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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Game Of High Stakes Poker?

Whether the unprecedented SAPP motion of no confidence is going to be tabled for debate appears to have been edged out as the question of the hour by whether there is any substance in Raja Petra’s incendiary Statutory Declaration on the killing of Altantuya that hit the Internet late last week.

The Statutory Declaration, a sworn statement under law which makes a false statement a criminal offence, alleges amongst other things that Raja Petra was reliably informed that a very prominent VVIP together with two other persons were at the scene of the crime, the former witnessing the placing of explosives by one of the two others. He further alleges that the Prime Minister received a written report of the matter from Military Intelligence.

Needless to say, there is some measure of incredulity on the part of some who suggest that Raja Petra of ‘Malaysia-Today’ fame has a tendency towards sensationalism. They question the manner in which the information was made public and the fact that Raja Petra did not lodge a police report. Others have been less quick to brush aside the matter, more confident of Raja Petra having a foundation for the Declaration. A very public figure whose advocacy in the run up to the last General Election is credited by many as one the swing factors, he is already facing a sedition charge for an Internet publication on the Altantuya trial. And all things said and done, a statutory declaration is a very different thing from commentary on Malaysia Today.

Is Raja Petra playing a game of high-stakes poker? That is the million-dollar question and there is no apparent answer.

In the Declaration, Raja Petra states that its purpose is to allow the police to conduct a proper and thorough investigation to allow the truth to emerge. The persons he has identified have not been implicated nor called as witnesses in the on-going murder trial. They have as yet to issue any public denials, seemingly choosing to remain silent. Surprisingly, the Prime Minister has chosen to do so as well, one would think circumstance compel him at the very least to take a public stand on whether Military Intelligence did give him a report.

If founded, the apparent lack of investigation into the matters raise doubts as to not only the culpability of the accused but of whether they have been accorded their full “due-process” rights in law. They also equally point to the possibility of those actually or equally responsible having been let off free. These bring into question the effectiveness and integrity of the criminal justice system and further erode the already seriously undermined administration of justice. The Declaration is as such a matter of great public importance.

Whatever the case, it is imperative that the Government must take appropriate steps to not only look into the matter fairly and thoroughly, but also be seen to be doing so in a transparent manner.

The machinery for an investigation seems to have been fired up. However, in light of a media report that the Attorney General’s Chambers has lodged a police report against Raja Petra, apparently for criminal defamation, I am concerned that the focus of the exercise will be Raja Petra rather than the substance of his allegations in a manner reminiscent of the Irene Fernandez affair. In Fernandez’s case, a defamation report was lodged against her after she made public shocking revelations about goings-ons at the Semenyih detention facility, then under the control of the Royal Malaysia Police. This resulted in Fernandez being prosecuted and ultimately convicted. Significantly, investigations into the events at Semenyih were incidental to the only formal investigations that took place, the investigation for criminal defamation.

I have grave reservations about the Attorney General’s Chambers having lodged the police report. It is more usually the person aggrieved, especially where defamation is concerned, that lodges the report. In this case, it should have been the persons identified in the Statutory Declaration, if at all. Furthermore, the Attorney General is the legal advisor to the Government and serves its interests and not those of individuals, notwithstanding their having a connection with Government.

It is also mystifying how the Attorney General could have formed the view that the Declaration was defamatory before apparently even looking into the allegations, more so in light of the Inspector General of Police declaring that the police would be calling up the three individuals named in the Declaration. One would have thought that the Attorney General would have considered the matter as whole first before directing the lodging of the police report. This and the fact of the Attorney General’s Chambers not having lodged a parallel report as to the fact of the allegations are suggestive of a presupposition that the declaration is false.

If so, this may impede the objective enquiry called for by the situation. This would be wrong.

After March 8th this year, the Prime Minister in effect said that the Government had to listen to the rakyat more. The rakyat has demanded accountability and transparency. The murkiness surrounding the killing of Altantuya has long been and continues to be the subject of public discussion in part due to her father’s tireless campaign for nothing more than the bringing to book of the killers of his daughter. The fact of his having to do so is an indictment against this nation.

Let the truth emerge. One way or the other, let it out.

(Malay Mail; 24th June 2008)


Update: The PM and DPM have since denied the truth of the Statutory Declaration


Mr. Smith said...

Why do you think RPK has to resort to making such a SD? Simple. There is no other avenue 'legally' open to him to expose the wrong doings of the high and mighty in this country.

RPK realized that there is no way he can seek justice for the victim's family except through 'unconventional means' - thus the SD.

There is a preponderance of evidence to indicate that there is more than meets the eye - the granting of bail for murder, the change of judge and the prosecution team, the erasure of immigration records and availability of C4 explosives, Razak's affidavit, the link between the accused and the VIPs, the lethargic trial, and finally the motive for the killing.

When the police force, judiciary and the AG lack credibility and integrity what is there left for the common man to seek redress or to right a wrong? Surely, unconventional means.

I can bet with you that any police investigations into this SD will end in a big yawn.

