THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Zahrain sparks off verbal hullabaloo
Making his debut in Parliament as an independent member, Bayan Baru parliamentarian Zahrain Hashim made a loud entrance of sorts rousing the house into a shouting match between both sides of the divide.
The episode began serenely enough when the independent parliamentarian began his maiden parliament speech. But the ruckus he kicked up as he went along in an already all too volatile parliament was anything but serene.
Zahrain's speech on the reasons why he left PKR raised the ire of Pakatan Rakyat members of Parliament when he related his version of events leading up to September 16, 2008, the date when Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the opposition would take over the federal government.
The spark that ignited the powder keg of parliamentary fireworks was his allegation that Pakatan representatives were 'told to be on stand-by in Parliament' on September 16 to take over the legislature. He claimed that the Pakatan parliamentarians were told that 'they had the support of the army and the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Zahrain's claim prompted Anwar, who is opposition parliamentary leader, to stand up and say that Zahrain was 'only after power and riches'. Anwar then walked out of the chambers.
What followed next was a barrage of hoots from BN representatives accusing Anwar of not being able to take the heat and counter-retorts by Pakatan parliamentarians deriding Zahrain for what they said were false claims.
Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee joined in the fray reminding everyone that according to the standing orders, institutions of the state, which included the Agong and judges, could not be brought into the discussion unless there was a motion on them. He was alluding to Zahrain's claims about the Agong and the military.
The verbal hullabaloo expanded with both sides making much noise and wild claims as many parliamentarians interjected - whether given way by Zahrain or not - to say their piece. Amongst the most vocal were Batu MP Tian Chua, Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan and Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz.
However, the wet-market atmosphere ended when Kiandee adjourned the Dewan Rakyat until 10am tomorrow. -- Malaysiakini, 17 March 2010
That was what Malaysiakini reported today. Actually, there is some truth in what Zahrain Hashim said so I feel Anwar Ibrahim should not have walked out of Parliament. By doing so it would appear like Zahrain had struck a raw nerve, which actually he had I suppose. But then Anwar should not reveal this. Play poker lah, like me. Smile and wait for your time to strike back. Aiyah, Anwar, bad poker player lah.
As I said, Zahrain did not totally lie. And the fact that Zahrain raised this matter in Parliament makes the allegation very serious. You do not lie in Parliament. So Zahrain did not lie. He just left out many other facts in his statement in Parliament today.
It is true the opposition had been told -- or at least some of us had been told -- that the military and the Agong were on ‘stand by’ to swear in the new government. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was supposed to have been ousted back in 2008 and a new man was supposed to take over as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
But this new Prime Minister was not supposed to be Anwar. It was going to be another person, an Umno man. And this Umno man is not Najib. It was going to be some other person. And Zahrain, of course, knows this, although he did not say so in Parliament today.
The plot goes as follows. I was asked to meet a certain person named Bul, short for Bulat. All the ‘old boys’ of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) know whom I am talking about. Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas -- that Umno man from the Umno Disciplinary Board who called me his brother and advised me to return to Malaysia and clear by name in court -- also knows who Bul is and what I am talking about.
Anyway, Bul and I had our first meeting at La Bordega in Jalan Telawi in Bangsar. My wife was also present, as was a fourth person who sat there without opening his mouth and without saying a single word, as if he was a member of the KGB (yeap, figure that one out).
Bul then told me the story about Rosmah Mansor, her ADC Lt Kolonel Norhayati Hassan, and Norhayai’s husband, also holding the rank of Lt Kolonel, and trained in the use of C4, were at the scene of the crime the night Altantuya was murdered. (I got this ‘trained in the use of C4’ bit confirmed by another person, the army Kolonel who conducted the training, so I was quite satisfied that this information is correct).
I asked Bul what he wanted me to do about this information. “Expose it,” replied Bul.
I told Bul if I do that they would certainly arrest me and send me to jail. Bul promised me if that happens then they would come forward to testify. They would not allow me to be sent to jail, Bul assured me. They will come to my aid and make sure that the truth is revealed.
After the meeting my wife told me to forget it. It is too risky, my wife said. So I did nothing.
Bul then requested another meeting and this time we met in the Selangor Club for lunch on a Sunday. That same mysterious ‘KGB’ man was there, as was my wife. Bul asked me whether I was going to act on the information he gave me and I replied, no. I was not sure whether this information is true.
Bul assured me it is true. He has read the Military Intelligence report that they sent to Prime Minister Pak Lah, Bul assured me.
