PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak said today he would not have gone ahead with the Islamic oath he performed on Friday had the authorities objected.
Responding to statements today by Federal Territory religious officials, Najib said he had announced his intention of taking the oath two days beforehand to allow time for the authorities to state their stand.
“I purposely announced that I would take the oath two days earlier … to allow religious authorities like Jawi (the Federal Territories Islamic affairs department) and the Mufti to oppose or stop me,” he said in an online posting this evening.
“Had there been an objection, I would definitely have withdrawn,” he said.
On Friday, after prayers at Masjid Jamek in Kampung Baru, Najib took a “sumpah laknat” to deny an allegation that he had ordered the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.
In front of a congregation numbering about 500, Najib said: “I have never directed anyone to kill a Mongolian citizen named Altantuya Shaariibuu and I have never met nor do I know the deceased.”
The allegation was made by former police commando Azilah Hadri, who was convicted with a colleague, Sirul Azhar Umar, and sentenced to death for the murder.
Earlier today, Jawi issued a statement to state that action could be taken against anyone “who misuses mosques for personal or political reasons”. The statement did not name Najib nor mention the “sumpah laknat”. The statement was made after the Federal Territories Mufti had urged Jawi to enforce laws barring religious oaths being taken in mosques on matters of public interest or court cases.
Najib noted that Jawi and the mufti’s office had simultaneously issued a statement two days after he took the oath. “Maybe it’s a coincidence,” he said, adding that he took advice and criticism with an open heart.”
He ended his posting with a prayer, and said those more well-versed with religious matters would know better the effect of prayer on the oppressed.