Jul 28, 2008

Tun Mahathir - Don't repeat my 'mistake'

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Umno members not to repeat his ‘mistake’ in backing Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be prime minister.

“I admit I was wrong in choosing Abdullah as my successor. Now I regret because I didn’t think that ‘Mr Clean’ would not be that clean.

“I believe that Umno members and leaders at all levels who are angry with me (for anointing Abdullah) surely does not want to make the same mistake,” said Mahathir.

Mahathir added that Abdullah was also older than Najib Abdul Razak and no one objected to the succession plan at that time.

“(Following this) the Umno general assembly officiated (my choice) of Abdullah as deputy party president during the party elections.

“Thus, I assumed that the succession plan to Abdullah was not something that was not wanted by Umno. No one objected,” added Mahathir.

However, he notes that when Abdullah announced that he would step down as prime minister in 2010, it was well-received by all - Malays and non-Malays alike.

“No one pleaded for him to stay on. It is clear that everyone wanted him to step down,” he said.

Deals between PAS and Umno

“Backdoor” deals between PAS and Umno would further ruin Barisan Nasional, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

He said Umno should not leave out its partners when making deals with PAS.

Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on the high-level talks between PAS and Umno on issues concerning Malays and Islam.

He advised Umno not to turn its back on its partners in the coalition.

“What will MCA, Gerakan and MIC say?” he asked.

He warned that Barisan Nasional was already in ruins, with members of component parties “running away”.

“MCA leaders are leaving the party, Gerakan is being left behind, and the MIC will be left with only Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu at the rate members are leaving the party,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said Barisan could only be saved if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi steps down.

Jul 24, 2008

Court rejects bid to call DPM Najib as witness

The Shah Alam High Court today dismissed an application by lawyer Karpal Singh to call Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and two senior police officers to testify as witnesses in Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder trial.

SHAH ALAM : Malaysia's High Court has rejected a move to summon the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Razak, to testify in court over the murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Altantuya's family counsel, Karpal Singh, had submitted the application, calling for Mr Najib and several others to take the stand.

In rejecting the application, High Court judge Mohd Zaki said lawyer Karpal, who is holding a watching brief for the victim's family, has no locus standi or is in no position to make the application. Only the parties involved, namely the prosecution and the defence, have the right to do so.

The judge also said that there is no evidence to suggest that recalling private investigator Balasubramaniam or summoning deputy premier Najib to testify is essential to a just decision of the case.

As such, he is disallowed a stay of the proceeding pending police investigation, as this will cause unnecessary delay since the private eye is missing and there is no telling when the police investigation will be completed.

Speaking outside the court, Karpal was disappointed with the court's decision.

"The court should recall Balasubramaniam, ... bring the man here as I want to question him (on) the status of his evidence. The judge should at least have done that," said Karpal.

He argued that the prosecution should be the one making the application to recall Balasubramaniam, who is a key prosecution witness, in light of the shocking sworn statement linking Mr Najib to the murdered mongolian model, although it was subsequently retracted.

Karpal said he may appeal against the court's decision.

Meanwhile, the family of Altantuya is said to be pessimistic over the prospect of a fair trial.

Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi, Mongolian Consul to Malaysia, said: "The parent expected all this. When I asked him (parent) if he was coming or not, (he said) he doesn't see light at the end of the tunnel, so what's the point of (him) coming."

Submission for the case has just started after the prosecution closed its case in a trial that has dragged on for over 120 days. It will take at least one to two weeks before the court decides whether the defence has a case to answer.

Jul 16, 2008

Tun Mahathir - Muhyiddin Capable Of Winning Umno's Number Two Post

Tun Mahathir says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is capable of winning the Umno deputy president's post if he decides to go for the post in party elections in December.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is capable of winning the Umno deputy president's post if he decides to go for the post in party elections in December.

The former prime minister said if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak decided to defend the deputy president's post, he might be challenged by Muhyiddin and the result would favour the latter.

He said the public generally viewed Najib as "a weak leader who had no stand of his own."

Dr Mahathir added that Muhyiddin, who had yet to state the post he intended to contest, could win the number two post if the election was conducted openly without manipulation.

Muhyiddin was more acceptable to Umno members either among those who supported Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi or those who did not.

"I'm not saying I'm supporting (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin. I can support anyone as I'm no longer an Umno member," he told reporters after opening the Indian Muslim Congress office Tuesday.

To a question on whom he thought was qualified to become the deputy prime minister, Dr Mahathir said Muhyiddin was up to the job if he won the deputy president's post.

"If he wins, he should be appointed deputy prime minister. During Tun Musa Hitam's time, he did not want the deputy president's post, so I appointed Tun Ghafar Baba as the deputy prime minister.

"...but Tun Ghafar had to contest for the deputy president's post and he won, defeating Tun Musa," he said.

Dr Mahathir hoped that during the election, "other people" would be allowed to contest.

"Other people should be allowed to contest so that the desire to institute changes (in the party) will be achieved... but I believe the election will be manipulated. They will choose people supported by Datuk Seri Abdullah.

