My friends, both in government and the private sector, smsed and telephoned this evening to inform me of the Raja Petra’s exclusive interview with TV3 (as reported below by The Malaysian Insider). I also received a call from Ms. Sira, a journalist from The Star, who had the courtesy to call me a few minutes ago.
I was surprised to learn that I have been linked to attempts to discredit Prime Minister Najib and his wife Rosmah with regard to the Altantuya case. There is no basis whatsoever in fact. I am personally disappointed that Raja Petra Kamaruddin should see it fit to get me involved in a matter where I have zero knowledge.
Like many bloggers, I was unhappy with the Badawi Administration. After Badawi’s resignation in 2009 and Prime Minister Najib succeed him, I quietly left Parti KeADILan Rakyat. I know PKR Leaders personally. I also know UMNO-BN Leaders. My links with both sides of the political divide allow me to deal with issues in a dispassionate manner.
I have no disagreements with Prime Minister Najib. Let me state that I am not anti-Najib; in fact, a number of commentators in my blog have severely criticised me for being “soft” on our Prime Minister and his policies.
BUT it is a fact that Raja Petra called me to seek confirmation from Anwar Ibrahim regarding the reliability of a certain military intelligence officer. When I received confirmation from the PKR de facto leader, I relayed it to Raja Petra. That was all to the whole matter.– Din Merican
KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 – The pro-government TV3 station aired an exclusive interview with blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin tonight, where he claimed that he was merely writing accusations made by others against Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife over the Altantuya murder case.
“I never accused the Prime Minister or his wife of being involved in the murder of Altantuya Sharibuu,” Raja Petrawas quoted as saying in a transcript made available at the private television station’s website.
The interview in Perth recently was conducted by a senior editor, Ashraf Abdullah, and aired over the prime-time Buletin Utama news programme at 8pm.
The transcript said the Malaysia Today news portal editor said he was pressured and influenced to carry the news by individuals who did not want Najib to take over as the country’s prime minister. Najib succeeded Tun Abdullah Badawi as prime minister in April 2009.
It reported Raja Petra as saying his statutory declaration dated June 18, 2008 was based on information from these individuals, adding that a lot of people accused him of slander without actually reading his sworn statement.
In the statutory declaration (SD), Raja Petra said he received information from several individuals that the prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was at the site when Altantuya was killed.
Altantuya was killed in late 2007 when Najib was then deputy prime minister.“In the SD, I related the tale that these people told me the story and they should relate it. And that the authorities should investigate and call these people in. That’s what I wrote in the SD. I personally did not make an accusation. I did not say I knew that the wife of the then deputy prime minister was at the crime scene. I didn’t say that. I didn’t make such an accusation. What I said was that people told the story and it was up to the authorities to investigate it further and for these people to come forward. And I named these people. I revealed this during the police investigations,” he was quoted as saying in the transcript in Bahasa Malaysia.
According to the transcript, Raja Petra said he received the information from individuals linked to several politicians including opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. TV3 named them as Nik Azmi Nik Daud, John Pang and blogger Din Merican.
Raja Petra also mentioned that a military intelligence officer identified as Leftenan Kolonel Azmi Zainal Abidin also gave the same information.
“I didn’t accept the story. Because I thought it was impossible. No way that the Prime Minister’s wife can go to the scene as it is in the jungle and I didn’t think she would climb a hill, enter a jungle in the middle of night, at 12 midnight. I thought that was impossible,” he was quoted as saying in the transcript.
Raja Petra was quoted as saying that their task was to ensure Najib did not take over as PM when Abdullah stepped down.He said when he met Nik Azmi, he had asked the reasons for making the statutory declaration.
“What do you hope to achieve? He said Pak Lah will resign, if we don’t block Najib, Najib will be the prime minister, replacing Pak Lah,” he added.
According Raja Petra, he then asked Din Merican to get confirmation from Anwar.“Din Merican contacted me back and said he spoke to Anwar and Anwar had given the green light. He said OK, this man is no problem, what he says we can trust. Anwar knows him well and he usually meets with Anwar.. this leftenan kolonel. And he has told many stories to Anwar about this issue. He said to proceed, I then proceeded,” he was quoted as saying.
Raja Petra also said all the individuals had promised to be witnesses if he was charged in court. TV3 said it will carry the second part of the interview at the same news bulletin tomorrow.