Malaysiakini News

Who was the mastermind behind Altantuya's murder?

Lim Kit Siang  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | I said on Thursday that former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is guilty of telling lies almost every day. To my astonishment, Najib immediately complied by telling a lie which I exposed in my statement yesterday.

Last evening, Najib was responsible for another lie when his aide lodged a police report to demand investigations into my claims that several high-profile deaths or murder cases should be reinvestigated.

This was completely different from what he said on Thursday.

Let me quote from the Malaysiakini’s report on Thursday: “Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak says he will order his assistant to lodge a police report against him tomorrow so that the authorities can start investigating if he was involved in several high-profile murders while he was in power.

“In a Facebook post tonight, Najib said this was the last resort he had to take to clear his name following repeated calls by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang to the authorities to reopen their investigations into these cases.”

In his Facebook on Thursday night, Najib said:

“Esok, saya akan meminta pembantu saya untuk membuat laporan polis terhadap saya supaya pihak polis di bawah kerajaan PH boleh menyiasat semula jika saya terlibat dalam semua kes-kes pembunuhan ini.”

This is why the Low Yat forum site has the following heading for this item: “Najib to lodge report against himself on murder”.

But the police report Najib’s aide made yesterday was not against him but against me! What a liar indeed!

This was from Malaysiakini report last night: “The redacted report, which was sighted by Malaysiakini, was lodged at the Brickfields district police headquarters at 8.16pm by the complainant, who described his job as a ‘personal assistant’.

“The complainant had urged the police to investigate Lim based on a Malaysiakini article where the latter said he would reopen investigations into the deaths of Altantunya Shaariibuu, Kevin Morais, Hussain Najadi, Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed if he were prime minister.”

But the indisputable fact is that when Najib was prime minister, I had called for the reopening of investigations on all these cases. Why didn’t he do it then?

In fact, as far back as July 3, 2008, I had called on Najib to go on leave from his duties as deputy prime minister until all questions implicating his credibility, especially arising from the statutory declaration of private investigator P Balasubramanian (above), were investigated and cleared.

Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration dated July 1, 2008, in effect challenged the truth and veracity of various statements and denials by Najib in connection with the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in October 2006 – that Najib had not known or ever met Altantunya.

I said at the time that Najib cannot allow Balasubramaniam's shocking statutory declaration to go unchallenged as it raises grave fundamental issues as to his fitness to hold high political office in the land.

My statement said: “Balasubramaniam's shocking statutory declaration has brought back to Malaysians the emotional scene at the Kuala Lumpur magistrate's court on Nov 16, 2006, when Abdul Razak Baginda (below) was charged for abetting the murder of Altantuya when his wife Mazlinda Makhzan lost her cool and shouted at journalists:

'A black sheep'

'My husband is innocent. My husband is a good man. He supported me and protected me. Why are you writing all these stories about him? He is not out to become the prime minister. Why are they doing this to him?’

“Mazlinda's emotional outburst in November 2006 has now been resurrected to the very fore of public consciousness by Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration crying out for full clarification.

“Balasubramaniam said the purpose of his statutory declaration, among other things, was to

1. State his disappointment at the standard of investigations conducted by the authorities into the circumstances surrounding the murder of Altantuya.

2. Bring to the notice of the relevant authorities the strong possibility that there are individuals other than the three accused who must have played a role in the murder of Altantuya.

3. Persuade the relevant authorities to reopen their investigations into this case immediately so that any fresh evidence may be presented to the court prior to submissions at the end of the prosecution's case.

4. Emphasise the fact that having been a member of the Royal Malaysian Police Force for 17 years, he is absolutely certain no police officer would shoot someone in the head and blow up their body without receiving specific instructions from their superiors first.

5. Express his concern that should the defence not be called in the Altantuya murder trial, the accused, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, would not have to swear on oath and testify as to the instructions they received and from whom they were given.”

On Feb 22, 2015, I had issued a statement calling on the former police special commando Sirul Azhar to stop hiding and running but to take an honest stand and make a clean breast of the truth about the 2006 murder of Altantuya – admit to being one of the two killers (together with Azila Hadri), demonstrate remorse at the heinous deed “under orders” and spell out the outrage that he was sentenced to death while the murder “mastermind” was allowed to get away scot-free.

Sirul Azhar made a police confession on Nov 9, 2006, on Altantunya’s murder but which was declared inadmissible during his trial in the Kuala Lumpur HighCourt.

On Feb 3, 2009, a tearful Sirul Azhar had asked the court not to sentence him to death for Altantuya’s murder, saying he was like “a black sheep that has to be sacrificed” to protect unnamed people who have never been brought to court or faced questioning.

He said: “I have no reason to cause hurt, what’s more, to take the life of the victim in such a cruel manner. I appeal to the court, which has the powers to determine if I live or die, not to sentence me so as to fulfil others’ plans for me.”

