Sunday, August 24, 2008

NOT ALL ARABS ARE DESCENDANTS OF THE PROPHET

Sunday, 24 August 2008 11:37



Datuk Syed Rahman started off by saying that the IGP had called him and told him that if Najib ever becomes the Prime Minister then he had better leave the country.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

“Raja ada di mana?”

It was my old friend from the Parti Keadilan Nasional days, Zahid Md Arip, on the line. He did not have to even mention who was calling. His very loud “Sang Terubung Raja Petra Anak Raja Bugis” was a good enough introduction. And there was no mistaking who I was speaking to. Zahid had a certain ‘trademark’ that could almost be patented like the sound of a Harley Davidson exhaust pipe.

“I’m at the Bangsar Shopping Centre,” I replied in Bahasa Malaysia.

“How long are you going to be there?” he asked, also in Bahasa Malaysia.

“Not sure. Maybe another hour or so.”

BANGSAR SHOPPING CENTRE

“Can we come and see you? Someone wants to meet you. His name is Datuk Kamal Amir. Hold on, I’ll pass the phone to him.”

“Hello, Kamal Amir here. I would be most honoured if I can meet you. Can we have tea today?”

“Sure, no problem. What time you want to come here?”

“Where are you now?”

“Bangsar Shopping Centre.”

“Wah. Itu tempat orang kaya,” Datuk Kamal Amir joked. “I can be there in one hour. Is that too late?”

“Actually I’m almost finished. But never mind. I will wait for you.”

“Where to meet?”

“Come to the Dome.”

“Who was that?” my wife asked me.

“Not sure. Someone called Datuk Kamal Amir. Zahid’s friend.”

“Who is he?”

“Not sure. Must be someone important though. Zahid only mixes with important people.”

Zahid is the late Tun Ghafar Baba’s grandson and onetime Acting Youth Chief of Parti Keadilan Nasional during the time Ezam was in prison. He is one of those dubbed ‘The Dirty Dozen’, the twelve Parti Keadilan Nasional Youth leaders who crossed over to Umno just before the 2004 general election.

Politically, Zahid is ‘the enemy’. But I still maintain a cordial relationship with him in spite of our ‘political differences’, as I do with his uncle, Tamrin Ghafar, who I have no problems with and meet from time-to-time in the Bangsar Village for tea and sandwiches.

It was more than an hour before Zahid arrived and I was already feeling quite bored with all the waiting. Datuk Kamal was not with him. “Datuk is still in a meeting,” said Zahid. “He is coming along shortly.”

Datuk Kamal arrived about half an hour later. I expected someone big and intimidating, the sort of image you would expect from an Umno datuk. But Datuk Kamal was a small and very decent-looking sort of fellow. Not at all the normal Umno slime-ball and scumbag I had expected.

We hit it off in a mere five minutes and thereafter were chatting away as if we have known each other for years. They say the first few minutes are crucial. Either you take to each other or you do not. That goes for interviews as well. You have to impress the interviewers on the first take. The first impression counts and 50% of whether you get the job or not would depend on this. Thereafter, how you conduct yourself would either seal the job or you get shown the door.

We talked about everything in general and nothing in particular. It was, after all, a first meet, sort of a ‘getting to know you’ session.

“Hai, Datuk,” Datuk Kamal waved at someone walking by. The Datuk waved back and smiled and tried to hurriedly walk off. “Marilah duduk sebentar,” Datuk Kamal said while gesturing to an empty chair beside me.

This Datuk appeared hesitant and looked like he was not sure whether to accept the offer or instead just give an excuse and scurry out of there. But those who know Zahid would know that he is one persistent fellow who never takes ‘no’ for an answer. There was no way this Datuk was going to ‘escape’ and he knew it. So he sat down, whether that was what he really wanted to do or not.

