Anwar versus Najib
That was the frontpages of Dato Seri Abdullah's private family newspapers, New Straits Times and Berita Harian, and few other political tabloids yesterday.
Whilst, TV3 gave a lot of coverage to Najib's press conference yesterday evening, since Dato Seri Najib revealed he met Saiful few days before his police report.
Anything reported by Media Prima these days should be taken with lots of salt and requires some analysis to understand the real intentions.
Few recent events and Anwar's interview with Malaysiakini.com points to a high possibility that Pak Lah has a hand in it. It confirms the suspicion that by being the most to benefit, Pak Lah may have planned to heightened the political rivalry between Anwar and Najib with the hope he will go unchallenged.
This time he is more ambitous and in a hurry. He needs to rid of them both. Khairy maybe picking up steam in his Ketua Pemuda campaign and could be positioned as successor.
Possible Related Events
The timeliness of this new political battle coincide with Najib's cryptic and veiled annoucement that he may go for the UMNO Presidency. Najib's insinuation came just few days after UMNO had announced the commencement of the Code of Ethics on campaigning for the December UMNO Election.
There was a big question on the Code in UMNO circle. Although the announcement of the code was made by Tan Sri Muhyiddin, it is seen by many in UMNO as curtailing the advancement of Tengku Razaleigh. There were consternation towards Muhyiddin but in actual fact, it is advantageous towards Abdullah.
Abdullah continued to meeting UMNO Branch Chief and on last weekend, it was from Perlis. Khairy was visiting and pictured meeting Pahang UMNO Youth and was reported making remark of his chances looking bright.
The sudden revelation of Anwar's alleged sodomy act come to a surprise to many. There was no rumours of investigation like the last time around. Generally, most find it hard to believe it will occur again. Anwar is given a lot of benefit of the doubt.
Reading through Anwar's interview with Malaysiakini.com on Anwaribrahimblog.com, there was a startling revelation of his account of Saiful.
True to my intuition in yesterday's posting on Pak Lah as the main beneficiary from this sodomy allegation, Anwar revealed Saiful's link with the Biro Tatanegara (BTN).
Extracts of Anwar's remark about Saiful in the interview is as below:
"Saiful at that time was still working with you?Another extract below:
Yes, yes. It is really, as you say, a breach of security. The three main staff - Nik Nazmi (Nik Ahmad), Sim (Tze Tzin) and Nurul Izzah (Anwar) - left to contest in the elections. Rahimi (Osman) was holding the fort. And of course Syed Husin (Ali) in the office, Ibrahim (Yaacob) and Din Merican.
The first to go around to contact the states and divisions, that was Rahimi. Then he brought in Saiful at the last moment as a volunteer. Saiful approached me, although he was known to be in Biro Tatanegara (civic consciousness bureau) and an Umno outfit before that.
I didn’t know, he actually started off as a driver, bringing even (former Anwar political secretary) Nasharuddin (Jalil)’s son (Salman) who was killed in a (hit and run) road accident - that’s still questionable until now. The case is closed. I want to reopen the case - the circumstances of the ‘murder’ or the death is still very questionable.
So later on, Rahimi was using Saiful a bit more, there were two of them. Then I had Sim to come back and we had another person, Farhash (Wafa Salvador) who just came back from London but because of the transition - that was it.
But I didn’t know about his (Saiful’s) connection. Because there were so many emails from his old friends attacking him, I called him in, “What’s this?”. He said, “Sir, swear to God, it was my connection with Najib’s outfit when I was in Uniten (Universiti Tenaga Nasional) and then some of them became my personal friends”. I said, “Okay”. We actually take things a bit easy."
Anwar explained that Saiful was first taken in as a party volunteer and was asked to be a driver.And, another extract below:
“After weeks, he came slowly into the establishment. Until the day he left, he was still not a permanent member of the staff … We just pay him a part-time allowance,” said Anwar in a 30-minute interview at the PKR headquarters this morning.
