Saturday, October 19, 2019


COMMENT This is the first time in 38 years I have actually found myself in agreement with (former) prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his recent, although rather belated, queries in respect of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder saga.

These questions make sense. These are the same questions a very large portion of the Malaysian population has been asking for over eight years now.

Khalid Abu Bakar (right), our beloved (former) inspector-general of police (IGP), has in the meantime, been performing backward somersaults trying to avoid the entire issue and instead, appears to have dedicated his entire career to tracking Twitter messages on social media.

'Twitter Khalid' has even had the audacity to threaten (which he is very good at) anyone who dares to bring up the issue of 'motive' in the grisly murder of an innocent female foreign national at the hands of two of Malaysia's best trained commandos.

The excuse Khalid has given is that the Federal Court has made a decision and any questioning of the reasons behind that decision would be tantamount to contempt of court.

What Khalid has failed miserably to appreciate is the fact that no one is 'questioning' that decision. Everyone agrees the decision is correct.

However, it is the question of motive which has never been addressed in any of the three courts this murder trial has progressed through. In fact, evidence in respect of motive was never tendered by the prosecution.

Therefore, as far as I (and Mahathir) are concerned, it is still open season on motive.

So instead of terrorising twitterers, perhaps Khalid may see fit to revisit this issue with a little more fervour than he has shown in the past.

Despite the press releases being launched from the IGP's office, none of them detract from the fact that convicted murderer Sirul Azhar Umar has categorically said no officer from the Polis Di-Raja Malaysia (PDRM) has visited him in Sydney to interview him.

If Khalid disputes this, all he has to do is release the names of those officers who ostensibly attended to Sirul (left) and the exact date and time they clocked in with the detention centre authorities. Inspector Tonny Luggan (the investigating officer in Altantuya's case) says he was not sent to see Sirul in Sydney, so who was?

Khalid is also reported to have said that "Sirul's remark showed the fugitive was doing his utmost to bring disrepute and cast doubt over the investigations into the murder case, his involvement and the criminal justice system."

Yes. That is correct, because it is obvious to everyone that your investigations are incomplete.

As the current series of events appear to translate, Sirul is not disputing his involvement in the murder. All he is saying is that others were involved and they haven't been brought to book so why should he take the rap?

One need not have successfully completed an in-depth course in criminal investigation at Pulapol (Malaysian Police Training Centre) to be able to decipher the glaring holes in this entire saga.

A cursory viewing of a couple of episodes of Miami Vice or CSI New York would suffice in providing a clue as to how the matter ought to have been professionally addressed.

The established facts

Azilah Hadri and Sirul have been convicted of the murder of Altantuya by the highest court in our land. This has therefore been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Azilah Hadri
In the circumstances, there can be no question that these two gentlemen were in fact responsible for lodging two bullets in this poor lady's head and thereafter detonating some military grade explosives placed on her body causing it to be dissipated in the vicinity of some secondary jungle on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Sirul, who has, rather astutely, sought refuge at the Villawood detention centre on the outskirts of Sydney, has candidly admitted he was acting under orders and that he has been made a scapegoat for others who had not been brought to court.

In other words, he has tacitly admitted to the crime and confirmed that there may have been others behind it.

The question is why would Sirul and Azilah (right) have done this for no apparent reason? The courts have been interested only in whether an offence of murder had been committed and not why it was committed.

The prosecution failed to seek or put forth an explanation.

This is really the question which the IGP can provide an answer to if he is so inclined. He certainly has the resources. As long as he possesses the will, he most certainly will find the way.

Khalid, for goodness sake, please, just do your job. At the moment the general public perceive inactivity on your part as yet another ubiquitous and notorious Malaysian cover-up.

May I suggest you simply haul up the following characters and ask them these simple questions:

Azilah - Why did you and Sirul kill someone you didn't even know?

DSP Musa Safri (left) (then aide de camp DPM Najib Razak) - What exactly did you tell Sirul and Azilah to do to that poor Mongolian lady and who exactly asked you to engage their services?

Nasir Safar (Najib’s special officer) - What were you doing driving around in front of Abdul Razak Baginda's house on the evening of Oct 19, 2006, watching Azilah and Sirul abduct Altantuya?

