OCT 14 - No one has answered the million ringgit question yet: Is the SMS exchange on the Altantuya murder case between Datuk Seri Najib Razak and a prominent lawyer authentic?
If it is not, then it should be put down as yet another move by critics of the government to discredit the man slated to be the next prime minister of Malaysia; dismissed as another desperate attempt to implicate Najib in
the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu.
If it is authentic, then the disclosure raises a whole host of questions. How did private and confidential SMS records of two individuals reach the public domain? Was Najib interested in the case because his advisor Abdul Razak Baginda was a central figure? Was there something sinister or inappropriate in any of the exchanges between Najib and Datuk Shafee Abdullah?
Did Najib use his position as the DPM to interfere in the progress of the murder investigation or did he merely make a few telephone calls to find out the gravity of the situation facing his friend?
Nobody in the government has said anything since the SMS exchange was posted on Malaysia Today, the website owned by Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the blogger who is being detained under the Internal Security Act.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi’s attempt to protect his number two was clumsy.
At a press conference yesterday, a journalist from a local daily broke the monotony of questions on the economy by asking the Prime Minister his thoughts on the SMS. Abdullah, either because he did not catch the question or because he wanted to stay on message and only speak on the economy, ignored the reporter. Later on, he walked up to the reporter and sought a clarification on the question.
The reporter elaborated a bit more on the SMS exchange between Najib and Shafee. The press conference was reconvened and Abdullah defended Najib.
“I can't believe Datuk Seri Najib wants to abuse power. If he's the one who is inclined to abuse power, then how could he be my successor? I believe in him, I believe he's a good person and he would be a good prime minister, “ said Abdullah.
The problem with this stout defence of his deputy is that it does not answer the most important question swirling out there today: Is the SMS exchange between Najib and Shafee authentic?
Continuing silence on this matter will not help Najib or the Abdullah administration. Continued silence on this matter will also create paranoia on the strength of firewalls and security measures of Malaysia’s telcos.
- The Malaysian Insider , see comments