I was introduced to this new Datuk. “Inilah Datuk Syed Rahman,” Datuk Kamal said as I shook hands with him. Datuk Kamal probably saw in my face that the name did not ring a bell. He looked Indian, as some Arabs do, and if I had not been told he was a ‘Syed’ I would have thought he was just another of those millions of Mamaks running around all over the country and making a nuisance of themselves.

“This is the Honorary Council of Mongolia,” Datuk Kamal said. My face still did not show that I recognised this Arab. “You know, the Altantuya murder case.”

“Oh, that’s right.” Now I knew whom this Datuk Syed Rahman is. He is that man always on TV beside Dr Sharriibuu Setev, Altantuya’s father. I inched closer to Datuk Syed Rahman Alhabshi, now that I knew who he is. “Interesting,” I said. “I’m sure you can tell me a lot about the Altantuya murder which the newspapers are not reporting.”

“That would be dangerous talking to you,” Datuk Syed Rahman replied. “You will quote what I say in Malaysia Today.”

“No, I won’t mention your name,” I joked. “I’ll just say the Honorary Council of Mongolia who wishes to remain anonymous.” There was laughter all around the table.

Datuk Syed Rahman started off by saying that the IGP had called him and told him that if Najib ever becomes the Prime Minister then he had better leave the country. “But I don’t care. I have told the Mongolian government that I want to buy a piece of land there and move to Mongolia. I don’t mind even giving up my Malaysian citizenship and settle down in Mongolia. So I don’t care what they want to do to me.”

“Why not then reveal what you know?” I asked. “What is stopping you from talking?”

“It is not that I’m scared. It is just that the court case is going on so it would be sub judice for me to talk about the issue. Plus, as the Mongolian Council, I need to be professional and not simply talk.”

Nevertheless he did talk, and talk a lot on top of that, after I assured him that nothing would be reported in Malaysia Today and that his name would not be mentioned.

But that was before this. Now that he has gone on national TV and has acted very unprofessionally and unbecoming of a man of his status by ‘spilling his guts’ and lying on prime-time TV, then my ‘deal’ with him is now off. He has opened his mouth and has ‘testified’ on TV about what he knows about the Altantuya murder. I was prepared to keep his secret as long as he too keeps his secret, secret. But since he has now revealed all, then I too should not be bound by any ‘official secrets’ since these secrets are no longer secrets.


Datuk Syed Rahman’s shocker was about them finding the remains of seven or eight people at the murder site. “What? Seven or eight people? You mean Altantuya was not the only one murdered and dumped at that site?”

“Those two UTK are assassins. Their job is to get rid of people. And that murder site is the place where they get rid of the bodies by blowing them up.”

“Wow! This is dynamite.” For once I was flabbergasted and there is very little that can shock me.

“Not dynamite. C4,” joked Datuk Syed Rahman.

“Tell me,” I moved closer to Datuk Syed Rahman. “Did Najib order her murdered?”

“No, not Najib, Rosmah. She ordered the murder.”

“What? Rosmah?” I could not believe it. Datuk Syed Rahman smiled; pleased that at least for once someone could shock Raja Petra who never normally gets shocked by anything.

Datuk Syed Rahman related in great detail what really happened. And what he related was a far departure from what transpired in the trial. Unfortunately, because commenting on an ongoing trial is considered sub judice and can attract a jail sentence, I am certainly not at liberty to also reveal in great detail what this Arab told me. And what he told me was very different from what he said on TV last night.

Maybe one day, when the trial is over, I will be ‘free’ to talk about what Datuk Syed Rahman revealed in the Dome of the Bangsar Shopping Center that day, more than a year ago. But whether I will be ‘free’ in the real sense of the word or whether I will be speaking from behind the high walls of the Sungai Buloh or Kajang Prison is left to be seen. Maybe, after 16 September 2008, I will know.

In the meantime stay tuned to learn more about what the Honorary Council of Mongolia, Datuk Syed Rahman Alhabshi, revealed in 2007 in the Dome of the Bangsar Shopping Centre. The story is nothing short of what Hollywood movie scripts are made of.

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