In 2009, from the streets of delightful Paris, a sewer burst open, disgorging its contents of vile corruption and waste into, of all places, the hallways of Malaysia’s administrative capital, Putrajaya. We write, of course, of the expose of the Armaris submarine contract, by the journalists of La Liberation.
The article written by Arnaud Dubus would detail the remarkable corruption of the Armaris submarine deal and would reveal the chilling nature of the murder of Altantuya Shariibu by two policemen. Raja Petra, a well known Malaysian blogger, would shock his audience by signing an affidavit implicating the current Prime Minister and his wife in that murder.
Raja Petra has since retracted his claim, by saying that he only wrote what he was told. The curious timing of his retraction, coinciding with both the Sarawak elections and the upcoming open court hearing on the Armaris contract in France, has given rise to speculation that he has been turned.
Cop admitted to taking money
In a month or two, the details of the Armaris contract will be revealed in full in the French Courts. New evidence of wrongdoing will apparently also be revealed. It will not be good news for DCNS, which bought over Armaris in 2007.
The lengths that international arms firms will go to, including indulging in corruption to win their deals, will be thoroughly exposed. The 114 million euros paid to Perimekar, would amount to approximately 10 per cent of the submarine deal. That is obviously a rather large amount for mere ‘support and co-ordination’.
It will also not be a good day for Malaysia and it’s reputation, but it will be a worse day for Prime Minister Najib Razak. Fortunately for him, none of it will be revealed in Malaysia’s state-controlled mainstream media. Though it will be plastered all over the internet.
Altantuya Shariibuu and her untimely end, will certainly surface in this trial. She may be a side issue in the French corruption probe, but will hog the international headlines. If any DCNS or Armaris official had direct dealings with her, this will also most likely be exposed.
The two policemen, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar, who killed Altantuya have been convicted and are on death row, but no motive has been provided for their act. It was a most curious conviction, for killers usually have some motive.
According to Arnaud Dubus, a journalist for French paper La Liberation, one of the killers had confessed that he and his partner would be paid a hundred thousand ringgit for the ‘job’.
If this is true, then somebody had to be paying them that large sum. Their generous employer has not been found by police investigations, though there can be no question that he must exist.
Wheels of time come full circle
Last week’s release of several US Embassy cables communicated through WikiLeaks showed Washington’s concern over how the trial of the two cops had proceeded. The US officials viewed the trial as being manipulated by political forces. And this seems to point back to former premier Abdullah Badawi and a perceived plot to stop Najib Razak from becoming the next premier.
But Najib did become prime minister. For this, Badawi has himself to blame after taking the ruling coalition to its worst-ever showing in the 2008 general election, thereby triggering his own ouster as Umno president. The wheels of time may have now come full circle.
Just two years after formally taking over in April 2009, Najib stands in the same vulnerable spot as his predecessor had – unable to move his political game or take the nation forward. His obstacle appears to be the same person who impeded Badawi’s growth – 4th prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib now is now trying to cling on in Umno. But despite the enviable power he wields as PM, he can no longer take for granted his support from the party’s top echelon. They can unseat him anytime and none of the citizens would grumble much.
Najib’s prized 1 Malaysia slogan has been smashed to simithereens, his gargantuan economic projects the object of sarcasm and disbelief. He is pretty much on his own for now, with few friends within and outside the party.
Realizing this, he is desperate to hold snap general elections and win his own mandate even if victory is by a simple majority. This would allow him to turn the tables on his foes within Umno and make it easier for him to reject their demands for greater sharing of power and the spoils of the game.
Ultimately, he has no choice but to bow to the wishes of the other Umno leaders including Mahathir and Badawi. If he does not, the risks are high they will sell him out and make public all the incriminating police statements, especially the chilling revelation made by Sirul in the aftermath of the killing.
“When the Chinese woman saw that I was taking a gun, she begged me to spare her, saying she was pregnant. Azilah (the commanding officer of Sirul) grabbed her and [threw] her on the ground. I immediately shot the left side of her face. Then Azilah took off her clothes and put them in a black plastic bag. Azilah noticed that her hand was still moving. He ordered me to shoot again, which I did”, said Sirul, as revealed by La Liberation.
“Then we carried her body into the woods. Azilah wrapped the explosives around her legs, her abdomen and her head, and we exploded her.”
– Malaysia Chronicle
What WikiLeaks really said about the Scorpenes and Altantuya