In his Nov 9, 2006 confession to the police, which had been ruled inadmissible in the Altantuya murder trial, Sirul Azhar said his boss at the time, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri who is also charged with Altantuya’s murder, had talked about a reward of between RM50,000 and RM100,000 if the case was settled.

According to Sirul Azhar's confession to the police, he and Azilah went to Malaya Hotel in Kuala Lumpur (where Altantunya was staying with two other Mongolians) a few days before Altantunya’s murder but decided not to kill the three women “because of the presence of CCTV (closed circuit television cameras)”.

Ultimately, according to the confession, the two went to the house of Abdul Razak Baginda (a confidante of Najib, at the time deputy prime minister) where “there was a Chinese woman (Altantuya) who was causing a commotion”.

The two, with the help of a Malay woman, Lance Corporal Rohaniza Roslan, Azilah’s former girlfriend, bundled Altantuya into a red Proton Wira and drove her to where Sirul Azhar’s Jeep awaited.

Sirul Azhar said, “Along the journey, Azilah asked me to find a place to ‘shoot to kill the Chinese woman..”

Death penalty suspended

Eventually, after she was driven to Sirul Azhar’s house to pick up the military explosives that would be wrapped around her body after she was dead, she was then driven to the Puncak Alam forest reserve near the suburban city of Shah Alam.

Sirul Azhar said: “I saw Azilah outside the Jeep carrying a bag containing an M5 weapon and silencer from the Jeep that was located at the footrest of the passenger seat and gave it to me ordering me to ‘shoot to kill’ the Chinese woman who was inside the Jeep.”

They took her jewellery and other articles and Sirul Azhar said, “I saw that she was in a state of fear and she pleaded not to kill her and said she was expecting.”

Nonetheless, Azilah wrestled her to the ground, apparently knocking her unconscious and Sirul Azhar “opened fire towards the left side of the woman’s head”. After the Chinese woman was shot, Azilah removed all her clothes and Sirul Azhar took a black garbage bag and Azilah put all the Chinese woman’s clothes into the bag.

Azilah, he said, “[...] noticed movements in the Chinese woman’s arm and ordered me to fire another shot but the gun did not fire. I then emptied the weapon and loaded the gun again and fired another shot at the same area which was the left side of the woman’s head. I then took a black plastic garbage bag and with Azilah’s help put the bag over the Chinese woman’s head to prevent blood from spilling.”

With Sirul Azhar holding her arms and Azilah (below, right) holding her legs, they then carried Altantuya into the woods.

“Azilah then carried the bag containing the explosives and handed it to me. I took the explosives and attached them to the victim’s head while Azilah attached the explosives on the victim’s legs up to the abdomen.”

After attaching a wire to the explosives, they blew her up.

Sirul Azhar’s confession to the police on Nov 9, 2006, and Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration of July 1, 2008, would suffice to justify a reopening of the investigation into Altantunya’s murder.

Sirul Azhar (photo) should be asked to come back from Australia to cooperate in the reopening of the investigation into Altantunya’s murder with the assurance that the death penalty imposed on him would not be carried out as the cabinet has decided to suspend the execution of all death penalties following the decision to abolish the death penalty in Malaysia.

Sirul Azhar would have an opportunity to “tell all” about what transpired in the nine years from his arrest and being charged in court for Altantuya’s murder and his conviction and death sentence by the Federal Court from November 2006 to January 13, 2015, whether he had been promised at any time, and by whom, that he would be spared the consequences for his actions “under orders” to kill Altantuya.

Sirul Azhar clearly had no motive to murder Altantuya as he did not know her (continuing to describe her as “the Chinese woman”, never knowing that she is Mongolian) and also did not know Abdul Razak Baginda.

On Feb 19, 2005, I had in fact said that the police, the attorney-general and all the Federal Court judges had been guilty of serious negligence when they ignored the “elephant in the room” in the Altantuya murder case – as it was clear and obvious to all Malaysians and the world that Sirul Azhar and Azilah would not have killed the Mongolian model whom they did not know without a mastermind who had the motive to direct them to do so.

While the Federal Court’s conviction of Sirul Azhar and Azilah was not disputed, why had the Federal Court judges failed to raise the question that both Sirul Azhar and Azilah had no motive to murder Altantuya and that the police should continue their investigations to bring to book the “mastermind” who had the motive to order Sirul Azhar and Azilah to murder Altantuya?

Will Najib join me to send a joint petition to the prime minister to reopen investigations into the murder of Altantuya? Will he agree to be my seconder if I move a motion in Parliament for the authorities to reopen investigations into the Altantunya murder?

We will deal with the other mysterious deaths later.


LIM KIT SIANG is DAP MP for Bandar Puteri.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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