Friday, January 16, 2015

Sent to the Gallows

It is so easy to return a guilty verdict – but Malaysians would like to know why?

Malaysia’s Federal Court allowed the government’s appeal over the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006 and set aside the acquittal of the two former policemen from the Special Forces Unit (UTK). Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar said the prosecution had proved its case to implicate Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar with the charge that carried the death penalty.
Evidence produced in Court revealed that Altantuya was probably killed by C4 or shot before being killed with the explosives on October 08, 2006 on the fringes of Shah Alam, the Selangor capital, 29 miles from Kuala Lumpur.
Suriyadi who is a member of the 5-person bench to hear the final appeal ruled that the Court of Appeal was wrong to reverse the findings of the trial court on August 23, 2013 and granted them freedom.
Azilah was expressionless as the verdict was read but Sirul had already done a disappearing act. He wasn’t even in court that day and prosecutor Abdul Majid Hamzah asked the court to issue a warrant of arrest for the latter – and it was granted. In fact, I read that he has already fled the country.
Lest we forget, the Altantuya murder is a mystery that has not been solved. Why would two police commandos kidnap and blow up a Mongolian model with military grade explosives for no reason at all? And surely the police would want to find out why two of their own did it, wouldn't they? 
Many Malaysians don’t believe that justice has been served. It is not a random killing. It certainly cannot be murder without a motive. And yet we are sacrificing two lives in order to hide the identity of the mastermind. To paraphrase Major Ahmad Zaidi's words,the 'actual' murderer(s) will ultimately "face Allah's Court".
On Wednesday, I was in Jalan Tun Sambathan 3 to attend the MIA Toastmasters meeting. I had secured a speaking slot and so, I delivered CC speech #7 titled ‘A Collection of Memories”. I already had another speech in mind but my evaluator, Andrew Tan wanted to challenge me. I accepted it because I am always ready to challenge myself. And so, I abandoned my original speech and did a new one. Impromptu. I had to come up with props almost immediately since this speech requires me to use visual aids and fortunately, I was able to produce a sachet of dried leaves, a one ringgit note and my antiquated phone.

And it turned out to be also a good speech. Like Tuesday’s speech, it was well-crafted, well-delivered and infused with lots of humor.

Still, we started six minutes late and for that, I am giving this meeting a score of 4 over 10.


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