Now, there is also a royalty in the know. Why? Is this RPK's insurance?

When US presidential candidates have to reply to simple allegations made against them, I see no reason why the PM and his deputy cannot to this one.

If No say 'NO', damn it!

Tongues are wagging and their characters have been called to question.

There may not be guilty but they ought to answer RPK's SD.

Silence will damn them even further.

I have another question. Why should the AG lodge a report against RPK on this SD? Is it any of his business?

His statement on the RPK's SD is confrontational, biased and discriminatory. He has already pronounced RPK guilty.

In fact, he is also an interested party in the allegations, albeit indirectly.

His present antagonistic stance gives more credence to an attempt to smother truth and punish the whistle blower.

The problem is, the AG, the IGP, the PM and his deputy all have their personal stakes in this case.

This is a powerful camp. A camp which has the wherewithal to cover up and destroy any truth that will incriminate them.

They can even cover a mountain with an umbrella or transform a horse into a donkey.

They will use a hammer to kill a fly, if need be.... to protect their interests.

In this country there are too many people who are above the law.

Didn't you not say this country is ungovernable the other day?

Pat said...

Before the age of the telegraph and telephone, etc., messengers were the ones who carried the news of how a battle went to the king. When the news was bad - his armies had been slain - many a messenger literally lost his head!

If RPK is being investigated, and/or being charged with defamation, does it mean we are returning to the dark ages: i.e. the messenger paying the price for delivering the bad news?

Also: If it were me who was named in RPK's statutory declaration, I would demand that an investigation be carried out, and my name cleared. And then, I would roast RPK's goose - cos I know I am innocent.

Shouldn't that be the logical way to proceed from this point on?

Anonymous said...

all this informations in the SD are to much to digest. But if there is any truth in it, just hope there would not be anymore cover ups....

zorro said...

High Stakes Poker? Poker is a game of pulling off a bluff. This is an SD...that doesn't allow any element of bluff.Maybe I am wrong. I have no legal background.But I know RPK cannot risk a bluff. Look into his eyes, the next opportunity you get and observe the intensity in that gaze when he speaks. He can't be bluffing.

Little John said...

This is very interesting news indeed. It seems that the messenger is being persecuted for bringing the message.
We on the other side of the globe only hope that things will end with a just solution.

In fact, we are also carrying the news on our blog site. see

mei1 said...

Malik, it seems like it would turn out to be another Irene Fernandez's case, given that the top seat has denied that he received the report from the military intelligence & believes in his successor's wife was not involved in the case.

See what happens to the "Lingamgate", 3 of them seek for a judicial review on the findings of RCI, what does it imply? Another let off case?

Anyway, there's still someone stands out to tell the truth, pls see the link "Judge opens Pandora’s box"

Old Fart said...

Well, Badawi has already said it. He has not received any such report. So he says. Yes, so...he...says!

Why is it that I doubt what he says?

Why does he expect me to accept his statement as final? Why does he expect me to think that he is the one telling the truth and RPK the lie?

So sue him! After all these allegations are not exactly criminal in nature. They may be libelous and damaging to the individual. If so I am sure the damages should amount to quite a sum considering Badawi is the Prime minister of the country and the founder of Islam Hadhari!

Well if he has not got the guts to do it, maybe Khairy will. AFter all Khairy has also been named as keeping evidence away from justice!

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art harun said...

a very big storm in a very small espresso cup

I am talking about the Statutory Declaration dated 18.6.2008 by Raja Petra bin Raja Kamarudin which was published by Malaysiakini on 20.6.2008. It was "mindboggling", as Beh Lih Yi of Malaysiakini described it. Reactions from the netizens were swift. Some believed the truth of the contents and some of course laughed it off as another stunt by Raja Petra.

Anonymous said...

Nobody expects anybody to accept anyone's statements as final. Equally the other side should not automatically be accepted to be truthful and final either. Naturally one person will allege and the other will deny. But it's important for the important players here, the AG, the police, as well as the public to refrain from any sort of knee-jerking response. It's important, in light of the glaring focus and loud buzz of this turn of events, to ensure that procedural due-process is strictly adhered to, to faciliate the emergence of the truth.

Fareez said...

Dear Mr. Malik

I was honestly a little taken aback when Raja Petra issued an SD. I chose not put too much weight on his blog writing because the contents were at best hearsay. But an SD is a different creature altogether.

Is this RPK's way of forcing an investigation and court proceedings or is it just another inflammatory statement released for the purpose of wreaking havoc in the corridors of power?

One question has been haunting me throughout this fiasco is what does RPK stand to gain from this? What is his motive?

A person doesn't singlehandedly take on the ruling elite without reason. Are his reasons genuine or is there a proverbial "udang" behind his Statutory Declaration.

Surely, RPK can appreciate the fact that if the allegations are proved to be untrue he would face criminal charges once again. During whatever investigations that ensue, would he be compelled by the court to reveal his source?

I guess we can only wait and see how the events turn out. I'm sure it will be interesting.