"Then Najib may win and he will be the deputy prime minister and the prime minister-designate," he said.

Those vying for the deputy president's post would need 20 per cent or 38 nominations from the 191 Umno divisions nationwide.

Jul 10, 2008

PM Abdullah Badawi to step down in June 2010

Breaking News : The Opposition will file application for no-confidence motion against PM to Dewan Rakyat Speaker at 3pm today.

KUALA LUMPUR — Website Malaysian Insider says Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is expected to announce a decision to step down in June 2010 and handover to DPM Najib Razak.

This is supposed to take place at party meeting on Thursday where the Malaysian leader is also reported to be set to announce that he will step down as UMNO president as well.

His decision to set a specific date of departure will have repercussions on the party elections, with him and Najib likely to be returned unopposed as the first and second in the party.

Abdullah has been facing increasing criticisms and pressure since the ruling Barisan Nasional coaltion suffered major reversals in the 2008 General Election.

Amid calls to step down, he'd said repeatedly that he would hand over leadership to Deputy PM Najib but did not offer a specific date for the transfer of power.

Party officials reportedly said that Abdullah agreed to finally set a date because he believed that this would bring some semblance of certainty to Malaysia and reduce the level of politicking which has upset many Malaysians and foreign investors.

The officials added that Abdullah picked 2010 because it marks the end of the Ninth Malaysia Plan and that the Malaysian leader wanted to make sure all projects and programmes under it are implemented before handing over power to Najib.

Jul 6, 2008

Malaysia seeks Interpol help to find missing investigator in murder claim

Another conspiracy case in the making?.

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police said Sunday they had asked Interpol to help find a private investigator who has been reported missing since making explosive claims linking the deputy premier to a murder.

The case is linked to a political brawl between opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, which could decide who is the next leader of Malaysia.

At a press conference Thursday organised by Anwar, private investigator Balasubramaniam Perumal released a sworn statement accusing Najib of having an affair with 28-year-old Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was murdered in 2006 and her body blown up with explosives in a remote forest.

A close friend of the deputy premier, who hired Balasubramaniam in the days before the Mongolian woman's brutal slaying, is on trial for abetting the murder.

Balasubramaniam said he had detailed information about Najib's relationship with Altantuya which he gave police but which was never raised at the trial, or in a police report he was asked to sign.

Najib reacted angrily, saying he had never met Altantuya and "absolutely" did not have a sexual relationship with her. He said the allegations were a fabrication "designed to tarnish my image".

Meanwhile Anwar was fighting accusations of sodomy against a young male aide, which he said were concocted by the government to prevent him from seizing power.

In the next shock development, Balasubramanian retracted the allegations on Friday, saying he made them under duress.

His nephew on Saturday filed a missing person's report, saying the investigator and his family had disappeared.

Criminal Investigation Department director Bakri Zinin said Malaysian police had enlisted the help of Interpol and authorities in neighbouring countries to help locate him.

"We are seeking Balasubramaniam to help in our investigations," he told a press conference Sunday.

"We suspect he is either in hiding or someone is hiding him."I give a guarantee of his safety if he comes to meet us, and he is free to bring a lawyer to the meeting," he said.

"The police in the country have been put on alert to find him and we have informed Interpol and ASEANAPOL as well as the police in neighbouring countries."

Jul 3, 2008

DPM Najib denies affair with murdered Mongolian

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak read out a statement at a press conference in Parliament, saying that the statutory declaration by P. Balasubramaniam was a "red herring" by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to divert public attention from the sodomy allegation against him.

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's deputy premier Najib Razak on Thursday denied having an affair with a Mongolian woman brutally murdered in 2006, after a private investigator linked him with the case.

But in a surprise twist to another of the political scandals gripping Malaysia, he admitted meeting with a young man who has accused opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sexual assault.

Najib has repeatedly denied suggestions he was involved with the slaying of 28-year-old Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, after his close associate Abdul Razak Baginda was charged with abetting the murder.

"I want to reiterate that I have not met or known the Mongolian woman mentioned," he said in response to new allegations made in a sworn statement by an investigator who had worked for Abdul Razak.

He said he "absolutely" did not have a sexual relationship with her and that the claims were "a terrible lie, a malicious fabrication, defamatory, which is designed to tarnish my image."

"It is a desperate attempt by Anwar Ibrahim to divert the attention of the people from the sodomy allegation that he is facing," he told a news conference.

Anwar, who was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges that he said were politically motivated, has said he is on track to seize power after landmark March elections.

He has said that new allegations of sodomy, levelled on the weekend by a 23-year-old aide, were orchestrated by the government to sideline him after the opposition won unprecedented gains in the polls.

Anwar said Thursday that leading figures in the government had targeted him with the sex scandal because they feared he could use information on the Altantuya case to bring about their downfall.

Najib, whom Anwar has accused of helping orchestrate the new sodomy accusations, admitted he had met with the 23-year-old accuser before he filed a police report on the alleged assault.

