Altantuya riddle deepens with new details

A BN MP says the truth will eventually prevail, while an independent MP and PKR MP say the latest revelation raises more questions.

(FMT) – Latest revelations to come out from the French investigation into the Scorpene submarine deal, particularly new facts surrounding murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, have caused a little stir in Parliament.

While several Barisan Nasional MPs were reluctant to comment on the matter when asked, Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that he welcomed additional information on the case.

“The lies would eventually be unravelled by the truth. The [new fact that there are] no records [of Altantuya entering France] is a strong point against the argument of a conspiracy,” he told FMT.

“The allegations are serious and the problem is that is it spun as if it is part of a conspiracy, and also part of something just to pin down something on Prime Minister [Najib Tun Razak]. It is just not sticking.”

Abdul Rahman said that there were already several facts that do not tally, including the fact that Najib’s close aide Abdul Razak Baginda had admitted to knowing Altantuya in 2004 while the deal was made in 2002.

Asked why BN seems to be more prone to silence on this particular issue, Abdul Rahman said: “There is a reason why… is there any statement that comes from the government that the opposition would ‘believe’? They would just counter with more lies, and sometimes it is a better strategy to just wait.”

Meanwhile, Batu MP Tian Chua said the new revelation raises more questions that must be answered by Najib and Abdul Razak themselves.

“The government has a lot to answer. We have to bring back Razak Baginda to court. The argument that she [Altantuya] was a translator and that there was commission to be paid, and that Razak said he didn’t want to pay her is now in question since she never went to France.”

“When we went to France and we asked the lawyers, they almost fell down laughing because all the negotiations were conducted in English! The French politicians were shaking their head, asking: ‘Why would we do a multi-billion deal without speaking English? It doesn’t make sense,” said Tian.

‘Why was she killed?’

“So now we have to ask Najib and Razak Baginda: Why do you say you need a translator? What is her role? She had no role! We want to know why she was killed.”

“Who sponsored her trips? Under what name did she travel? It makes us recall that there was no record of her entry into Malaysia. It is very mysterious. Something is wrong.”

However, Tian said that he “did not care” about Altantuya and the focus should be on corruption.

Meanwhile, BN-friendly independent Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said the more information comes out, the more the opposition and Suaram will have to answer.

“The absence of records [of Altantuya] entering France, the fact that she doesn’t understand French… it gives rise to confusion on how she was said to be appointed as a translator.”

Zahrain said that Jasbir Singh Chahl, who is reported by Malaysian NGO Suaram as being the first Malaysian to be subpoenaed as a witness in the Scorpene case, also denied that he was summoned.

“This is Suaram’s lie. Jasbir also told the French police that he has never met Altantuya and that she was not involved in the submarine negotiations.”

Zahrain said that the alleged photo of Najib with Altantuya also has never been seen by anyone.

“The only one we see was Batu MP’s [Tian Chua] doctored or cut-and-paste [version]. This is a great insult to our prime minister. Until today, there is no action against Tian Chua.”

“If these are being used by Suaram to attack Najib and the government, then they should apologise. If they acted on Scorpene and Altantuya based on lies, they must say sorry to the rakyat, the government and Najib himself. This has given the country a bad image.”