The story of Altantuya starts with the story of Razak Baginda and Altantuya. This is the usual story of a man with too much money and a girl who was willing to help him spend it. No more no less. The folly and crass tale of men with more money than brains have happened throughout time. It has happened in the past, it is now still happening and will continue to happen in the future for it is a tale as old as Gunung Tahan…if not older. Willing buyer willing seller.

What started to go wrong is also a common tale. Greed and, as the Malay says, tamak! She wanted more money. He did not want to give her more of his “hard-earned” money. She turns up at his family home and loudly demanded more. What was he to do to maintain the harmony of his home life and placate the ire of his wronged wife? He calls Musa Safri for help. Musa introduces him to Chief Inspector Azilah. Azilah, for a “consideration”, took it upon himself to “deal” with Altantuya. He instructed Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, his subordinate, to come with him to do the “deed”. Sirul, as he has been trained to do, followed Azilah and did the “deed” without doubting that it was part of his “work” as a UTK operative. 

After the deed was done, Sirul thought nothing more of it until he was arrested in Pakistan while he was on security detail for the then PM, Pak Lah. On the plane, Sirul was told the reason for his arrest: the murder of Altantuya. His first word upon landing at KLIA was “Apasal dia orang tak cover untuk aku?” Translation: Why did “they” not cover for me…in this instance the “they” Sirul refers to were the higher-ups in UTK unit who will normally “cover” up any “deeds” when Sirul had done what he was instructed to do. In this instance, the murder of Altantuya.     

From then on it was all downhill for Sirul Azhar Umar.

What am I saying here? Let me be precise. Razak Baginda asked Azilah to “deal” with Altantuya who was harassing him for money. Azilah decided that he would “deal” with the situation in the manner we are all now too familiar with: murder her and blow her body up to smithereens. In so doing, Azilah made the lives of many people, hell on earth. 

Razak Baginda asked Azilah to “deal” with Altantuya who was harassing him for money.

First, he took the life of Altantuya who, for whatever that went on between her and Razak Baginda, did not deserve to die. Her death adversely affected the lives of her children, her family, and her loved ones. They are all still suffering today.

What Azilah did turn Razak’s Baginda once bright shining potential future as a businessman and a confidant to Najib Razak, into a nightmare. That nightmare was only bearable because of the questionable loot he partakes for himself for being the facilitator of the Ministry of Defence procurement of those two dubious Scorpene Submarines and the loyalty of his wife who stood by his side throughout his trial for the murder of Altantuya.  She is still by his side today. Let nobody doubt the need for a good wife in times of trouble. Razak Baginda will surely testify to that.

Azilah decided that he would “deal” with the situation in the manner we are all now too familiar with: murder her and blow her body up to smithereens.

What Azilah did have caused untold misery and suffering for Sirul Azhar Umar. His wife asked for a divorce. No good wife here. He was arrested, convicted, acquitted and then convicted again of the murder of Altantuya. He legally entered Australia during the time of his acquittal but forgot to inform Australian Immigration that he was already convicted of Altantuya’s murder. They arrested him upon the expiry of his visa and he is now being detained for “overstaying”. Since then the Australia authorities have held in detention and he will continue to be held in detention for “overstaying”. The Australian government will not send Sirul back to Malaysia for as long as he faces the possibility of being hanged for what he has done to Altantuya. Together with Sirul in Australia is his son who followed him when he came to Australia. His son turned 18 this year and is now still in Australia free to earn a living but his stay in Australia is dependent on Sirul. If Sirul is sent back to Malaysia, his son will have to follow him back to Malaysia.

For Sirul, his involvement in Altantuya’s murder has caused the breakdown of his marriage. God knows what will happen to his son in Australia – already traumatised by what his father has done and is now having to deal with the realities of living in a foreign land by himself. And of course, his daughter back home and his aged mother in Malaysia have had to deal with life without Sirul from the time he was arrested for the murder of Altantuya. And all this has happened because Azilah instructed Sirul to follow him on that fateful day when he took it upon himself to murder Altantuya.

There are many others that have been affected by Azilah’s decision to murder Altantuya, but I can assure you that for most of them who had become involved after the murder – all of them, with or two rare exceptions, had profited handsomely, if not insanely, from the spoils of Azilah’s foul deed.

Azilah instructed Sirul to follow him on that fateful day when he took it upon himself to murder Altantuya

Maybe, Razak Baginda should have been more precise in telling Azilah how to “deal” with Altantuya. Maybe Sirul Azhar Umar should have come clean right from the very start with regards to his involvement in this sad and sordid tale of murder and not have sought later to profit from his dastardly deed. And maybe if our judiciary had not been beholden to their political masters, then things may have been different. No doubt this will not be the last word on this tale of Altantuya, a woman who did not deserve to die and the story of Azilah, the man who decided that she would die. There is much to follow after this but enough for now. I will save what comes later for another day. For now, I reiterate: Razak Baginda, Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor are NOT guilty of the murder of Altantuya.    

Maybe, Razak Baginda should have been more precise in telling Azilah how to “deal” with Altantuya.

 

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