"He came to see me, complaining that he was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim. I wasn't even sure if it was true or not," he said.

"I suppose he needed help, and he knew one of my officers. That's all. He looked like he was in fear."

The admission will boost Anwar's claims, but Najib insisted there was "no conspiracy" and that he was "very relaxed" about the case.

Private investigator Balasubramaniam Perumal said in the sworn statement that in the days before Altantuya's death he learned of her relationship with the deputy premier and informed police when he was taken in for questioning.

However, he said those details were omitted from a police report he was asked to sign, and neither were they mentioned when he appeared as a witness in the ongoing murder trial.

Balasubramanian said that Abdul Razak had told him the deputy prime minister "had a sexual relationship" with Altantuya and that the trio had dined together in Paris.

The murder of Altantuya, whose body was blown up with explosives in a remote forest, has gripped Malaysia which has been in turmoil since March polls that dealt the ruling coalition its worst setback in its half-century history.

A prominent blogger has been slapped with sedition charges for publishing allegations linking Najib to the case. His wife Rosmah Mansor has also been forced to deny any involvement in the murder.

Balasubramanian made the allegations at a news conference organised by Anwar, who called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the case.

Stunning claims by PI linking Najib to Altantuya

Video Link : Balasubramaniam: I was unaware of the details

Anwar Ibrahim’s press conference today revealed that Najib Tun Razak had introduced “Amina” a.k.a Altantuya Shariibuu to Abdul Razak Baginda at a diamond exhibition in Singapore. Private investigator P Balasubramaniam has made shocking claims that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had links with murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
(Malaysiakini) Private investigator P Balasubramaniam has made shocking claims that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had links with murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

He also revealed that Najib had also informed his close associate Abdul Razak Baginda that inspector-general of police Musa Hassan would 'take care' of the murder case which implicated the accused.

And he further revealed that his evidence in his police statement linking Najib to the case was removed by the cops in a move to protect the DPM.

These revelations were made by Balasubramaniam in a statutory declaration which he filed two days ago.

He was the PI hired by Abdul Razak to handle Altantuya, who had apparently come over to Malaysia in 2006 to settle some issues with Abdul Razak.

A month later Altantuya was found murdered in an isolated site in Shah Alam, Selangor.

The shocking statutory declaration was revealed by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in a press conference today.

Najib talked to IGP

In the statutory declaration, Balasubramaniam said that he was told by Abdul Razak on Najib's links with Altantuya.

He also revealed that Abdul Razak had SMSed Najib on the day he was arrested over Altantuya's killing and had received a reply from Najib which stated that he had spoken to the IGP.

Balasubramaniam said that in his reply, Najib had told Abdul Razak that the matter would be taken care of by the IGP.

The PI also revealed that he had informed all of these to the police when they took his statement but was surprised that all mention of Najib was removed from the statement.

Balasubramaniam also told the press conference that he was highlighting the issue now as he was disappointed the prosecution - which recently closed its case against two elite police officers and Abdul Razak on the murder of Altantuya - had not done anything to introduce his evidence on Najib.

He also said that he was not asked any of these when he testified in the trial. He was the first prosecution witness in the trial.

Anwar said that it was evident that the police and the prosecution team, especially IGP Musa Hassan and attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, has hidden relevant information in the case and was worried that they would do the same in the ongoing probe into the sodomy allegation made against him by his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar had also lodged a report against Musa and Gani on Monday for fabricating evidence in his trials 10 years ago.

Najib had previously said that he never knew and had never met Altantuya.

Jul 2, 2008

Tun Mahathir not surprised by sodomy allegation

“I am not surprised at all. He is saying it is a fabrication but he said the same thing last time,”

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was not surprised over the recent sodomy allegation against his former deputy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“I am not surprised at all. He is saying it is a fabrication but he said the same thing last time,” he said when asked to comment on the new allegation.

The allegation came about after a 23-year-old former aide of Anwar lodged a police report on Saturday alleging sodomy. The de facto leader of PKR in turn filed a suit against the aide claiming defamation and malicious falsehood.

Anwar has vehemently denied the accusations and said it was a political conspiracy against him given his plans to return to Parliament.

Anwar alleged that the Government was out to get him, just when he was about to announce where he would be contesting in a by-election. The Government has denied his allegation.

“He will have lots of stories. There is always conspiracy as far as he is concerned. I’m not surprised at all,” Dr Mahathir said in an interview.

Anwar had sought refuge in the Turkish embassy on Sunday claiming his life was in danger and there were assassination plots on him.

He left the embassy on Monday evening after receiving assurance from the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister that his safety would be guaranteed.

Dr Mahathir also dismissed the notion that Anwar could topple the Government.

“Malaysia is one country where prime ministers can walk about the streets safely and not get shot at.

“When I go shopping, I don’t feel threatened at all. My bodyguards, if there are, actually stay away from me.

“When people approach me, there is no problem at all. I am not worried. We are actually a very peaceful country,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also expressed disappointment over the country’s current situation.