Sunday, April 19, 2009
Anwar's absence for Malaysia's first submarine arrival
The Star reported that Malaysia's first Scorpene submarine is due to arrive on July 25th, 2009. The submarine - KD Tunku Abdul Rahman - has already left Toulon, France on Jan 24.
According to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Laksamana Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Jaafar, the YDP Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin will receive the submarine when it docks at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah naval base at Pulau Indah, Klang. The submarine would then set sail for the Lumut naval base.
The submarine has been linked to a series of controversies and allegations with Anwar Ibrahim and his protege's hands orchestrating.
Anwar's trial for the sodomy charges will began from July 1st and run till July 24th, 2009. Will he be around to see the arrival of the submarine which he used to implicate and smear his political competitor, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak in the Premiership race?
Many believed he will not be. Here's how the events in the past unfolded and the future could possibly be.
Abdul Razak Baginda and the Murder of Altantunya?
The main controversy surrounding the submarine is the implication of Abdul Razak Baginda, a former security analyst to Najib, to the murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantunya allegedly by two Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK) personnel, Azrilah and Sirul. Razak was a Director in Primekar Sdn Bhd, a Company given the project management contract for the submarine.
Razak was released from detention and not charged but Azrilah and Sirul was recently found guilty by the courts. He is now believed to be living in London.
The case attracted few questions.
One was why Musa Safri was not brought to the stand as witness. A possible answer is that his statement tallied with the statement of Razak, Azrilah and Sirul. And, it maybe of no consequence to the case, be it for the prosecutor or the defense. Musa was asked for help from Razak to introduce to any police personnel and he did so.
Thus far established without questions from Karpal Singh, observer representing the family of the late Altantunya lawyer, is that Altantunya had an affair with Razak. Her letters does not indicate as the rumours goes that her profession was an interpreter or an arms arranger.
This dismiss the possibility she was demanding her entitlement for any alleged commision. Nevertheless, her letters presented in court established that she was in dire need for money. She was seeking and pleading for Razak's assistance. When she grew more desperate, she threatened in her letter to expose their affair.
The main grouse about this case was why Razak was not called as witness. And, this is the only issue raised by Karpal Singh. Majority of the knowledgable public concur with Karpal Singh.
Another issue was why was the motive of the case not discussed. This will need a legal practitioner to answer.
Without having access to the documents, one wonder what the court meant by the defense were at loggerhead with each other? Could it be possible that Azrilah misunderstood the instruction to "take care of her" and wrongly instructed Sirul to get rid of Altantunya? Thus, the murder is about a miscommunication and as such, there is no need for a motive.
Nevertheless, there is a bizarre theory making it's round suspecting Altantunya killed and blowed up to smitterins by another party with the intention to implicate Najib. Their convenient suspects are Khairy and the Tingkat 4, and Anwar Ibrahim. The plan was executed by some foreign operatives. In french, bizarre means crazy. Without evidence or proof, it is merely speculative.
Both Azrilah and Sirul filed for appeal and more will unfold.
Thus far, these the few revelations from the court proceeding shows that much that was being rumoured had no evidence. Is Karpal Singh losing his roar or the only thing relevant to roar about is Razak's absence from the witness stand?
Pinning it to Rosmah?
One twist to this murder is PI Balasundram's revised Statutory Declaration (SD) and Raja Petra's SD that attempted to implicate Rosmah. Two police officers name were mentioned but both denied with their own Statutory SD.
RPK's SD and his willingness to face the consequences made his words believable to certain segment of the public. But the strange part is his SD is a mentioned in third party i.e. declaration based not on his own information and filled with the term "reliably informed".
After being held for questioning by police, Bala declared the next day that his revised SD is incorrect and disappeared. Words from sceptics of Najib is that Bala was taken away to some oceanic island nation and monetarily rewarded by Najib and Rosmah.
God knows, but the act of hiding away seemed more consistent with the manner Elizabeth Wong and V Arumugan disappeared temporarily. The exception would be the failed attempt to "kidnap" the two defected PKR Perak State Assemblymen.
No one should dismiss the possibility that it is a PKR attempt to dismiss Bala's original SD. Bala has committed perjury and is liable in court. All his statutory declaration is now inadmissable in court.
Another equally bizarre twist to the Rosmah off-shoot of the Altantunya murder is another SD supposedly by Bala claiming Rosmah was into Hindu practices. Then there was the Malaysia Today report of charms found in Pak Lah's office but none found in Najib's office. [Am I too familiar with such style of fabrication?]
Scorpene padded commission?
When Anwar first made an issue of Altantunya, he was judiciously careful as to not touch the Altantunya murder case and end up committing contempt of court. Off course, he became bolder later in particular during the Permatang Pauh by-election.
At the Ijok by-election in 2007, he began his name smearing of Najib by raising suspicion of corruptices of padded commission in the purchase of Sukhoi and Scorpene. To make his story believable, he claim to have documents, just like he claim he is in possession of six boxes of documents proving Mahathir's corrupt practices.
In the millitary business, pricing information is highly classified. Try visit any millitary exhibitions and ask for the pricing of equipment, they will never reveal, not even the ballpark figure. How did Anwar claim to have information and document? Or is it another drama?
