ALTANTUYA: The merit of a scandal has little to do in bringing down a government. It is a matter of timing. When forces within Umno are ready to move against Najib then the Altantuya affair will be revisited and enough will be revealed to ‘persuade’ Najib to exit Umno with dignity or money!
Why, you may ask, has this Razak Baginda-Altantuya affair not brought down Najib and caused the downfall of the Umno-led BN government?
Watergate resulted in the resignation of an American president and the indictment, trial, conviction and incarceration of a number of Nixon’s top administration officials. No sex, no corruption, no cronyism, no murder, no national security issues…just Nixon lying to the American people!
The Profumo Affair forced the resignation of Britain’s War Minister and ended 13 years of unbroken Conservative government rule. This was a tale of how the rich, famous and powerful indulged in sex, with suicide, intrigue and espionage thrown in for good measure.
As political scandals go, the Abdul Razak Baginda & Altantuya Shaariibuu affair has it all.
It’s a concocted tale of violence and murder, death, betrayal, greed, deceit, cover ups, illicit sex across many continents, corruption, cronyism, abuse of executive power and the peoples’ trust, massive abuse of public money, compromising our national security, shenanigans at the Immigration department, gutter politics, miscarriage of justice, covert operations by Unit Tndakan Khas (UTK) on behalf of the rich and powerful, theft of explosives from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), blackmail and the exposure of the lives of the rich, powerful and politically connected and not dismissing the likelihood of further escalation of diplomatic ‘tension’ involving Mongolia and France….and still counting!
In summary a drama of Shakespearean dimension! As of 2013 – another death – that of P Balasubramaniam, and the acquittal of Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, can now be added to its data base.
Yes, events can be manipulated, information suppressed and truth hidden but not indefinitely.
The Altantuya murder exposed what we suspected has been happening all along in the murky world of corruption, cronyism and abuse of executive power by Umno’s political elites and their cronies.
There has always been corruption in Mindef before but never on this scale and latitude.
There were those who actually managed to “persuade” the Barisan Nasional government to buy Scorpene submarines. The entire process from tendering, evaluation, logistics of equipment supply, training and right up to getting the submarine crew was manipulated just to ensure that the two Scorpenes will “selam”.
And it surely involved a tender committee, the Malaysian Cabinet, the Minister of Defence and (of course) Abdul Razak Baginda himself. Truly a cast of thousands and painfully paid for by the ignorant Malaysian public.
Commissions have been paid for questionable “services rendered” to brokers, middlemen and agents before but never so blatantly as to make even the most tolerant of us to ask “What services were rendered to warrant RM500 million payment?”
There have been abuses before by those tasked to purchase our defence equipment but awarding Abdul Razak in millions of our money is totally astounding.
Upon pocketing, Abdul Razak chose to embark on an escapade across continents in a Ferrari with his mistress. It is clearly an irresponsible behaviour on his part.
Did it ever occur to Abdul Razak that apart from cheating his wife and family, he was compromising our nation’s security and honor? Was it just to satisfy his personal needs –sex?
A matter of timing
Watergate and Christine Keeler brought down governments but in Malaysia the Abdul Razak and Altantuya affair only brought out the worst of our judiciary and the government.
The manner on how BN government handled the matter speaks for itself:-
1. Two UTK operatives have been found guilty of murdering Altantuya for reasons unknown to-date, and now they have been acquitted on appeal.
2. Abdul Razak is in exile and well cashed up and is free to do what he pleases, where he pleases.
3. The then minister of defence is today Prime Minister of Malaysia!
And the Malaysian public has been told that “justice will prevail” despite the obvious before our eyes.
Before the Altantuya saga, the accusations of mischief, corruption, cronyism and abuse of power hurled towards our ministers were brushed off as half-truths, gossips and innuendos.
Altantuya changed everything. The truth has surfaced. We have names, amount of money involved, the secret deals and much more today. Nevertheless, there is a lot more to be discovered.
Why, you may ask, has this Abdul Razak-Altantuya affair not brought down Najib and caused the downfall of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government?
It is simply a matter of convenience. The merit of a scandal has little or nothing to do in bringing down a government. It is a matter of timing.
When Muhyiddin Yassin or other forces within Umno are ready to move against Najib, then the Abdul Razak-Altantuya affair will be revisited and enough will be revealed to ‘persuade’ Najib to exit Umno with dignity or money!
There is ample of evidence to support this notion. It happened with Musa Hitam, Anwar Ibrahim, Ku Li and even Pak Lah during the Mahathir era. This phenomena will only stop when demand excellence and meritocracy from those in public office.
Until such time, Altantuya will have to wait for justice.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.