PM Najib - Did you know that four of your staff were involved in this? If so, then why were they?

Deepak Jaikishan (businessman with close ties to Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor - Who asked you to shut private eye P Balasubramaniam up and get him and his family out of Malaysia immediately after he released SD1 (first statutory declaration)? (This should be easy as Deepak has already confessed to all of this).

Rosmah - Was it you? If not, then who?

Johari Razak (Najib’s younger brother) - Did you telephone senior lawyer Cecil Abraham on the evening of July 3, 2008 and ask him to prepare SD2 for Balasubramaniam to sign? If so why, and on whose behalf?

Cecil - Did you receive a telephone call from Johari Razak on July 3, 2008 to prepare SD2? If so, did you?

Sunil Abraham (Cecil’s son, who is also a lawyer) - Did you or did you not, assist your father in preparing SD2 and did you then personally deliver it to the Hilton Hotel, KL Sentral on the morning of July 4, 2008?

Zainal Abidin Muhayat - Were you a commissioner for oaths in 2008 and did you have your office at Zul Rafique and Partners, Lorong P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur? If so, who sent you to the Hilton Hotel, KL Sentral on July 4, 2008 to attest the signature of one Balasubramaniam on SD2?

Nazim Razak (another brother of Najib) - Were you and your wife at the Curve, Mutiara Damansara late in the night of July 3, 2008? If so did you meet one Balasubramaniam (right) next to the VW showroom?

And if so, did you or did you not, threaten Balasubramaniam to follow the instructions of one Deepak Jaikishan and leave the country with his family immediately, otherwise his family's safety could not be guaranteed?

Najib - Did you instruct Johari and Nazim to arrange, respectively, for SD2 to be prepared and Balasubramaniam's subsequent departure from Malaysia? If so, why was that necessary?

Hamzah Zainuddin (Umno MP for Larut) - Did you, in 2011, offer Balasubramaniam safe passage back to this country and a cash inducement if he pleaded guilty to affirming a false statutory declaration (SD1). If so, why and on behalf of whom?

Khalid, may I also suggest that you contact a senior investigation officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) by the name of Abdul Rahman Bachok. He is a very diligent officer and has the entire file on investigations into the circumstances under which Balasubramaniam affirmed SD2. I am sure he will lend you his file and assist you in any way he can.

I believe he is a little annoyed that his file has been closed by the Attorney-General's Chambers. He had put a lot of effort into his investigations.

You may also care to contact the Brickfields police station and ask them why they have not followed up on the police report I lodged on July 8, 2008 in respect of Balasubramaniam's disappearance. I have sent them reminders but there has been no response.

All the above 'persons of interest' and their answers to the questions posed may possibly assist in revealing a motive for the crime. Is there any reason why you, Mr IGP would be disinclined to pursue the matter further and if so what are those reasons?

AMERICK SIDHU is a senior lawyer and counsel for late P Balasubramaniam and his widow, A Santamil Selvi. Reproduced courtesy of Malaysiakini.

[First posted 6 April 2015]

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

"The Thought Revolution will not be minimized or circumcised!" (flashback)

[Thanks to Michelle Ch'ng for alerting me to this excellent rap by Lee Camp. First posted 29 October 2011]

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Nazgûl Rule in Malaysia! (revisited)


The Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths, were Sauron's most terrible servants. They were originally mortal Men. Sauron gave them the Nine Rings of Power in order to enslave them to his will and they became Wraiths.

Little is known of the original identities of the Nazgûl. Three were said to be great lords of Numenor. One was an Easterling named Khamul. He is the only one whose name is known.

At first the Men who received the Nine Rings used them to gain power and wealth for themselves. They became great kings, sorcerers, and warriors. The Nine Rings made the Men invisible and prolonged their lives.

But eventually, the Men bearing the Nine Rings fell completely under the control of Sauron. They could not disobey him and no longer had wills of their own. Some of the Men were quickly enslaved, while others who had greater native strength or goodness took longer.

The Nazgûl were condemed to exist only in the Wraith-world. Their lives were stretched out until their very existence was torture. They were permanently invisible except when they wore black robes to give themselves a visible shape. Sauron and anyone who wore the One Ring could see them in their Wraith forms, as pale figures with burning eyes, grey hair, grey and white robes, and silver helms.

