Thursday, July 14, 2011

PM Najib's tyranny draws focus on bribes, murder

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Corrupt Barisan Nasional

Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make . . . Mad it was for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to prime the police into thinking days prior that last Saturday’s opposition protest in Kuala Lumpur was illegal, and that seized firebomb stashes would have been used. Madder still, for him to have the 20,000 marchers tear-gassed and 1,667 arrested.

The rally was to call for electoral reforms, a domestic issue that attracted only the Malaysian press. But when riot squads aimed teargas canisters at opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s head, actually hitting his aide’s eye, and causing the fatal heart attack of one demonstrator, the event drew world attention. Now international groups are denouncing the mayhem as proof of Najib’s disregard for human rights. Worse, there’s sudden global interest in an imminent subpoena of Najib to a Paris trial on kickbacks in purchasing three French submarines in 2002, and the consequent murder of a Mongolian socialite in 2006.

Malaysia’s parliament will have no choice but to take up the brutal dispersal. Najib’s home minister’s claim has been debunked that police performed their duties “with bravery, fairness and integrity.” Narratives jibe that marchers were on their way to a downtown stadium from different parts of the capital when confronted with teargas and chemical-laced water cannons. Even if the storm does not affect next year’s setting of national polls, the fallout predictably will hurt Najib.

Bersih 2.0 Photos and videos  l Bersih 2.0 Reports 

Najib allegedly has concocted sexcapades to bring down arch foe Anwar. Not only has the scheme backfired, Najib is now himself under fire for immorality. Trial is to begin of French arms giant DCN-Armaris for bribery in the 2002 submarine sale to Malaysia through then-defense minister Najib. Commissions supposedly came in three tranches: first euro 30 million upon contract signing, then euro 114 million subcontracted to an unknown firm owned by Najib’s security adviser Razak Baginda, and last euro 2.5 million. From reports, Najib, Baginda, and their purported shared Mongolian girlfriend Altantuya Sharibu motored around France after sealing the deal. Najib and now London-based Baginda will be summoned to Paris as soon as a judge is assigned to the case this month or next.

The bribery worsened into kidnapping-murder when Altantuya raucously tried to collect her euro 350,000-share from Baginda in 2006. Najib’s jealous wife Rosmah forbade the men from paying her a single cent, provoking Altantuya to picket their manor. Two Najib bodyguards abducted the pregnant Altantuya, shot her dead in the woods, and burned the corpse with military explosives. Party mates nevertheless made Najib prime minister in 2009. The bodyguards confessed and were convicted last year; Baginda was acquitted. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, and the judge were forbidden from mentioning the sleazy submarine deal during the trial. Still, Najib got an international black eye.

France has no power to compel the attendance of Najib or Baginda. But it can demand the truth from DCN-Armaris. A Malaysia news portal recently quoted Kuala Lumpur politicians as saying that if Najib snubs the trial he would in effect tell the world that he’s guilty as charged.

And the world will be watching, now that Najib has turned the spotlight on himself with last weekend’s tyrannical squashing of dissent.

By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star)

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