) and the exact date and time they clocked in with the detention centre authorities. Inspector Tonny Luggan (the investigating officer in Altantuya’s case) says he was not sent to see Sirul in Sydney, so who was?
Khalid is also reported to have said that “Sirul’s remark showed the fugitive was doing his utmost to bring disrepute and cast doubt over the investigations into the murder case, his involvement and the criminal justice system”.
Yes. That is correct, because it is obvious to everyone that your investigations are incomplete.
As the current series of events appear to translate, Sirul is not disputing his involvement in the murder. All he is saying is that others were involved and they haven’t been brought to book so why should he take the rap?
One need not have successfully completed an in-depth course in criminal investigation at Pulapol (Malaysian Police Training Centre) to be able to decipher the glaring holes in this entire saga.
A cursory viewing of a couple of episodes of Miami Vice or CSI New York would suffice in providing a clue as to how the matter ought to have been professionally addressed.
The established facts
Azilah Hadri and Sirul have been convicted of the murder of Altantuya by the highest court in our land. This has therefore been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the circumstances, there can be no question that these two gentlemen were in fact responsible for lodging two bullets in this poor lady’s head and thereafter detonating some military grade explosives placed on her body causing it to be dissipated in the vicinity of some secondary jungle on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
Sirul, who has, rather astutely, sought refuge at the Villawood detention centre on the outskirts of Sydney, has candidly admitted he was acting under orders and that he has been made a scapegoat for others who had not been brought to court.
In other words, he has tacitly admitted to the crime and confirmed that there may have been others behind it.
The question is why would Sirul and Azilah (right) have done this for no apparent reason? The courts have been interested only in whether an offence of murder had been committed and not why it was committed.
The prosecution failed to seek or put forth an explanation.
This is really the question which the IGP can provide an answer to if he is so inclined. He certainly has the resources. As long as he possesses the will, he most certainly will find the way.
Khalid, for goodness sake, please, just do your job. At the moment the general public perceive inactivity on your part as yet another ubiquitous and notorious Malaysian cover-up.
May I suggest you simply haul up the following characters and ask them these simple questions:
Azilah – Why did you and Sirul kill someone you didn’t even know?
DSP Musa Safri (then aide de camp DPM Najib Razak) – What exactly did you tell Sirul and Azilah to do to that poor Mongolian lady and who exactly asked you to engage their services?
Nasir Safar (Najib’s special officer) – What were you doing driving around in front of Abdul Razak Baginda’s house on the evening of Oct 19, 2006, watching Azilah and Sirul abduct Altantuya?
PM Najib – Did you know that four of your staff were involved in this? If so, then why were they?
Deepak Jaikishan (businessman with close ties to Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor – Who asked you to shut private eye P Balasubramaniam up and get him and his family out of Malaysia immediately after he released SD1 (first statutory declaration)? (This should be easy as Deepak has already confessed to all of this).
Rosmah – Was it you? If not, then who?
Johari Razak (Najib’s younger brother) – Did you telephone senior lawyer Cecil Abraham on the evening of July 3, 2008 and ask him to prepare SD2 for Balasubramaniam to sign? If so why, and on whose behalf?
Cecil – Did you receive a telephone call from Johari Razak on July 3, 2008 to prepare SD2? If so, did you?
Sunil Abraham (Cecil’s son, who is also a lawyer) – Did you or did you not, assist your father in preparing SD2 and did you then personally deliver it to the Hilton Hotel, KL Sentral on the morning of July 4, 2008?
Zainal Abidin Muhayat – Were you a commissioner for oaths in 2008 and did you have your office at Zul Rafique and Partners, Lorong P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur? If so, who sent you to the Hilton Hotel, KL Sentral on July 4, 2008 to attest the signature of one Balasubramaniam on SD2?
Nazim Razak (another brother of Najib) – Were you and your wife at the Curve, Mutiara Damansara late in the night of July 3, 2008? If so did you meet one Balasubramaniam (right) next to the VW showroom?
And if so, did you or did you not, threaten Balasubramaniam to follow the instructions of one Deepak Jaikishan and leave the country with his family immediately, otherwise his family’s safety could not be guaranteed?
Najib – Did you instruct Johari and Nazim to arrange, respectively, for SD2 to be prepared and Balasubramaniam’s subsequent departure from Malaysia? If so, why was that necessary?
Hamzah Zainuddin (Umno MP for Larut) – Did you, in 2011, offer Balasubramaniam safe passage back to this country and a cash inducement if he pleaded guilty to affirming a false statutory declaration (SD1). If so, why and on behalf of whom?
Khalid, may I also suggest that you contact a senior investigation officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) by the name of Abdul Rahman Bachok. He is a very diligent officer and has the entire file on investigations into the circumstances under which Balasubramaniam affirmed SD2. I am sure he will lend you his file and assist you in any way he can.
I believe he is a little annoyed that his file has been closed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers. He had put a lot of effort into his investigations.
You may also care to contact the Brickfields police station and ask them why they have not followed up on the police report I lodged on July 8, 2008 in respect of Balasubramaniam’s disappearance. I have sent them reminders but there has been no response.
All the above ‘persons of interest’ and their answers to the questions posed may possibly assist in revealing a motive for the crime. Is there any reason why you, Mr IGP would be disinclined to pursue the matter further and if so what are those reasons?
AMERICK SIDHU is a senior lawyer and counsel for late P Balasubramaniam and his widow, A Santamil Selvi.