The Phnom Penh Post published an article accusing Najib of receiving bribes and having met Altantuya Shaariibuu. A PKR leader wants the PM to take the Cambodian daily to court.
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has been urged to sue a Cambodian newspaper which published an article containing “new details” surrounding the controversial Scorpene deal and the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
PKR-linked NGO Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) said Najib as head of state and Umno must haul The Phnom Penh Post to court over its Monday article to “clear the nation’s name”.
“These disclosures clearly stated that Najib met Altantuya with (Abdul) Razak Baginda in Paris. Also revealed was the (alleged) USD160 million bribe that was split between Najib, Razak Baginda and other Umno leaders,” said SAMM chairman Badrul Hisham Shaharin.
The PKR Rembau chief said aside from the paper, journalist Roger Mitton, who wrote the article “Submarine deal resurfaces to haunt Malaysia’s top man” must also be brought to court.
“His (Mitton’s) revelations embarrasses the nation while this corruption of the highest order involving the nation’s defence equipment begins to escalate.
“It also invites terrible perception of a Muslim prime minister who, prior to this, has sworn that he has never known the translator who was killed without a motive,” he added.
Najib cannot remain silent
Stressing that Najib cannot remain silent, Badrul said: “The article by this Phnom Penh Post reporter contains very serious statements and is approved for viewing by the world.”
“It will invite the perception that the Malaysian prime minister is being implicated in corruption and murder. Najib’s flip flop attitude when it comes to his status with Altantuya is now the big question,” he added.
He said if Najib is unable to lead this country without credibility, then “SAMM will be glad if Najib resigns rather than further embarrassing the country.”
“Perhaps Muhyiddin [Yassin] can be acting prime minister for the time being before the 13th general election.
“This is no longer a domestic political issue but the image of the country at the international level. That which embarrasses the country is not the demonstrations of the people but the image of our country is affected because of a few leaders with criminal scandals who continue to lead the country, without having the courage to clean up their images,” he added.
‘Fell in love with Altantuya’
In the said article, Mitton wrote about how the recently started Paris judicial inquiry on the Scorpene submarines will cause more controversies to resurface to haunt Najib.
Mitton also said he personally met Razak Baginda regularly during his posting as a journalist in Kuala Lumpur in the 90s and continued to meet him each time he visited Malaysia.
However, Mitton said when Razak Baginda became “pointman” for the Scorpene purchase, he had already left KL and only met the latter again in Venice, Italy, at the 2002 Asean-Europe conference.
“Razak [Baginda] attended only briefly and when I asked why he was rushing off, he said he was needed in Paris for an important defence deal,” he added.
Mitton also narrated how Razak Baginda “fell in love” with Altantuya but tried to end the affair while the latter had clung on to him.
“She would not have it, and in desperation, he spoke to Najib and the police were called in to keep her away,” he wrote.
Mitton also made a new allegation that Altantuya was raped by the “aggressive special branch officers” before shooting her in the head and blowing up her remains with C4 explosives.
The article drew a multitude of comments on the web, with it being shared repeatedly on Facebook and reposted in other blogs.
One commentator, “Hamzah Mohammad”, wrote on the newspaper’s website: “Are you paid by Anwar Ibrahim? This is the question that Umno is certain to ask to cast doubt on your writing especially on the part Altantuya met Najib. Be ready with a convincing answer.”
Others, mostly pro-government websites dismissed Mitton as a “writer of fiction.”
Meanwhile, when contacted via e-mail, Mitton said his sources were normally accurate.