Conceding that it was a breach of security, he revealed that Saiful was privy to some of the sensitive communications involving defections from other parties.
“He was also receiving calls from Sabah and Sarawak. And they (BN) know how and why … in such a way to pre-empt my announcement on the four crossovers.”
Do you admit that it was a mistake in your office not to have scanned Saiful’s background first before taking him in?BTN Pro-Najib?
Yes, but he was not taken in as a staff. He was taken in as a volunteer, who at that time was very critical (of BN). He said he is a supporter and he would “die for Anwar”. So they took him. After weeks, then he came slowly into the establishment. Until the day he left, he was still not a permanent member of the staff. He was not. We just pay him a part-time allowance.
But you shot down criticisms from people who questioned his background.
Yeah, you know it is my character. When you say that he was terrible when he was in Uniten (Universiti Tenaga Nasional), he was in the BTN (Biro Tatanegara or civic consciousness bureau), an ardent racist, pro-Najib, I said, “Okay, that was two years ago. He does not have access to other views. Is there any evidence if he’s doing anything (of this sort) now?” That’s me (laughs).
It is a mistake in hindsight. He was not taken in as a full-time member and so there is no vetting exercise. We don’t actually take some criticisms from his university mates or blogs seriously. It is inexcusable for my establishment, but overall we have thousands of volunteers but somehow he got into the establishment.
Now if you look back as to how it happened - a day before (he was accepted as a PKR volunteer) there was communication between him and an Anwar Ibrahim Club guy in London battling because he (Saiful) was defending Umno. The following day, he saw this staff of mine (Rahimi) and said he was a die-hard supporter of Anwar. So he started off as a driver. He was driving a car, so he came in for 10 days as a driver."
Since Anwar used to controlled BTN as Deputy Prime Minister and was remembered for undertaking a major reshuffling in the Agency, he should be well aware that BTN as well as few organisations like GPMS, Belia 4B, Pekida, etc are Pak Lah's network of cadre.
As opined in yesterday's posting, Anwar has a "pact" with Abdullah. Anwar to take on Najib and Abdullah to take on Dr Mahathir.
Sticking to the "agreed script", Anwar point the link between Saiful with BTN to Najib. This is certainly a giveaway indication that the whole episode has Pak Lah's hand behind.
Despite Anwar keeping himself close to the agreed arrangement, Pak Lah's latest move could be intended to "kill two bird with one stone".
If we are to take Anwar's account of the event in the interview in good faith, he seemed to be caught surprised with the latest allegation. This culminated into his over reaction to run to the Turkish Embassy and the series of denials, lawsuit, and countermoves.
The announcement by the US State Department created bigger problem for him thus needing a bigger sensational news of a Statutory Declaration by PI Balasundram to deviate attention.
Now that Bala has withdrawn some questionable allegations in his SD, it will be a new problem for Anwar. He will have to get some MPs to jump ship fast or make further revelation on something more sensational. The best bet is it will still be related to Najib.
Hang To Dry
In yesterday's press statement, Abdullah only stated that Najib had explained about the Altantuya murder case to him and he has decided to remain silence since the case is still ongoing court case.
He did not gave any words of support for Najib and even a correction to the earlier wrongly worded statement that he believe Najib and Rosmah are innocent.
Abdullah did not touch anything on the sodomy allegation or any form of criticism on Anwar's theatric to hide at the Turkish Embassy or the US State Department remarks as show of support for Najib.
As one former UMNO Johor youth activist and Najib's man described, Abdullah left Najib hanging to dry yesterday. His instinct says Abdullah has a hand in this latest episode to smear Anwar and Najib in one go. This explains his willingness to give assurances on Anwar's safety and police and prosecutor to to act professionally.
And, Abdullah showed somewhat displeased by a question on his family link to Saiful mentioned in a blog, namely Rocky Bru's but did not deny or affirm it.
Perhaps, Saiful should perform the Mubahalah alone. Swear to God he is not involved to set up Anwar and Najib.