I looked at my wife who shook her head. Bul told my wife not to worry. Bul said he offers his guarantee that I would come to no harm. This is dynamite and Pak Lah will fall because he knows about it yet he keeps quiet. And Najib will also fall so Malaysia will get a new Prime Minister. Then we can talk about forming a unity government with Pakatan Rakyat and maybe offer Anwar the post of Deputy Prime Minister.
Against my wife’s advice I told Bul I would do it. But he must back me up when the shit hits the fan. No problem, Bul said. Kol Azmi, the number two in the Special Branch of the MIO has a copy of the report that was sent to Pak Lah and he is waiting to come forward to expose the whole thing.
Bul wanted to know when I would do it and I replied maybe I would write my article the following day. No, no article, Bul said. An article is not good enough. It must be a Statutory Declaration. The government can just ignore an article. But the government can’t ignore a Statutory Declaration. So it must be a Statutory Declaration.
In the meantime, my wife and I met Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a couple of times to check whether he is agreeable to the new candidate for Prime Minister or whether he would prefer for Najib to take over. (Tan Sri Sanusi Junid can confirm this). Dr Mahathir gave us the impression that he is not in favour of Najib and that he is agreeable to the man named by Bul.
So we arranged for this man to meet Dr Mahathir and they met a few times. Dr Mahathir also sent Datuk Andrew Leong to meet this man to seal the deal. I, in fact, arranged for the meeting between Andrew Leong and this man. I also sat in on the meeting.
The deal was struck. I would sign my Statutory Declaration. Pak Lah would be ousted. Najib would be blocked from taking over. And the new Prime Minister would take over with Dr Mahathir’s blessing.
Along the way, however, something went wrong. The candidate for new Prime Minister was asked to confirm that he agrees to the setting up a Presidential Council once he becomes Prime Minister. And the Presidential Council, headed by Dr Mahathir, will ‘guide’ the new Prime Minister.
This candidate for new Prime Minister said no. If he becomes Prime Minister then he will decide how this country is going to be run. He is not going to become a puppet Prime Minister with the Presidential Council as the real power behind the throne. Dr Mahathir, in fact, announced during a meeting with about 1,000 Umno members in the Singgahsana Hotel in Petaling Jaya that this Presidential Council will be set up and the next Prime Minister will answer to it.
When this man said no, Dr Mahathir dumped him and turned to Najib. Najib was back in and this other man was out of the picture. But shit, in the meantime I had already signed the Statutory Declaration that was supposed to not only get Pak Lah ousted but disqualify Najib as well.
I was now an embarrassment to them. They needed Najib after all since this other man did not agree to the Presidential Council while Najib did. So they needed to clear Najib’s name. And, to do that, they have to bring me down.
And that, dear readers, is why I am in this predicament. I was supposed to be the catalyst to get rid of Pak Lah and to block Najib from taking over. But the deal went sour. And this other man who was supposed to take over was sidelined. And I was given the ‘red card’ and sent off the field.
And that made my wife fucking mad. When I was detained under the Internal Security Act, Bul phoned my wife and said that this man wanted to meet her. My wife told Bul to tell this man to go fuck himself and hung up the phone.
My wife then went to meet Anwar to tell him the whole story, most of which Anwar already knew. Anwar then went to meet this man, who was supposed to be the new Prime Minister but did quite not make it. Anwar told him that I signed that Statutory Declaration because they asked me to do so. And that was supposed to clear the way for this man, instead of Najib, to take over as Prime Minister.
But he did not dare come forward to reveal what really happened and why I signed that Statutory Declaration. My wife then insisted that Anwar go to court to meet me and tell me in person, which Anwar did. I knew then that they had abandoned me as ‘collateral damage’ and that I was now on my own.
Anyway, I related this story to the Special Branch, which was recorded. I was supposed to then sign my statement, the normal procedure when they take your statement during ISA detention.
But they never allowed me to sign my statement. On the day I was supposed to sign my statement they sent me off to Kamunting. I am probably the only ISA detainee who was not made to sign his statement. Clearly they are afraid of allowing me to sign my statement lest the government falls one day and this statement falls into the hands of a new government.
Datuk Zambri Ahmad, that senior man in the Special Branch who was in charge of my interrogation, knows exactly what I am talking about. He also confirmed he personally knows Kolonel Azmi, the number two in the Special Branch of the MIO whom I am talking about.
So Zahrain did not lie in Parliament today. What he told Parliament about the military and the Agong being on stand by to swear in the new government is true. Zahrain just did not tell Parliament the whole story. And I have just filled in the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
Thanks Zahrain. By raising the matter in Parliament this has allowed me to add to your story. Muchos gracias.