By virtue of the different equipments, specs, and config, there is no common pricing for a similar model of millitry asset. For instance, our two frigates - KD Tuah and KD Jebat - are the most expensive built for its models due to its "multiple role" capability. Perhaps, Anwar can dig up for corrupt practices from his British contacts. It was purchased during his tenure at MOF.
Supposed Anwar is saying the truth and he has the documents, how did he get such clasified documents? Who derived the analysis for the spending? Could it be he was provided by some intelligence organisation friendly to him?
Coming back to Primekar, it is the only third party outsourcing contractor to the submarine program. The detrators of Najib are accusing Najib of receiving commision and without any known contractor and agent available, Primekar is conveniently accused as the conduit to receive some RM500 million commission.
Lets recall that MINDEF issued a clarification two years ago that both Sukhoi and Scorpene are G-to-G deals i.e. no go-betweens and brokers involved in the sales and purchase to receive commissions. For Primekar's role as project management, how much can one pad the project management fee, especially with all the items specified and auditable?
Sources close to certain personnels in Cherboug, where the first submarine is being built, claimed that Primekar operates on a tight budget. Why would they be cutting corners, if they had secured a RM500 million commission?
The same source revealed that the project management fee is a fraction of the alleged RM500 million commission (The information could be under OSA).
Anwar not around?
Time is running out on Anwar and Raja Petra. Anwar is due to stand for trial for his sodomy case on July 1-24th. While, Raja Petra is due for the courts on April 23-24th for sedition charges and May 26-28th for criminal defamation (related to his SD).
It is widely believed that Anwar is "sign, sealed and delivered" to return to Sungai Buloh prison. His case is an open and shut case, if not for Tan Sri Gani Patail foolish attempt to transfer the case from Session to High Court.
One source claim that the evidence is so conclusive that the prosecutor could conclude their case by the third day of trial.
The victim, Saiful already hinted of the existence of a video in his blog. Anwar's only line of defense is to question the authencity of the video and fabricate an alibi. He has used up the tactic to buy time by questioning the court officers.
For Raja Petra, his trial has yet to begin but sources were saying the prosecutor side are confident. It was heard that his defense team feared to be called as witness for the Azrilah and Sirul trial.
Irrespective of the outcome, Anwar and Raja Petra seemed to be on accelerated mode in their spin and propaganda. There is a build up to bring public sentiment against Najib, Dr Mahathir, and Muhyiddin which would be further intensified in their absence. The game plan could be for Pakatan Rakyat to win the next General Election, thus both Anwar and Raja Petra could secure their release.
While it is working in their favour, do they have the energy to sustain such pace over three years? Could the peoples' attention be maintained with their economic woes foremost in their mind?
In the meanwhile, certain Malay members of the PKR are quietly working to find a replacement for Anwar. They realise PKR will lose it's appeal among Malay voters, particularly the rural Malays, without a sufficiently outstanding Malay leader at the helm. Their multiracialism sloganeering is merely rhetorical because PKR put up a Malay face at the rural areas. [Read a Malay replacement for Fairuz] They are not ready to end their career by abandoning PKR to return to UMNO.
An UMNO veteran that commands the respect of both within UMNO and Opposition have been approached. But to no avail. The last he would do is to end his political career outside UMNO. If he remain adamant, PKR leaders may stream back to UMNO.
Anwar understand the situation, thus he need to have the faction labelled by UMNO press as Erdogan faction win and control PAS. That way Pakatan Rakyat would remain intact.
Without Abdullah at the helm of nation, Anwar's main worry is that public's confidence could be turned around in due time. He has no choice but to undertake a tall order to sustain a constant onslaught on a more steadier Najib for the next three year. There is a widely held belief that Anwar is trying to sustain the political momentum by having a by-election every 1-3 month.
Najib is reading this and although unconventional, he might deny Anwar the attention and claim of beating BN by not placing a candidate at Penanti. After Penanti, it is likely to be Nibong Tebal.
Through all this, Najib has refuse to make any comments other than his sumpah mubahalah to deny knowledge of Altantunya in Permatang Pauh. As a national leader, he can't afford to behave like the oppositions to speak in a "do or die" manner.
But Najib still have cards up his sleave.
A rumour surface last week of Media Prima ordering newspapers and TVs in their stable from any mention of Razak Baginda and Najib in any report relating to the Altantunya muder case. This has yet to be verified. The free press activist may cry foul, but it could be argued that the press were indulging in an age old propaganda tactic of repeated mentioning.
When the court cases end, Najib has the option to sue both Anwar and Raja Petra to clear his name.
In the meanwhile, he could challenge Anwar and Raja Petra to release all evidences and documents claimed in their possession. [I would ask blogger Susan Loone, whose intense coverage of the Altantunya murder, to release the evidences too!]
If it is not "Presidential" for Najib to do so and after all, he must be seen focusing on the rakyat's issue and the country's economic woes, he could get the media to drum up the people to make such demand on Anwar and Raja Petra [and Susan Loone too!].
Anwar should do so. He doesn't have much time. Before his return to Sungai Buloh, its the least he could do as a favour to the two rakyat, Azrilah and Sirul. After all, the guilty party and cause of national woe to him is only Najib.
* Edited 6:45 pm
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