“You won’t see any beauty there. It is a hard and dark life... The murderers didn’t only take her life, they destroyed the whole family… They shouldn't have to live in a world full of tears."
- Dr Setev Shaariibuu, father of Altantuya
INTERVIEW | For many, the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu was the turning point. For them, a line had been crossed. They could put up with the systemic discrimination, the corruption and the religious interference. They could justify all this for the need for stability and racial harmony.
However, this murder, the subsequent cover-ups, the mendacity of the government, the collusion of the security apparatus, but most of all, the political personalities linked to this butchery, was a realisation that any semblance of morality was drained from the state. For me, besides the numerous deaths in custody, the death of Teoh Beng Hock was my turning point.
In this interview, ES Shankar, author of the provocative Murdered in Malaysia: The Altantuya Story, makes his case that there is something truly rotten in the state of Malaysia.
Thayaparan: If I said that this book is the equivalent of the Oliver Stone film on the murder of JFK (John F Kennedy), would I be wrong and if so, why?
Shankar: No, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. My intention is to smoke out the rats before more people and evidence disappear...
Any book like mine will have its supporters and detractors. Controversy is inevitable where the full powers of the state are being marshalled to suppress the truth.
I would like to think we are better than America, which has shamefully allowed a president to be assassinated with no closure on who gave the orders. Like the JFK assassination, the Altantuya murder reeks of conspiracy. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Just to be clear, what conclusions can we draw from this book?
There are several crimes which all are, of course, related.
The RM7.5 billion DCNS France-Malaysia Scorpene contract signed by Najib Abdul Razak as defence minister in 2002, was an allegedly inflated deal in which payment of RM575 million “coordination and support service fee” to Abdul Razak Baginda’s Perimekar is reckoned by most to be a sham arrangement...