The Nazgûl perceived the Unseen world, but much of what they saw were phantoms and delusions created by Sauron. They could not see well in the physical world of light, and in the noonday sun they could see nothing. They saw people as shadows. However they could see one another clearly even in daylight and from far away. In the darkness they were most dangerous because they could perceive things that ordinary people could not.

Their sense of smell was acute. They could smell the blood of living things, which they envied. They could also sense the One Ring, and they could see the person wearing it even though he was invisible to others. In turn the Ring sensed the Nazgûl. Frodo Baggins was tempted to put on the Ring when the Nazgûl were near so that the Ring could return to Sauron.

The Nazgûl were able to speak to people using the Common Speech, though their voices sounded strange and unpleasant. They called to one another with piercing, blood-curdling cries. They could hear one another across great distances.

There was a sense of fear and dread around the Nazgûl and the air around them felt cold. People could feel the presence of Nazgûl without even seeing them. In fact, the feeling of fear was strongest when the Nazgûl were invisible, without their black robes. The terror was also greatest in the darkness and when all nine of the Nazgûl were together.

Terror was the main weapon of the Nazgûl. Few people had the willpower to stand against them. The Nazgûl exuded a miasma known as the Black Breath which caused illness and even death in those who were exposed to it.

Animals were also terrified of the Nazgûl. The black horses that the Nazgûl rode were trained to endure them. The horses were born in Mordor, but they may have been bred from stock stolen from Rohan. Later in the War of the Ring, Sauron gave the Nazgûl new mounts - terrible winged creatures known as Fell Beasts.

The Nazgul did have some weaknesses. The eight Nazgûl excluding the Lord of the Nazgûl feared water, and they did not like to cross rivers except over bridges. They could endure the Sun, but the eight lesser Nazgûl tended to become confused in daylight when they were alone and their power was diminished. They also hated fire.

Elves were among the few beings the Nazgûl feared, particularly the High Elves who had lived in the Undying Lands because they had power in the Unseen world. The Nazgûl also feared the Powers known as the Valar, especially Elbereth who created the Stars and was revered by the Elves.

The Nazgûl did not have great physical power against those who did not fear them. However, they could not be killed by ordinary means. Most weapons could not harm them, and any blade that touched the Lord of the Nazgûl disintegrated.

It took a special sword - forged by the Dunedain and wound with spells - to strike the blow that rendered the Lord of the Nazgûl powerless. Flames from the eruption of Mount Doom destroyed the other eight Nazgûl. But ultimately it was the destruction of the One Ring to which they were bound that ensured that the Nazgûl would never arise again.

Banish the Nazgûl... Return to Lothlorien!

[First posted 16 October 2008]

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Planet Earth is a Buddha Factory... (reprise)

Xandi Hoesch aka Puma Woman meditating in a Buddha factory in Krabi, Thailand (photo: Antares)

Buddhahood simply means to be awake, enlightened, derobotized and rehumanized. In other words, to be fully conscious.

Planet Earth is actually a Buddha Factory. That's why so many varieties of souls choose to incarnate here - to plunge into physical embodiment and experience the bewildering world of forms, where pain and sorrow are as likely as pleasure and joy to befall you.

Think of Earth as a giant sieve for evolving souls. We arrive as coarse lumps of condensed matter... and depart refined as conscious humans. No doubt, it often takes many, many incarnations to complete the refinement process. But what are a few lifetimes in the cosmic context of eternity?

[This beautiful image was taken sometime in 1987 when my beloved Puma Woman and I were holidaying in Krabi, Thailand. In those days, it hadn't yet exploded into a tourist town and there was only a tiny handful of guesthouses. We rented a motorbike and explored the vicinity, doing a bit of rock climbing and checking out the awesome limestone outcrops. On the outskirts of town we spotted a Buddha factory... and that's how this memorable portrait came about. I didn't notice until afterwards that Xandi had tied her hair in a topknot just like all the Buddha statues! Scanned from a fading 8R print (luckily I had it laminated or nothing would have been left after 25 years) this portrait adorned my High Hut for many years and survived a massive mudslide in October 1999.]

[First posted 22 February 2013]