Today has been an incredible and unbelievable day! Yes, I was shocked too by the news and what happened to Bursa. Who isn't?
Ok. Bursa first. (Bear in mind I'm writing this at 4.30 pm, and have no plans to update this article.)
At 9 AM, we were surprised to discover that Bursa was shut down for trading, apparently for the morning session only. Then, we were to find out that it is also going to be shut down for the afternoon session also. And then, we were surprised to hear that it could be reopen at 3.30 PM. There was a brief trading session, but then, it was halted again!
In my opinion, this is extremely unprofessional for at least 2 major reasons. First, the widespread expectation that there should have been a back-up system kicking in when the primary system didn't work. Think Disaster Recovery situations when a company like Bursa is expected to be up and running even if disasters - natural or man-made - occurs.
Second, to allow trading temporarily at 3.30 PM and then to halt a few minutes later is ridiculous! I understand Bursa is calling for a press conference to explain.
But this is a relatively minor matter, compared to what DSAI disclosed this morning at a press conference at 11.30 AM.
I want to document a few things here on a bombshell for future reference.
Malaysian Insider News
First, when I checked before 9 AM, the Malaysian Insider did mention that DSAI will call a press conference at 11.30 AM, but gave a different reason which did not mention Altantuya and Najib link. Unfortunately, I don't have a screenshot of the reason mentioned. The next time, I will take a screenshot. (Update: They have atoned themselves and now has a better coverage than MSM).
Kudos to Haris Ibrahim Blog
Whereas Haris Ibrahim's blog did, and at a much earlier time too. (http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/news-that-will-rock-the-nation/). "I am reliably informed that at 11.00 30 am this morning, Anwar Ibrahim will hold a press conference at PKR’s spanking new HQ at Merchant Square, Tropicana to reveal evidence linking Najib to Altantuya."
Naturally, I was very dissappointed with the Malaysian Insider for giving a different reason for the press conference since being an online newspaper, I had hoped that it would paint the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Mass Media Coverage
I have harped before about how biased the MSM reporting is and this episode is no exception.http://fusioninvestor.blogspot.com/2008/06/msm-blackout-on-rpks-bombshell.html
The Mass Media coverage is again extremely dissappointing.
Again, at the time of writing (4.30 PM - at least 5 hours after DSAI's press conference), none of the MSM painted a clear picture of what the SD and DSAI's press conference is all about.
The only MSM that alluded to something was The Star, but the quality of reporting is extremely poor relative to the Internet. I am referring only to the English and Bahasa language MSM.
You may check this yourself, although as time passes, things will change. At 4.30 PM, I checked the following links and found no reference to DSAI's bombshell.
- http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/3/nation/20080703123900&sec=nation (this has a 3 paragraph statement, a picture of Balasubramaniam, and a statement that says "More to follow" - I will comment later).
I am also dissappointed with The Edge. Being a business newspaper, I had expected it to alert its readers about a very material piece of news that will have a material market impact.
As for The Star.
Whilst it is good to see that it tries to report it, it naturally fails to mention the name of the politician involved. So, you still lose the sense of "importance".
And sadly, we must continue to rely on the Internet for "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" about what DSAI actually said to the press and what the SD content is all about!
Ironic isn't it?
That when a press conference is called, MSM blacks it out?
Anyway, the full link of DSAI's press statement and a copy of the SD here - http://anwaribrahimblog.com/2008/07/03/press-statement-and-statutory-declaration-on-relationship-between-najib-and-altantuya/
Balasubramaniam's Statutory Declaration
For me, it's important to read the entire SD, but a few paragraphs deserves mention. I will repeat the facts below, so that readers have a full appreciation of what is being written in the SD, and can form their own informed opinion. As you read this, remember that the DPM has said repeatedly to the press and to MSM that he was never acquainted with Altantuya.
25. During this discussion and in an attempt to persuade me to continue my employment with him, Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that :-
25.1 He had been introduced to Aminah by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a diamond exhibition in Singapore.
25.2 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak informed Abdul Razak Baginda that he had a sexual relationship with Aminah and that she was susceptible to anal intercourse.
25.3 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted Abdul Razak Baginda to look after Aminah as he did not want her to harass him since he was now the Deputy Prime Minister.
25.4 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Abdul Razak Baginda and Aminah had all been together at a dinner in Paris.
25.5 Aminah wanted money from him as she felt she was entitled to a USD$500,000.00 commission on a submarine deal she assisted with in Paris.
28. Whist I was talking to Aminah, she informed me of the following :-
28.1 That she met Abdul Razak Baginda in Singapore with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
28.2 That she had also met Abdul Razak Baginda and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a dinner in Paris.
28.3 That she was promised a sum of USD$500,000.00 as commission for assisting in a Submarine deal in Paris.
28.4 That Abdul Razak Baginda had bought her a house in Mongolia but her brother had refinanced it and she needed money to redeem it.
28.5 That her mother was ill and she needed money to pay for her treatment.
28.6That Abdul Razak Baginda had married her in Korea as her mother is Korean whilst her father was a Mongolian/Chinese mix.
28.7 That if I wouldn’t allow her to see Abdul Razak Baginda, would I be able to arrange for her to see Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Paragraphs 48 to 52
48. I was transported to Bukit Aman where I was interrogated and questioned about an SMS I had received from Abdul Razak Baginda on the 19.10.2006 which read “delay her until my man arrives”. They had apparently retrieved this message from Abdul Razak Baginda’s handphone.
49. They then proceeded to record my statement from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. everyday for 7 consecutive days. I told them all I knew including everything Abdul Razak Baginda and Aminah had told me about their relationships with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak but when I came to sign my statement, these details had been left out.
50. I have given evidence in the trial of Azilah, Sirul and Abdul Razak Baginda at the Shah Alam High Court. The prosecutor did not ask me any questions in respect of Aminah’s relationship with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or of the phone call I received from DSP Musa Safri, whom I believe was the ADC for Datuk Seri Najib Razak and/or his wife.
51. On the day Abdul Razak Baginda was arrested, I was with him at his lawyers office at 6.30 a.m. Abdul Razak Baginda informed us that he had sent Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak an SMS the evening before as he refused to believe he was to be arrested, but had not received a response.
52. Shortly thereafter, at about 7.30 a.m., Abdul Razak Baginda received an SMS from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and showed, this message to both myself and his lawyer. This message read as follows :- ” I am seeing IGP at 11.00 a.m. today …… matter will be solved … be cool”.
Amazingly mind boggling isn't it?
So, what are the implications from this latest Bombshell?
Will DPM continue to deny his acquaintance / relationship with Altantuya?
How will the public and markets react to this news? If there is a denial, how will they react to the denial?
Is this just the DPM, the IGP, the AG, the Prosecutor Team we are talking about or much bigger than the 4 of them?
Paragraph 28 refers to something Bala spoke to Aminah, and Aminah (Altantuya) is no longer around to confirm the conversation. Paragraph 25 refers to Razak, and so far, Razak is still alive and in theory should be able to either confirm or deny. And both Bala and DSAI are of course still alive and in theory are able to provide more elaboration if necessary. Will we continue to have "stability", or is it now obvious that the participants on both sides have clearly crossed the line a long time ago and there is no looking back?
What about newsflow? Is this the last bad news to come out? Or will there be more newsflow in the future? Has the tone of the political chess game came down? Or will it continue to escallate and become much worse?
Do you find yourself "hoping" that things will improve? Do you find yourself "justifying" that since it has already fallen so low, how much more can I lose? Many highly intelligent people has tried to predict bottoms and failed miserably. Do I think I have superior intelligence than the smartest people on earth to be able to predict a bottom accurately?