The Truth Revealed

Monday, August 25, 2008

Imam's Bombshell to Help PKR's Last-minute Campaign


By Wan Hamidi Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25: It's an eleventh-hour advantage for Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

The imam who witnessed Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's swearing on the Quran to accuse Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of sodomising him has cast doubts on the oath.

With less than a day to campaign in the Permatang Pauh by-election, observers noted that the Barisan Nasional"s strongest point of attack against the former deputy prime minister has been blunted.

[Ramlang witnessed Saiful taking his oath. Picture by Choo Choy May]

This means the public confession by Ramlang Porigi, the imam of the Kuala Lumpur mosque, made in Permatang Pauh late last night has freed Anwar from having to take the same Quranic vow to prove his innocence.

Ramlang witnessed Saiful taking his oath on the eve of the Permatang Pauh by-election. Although Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said it was not politically motivated, he has been demanding that Anwar take the same oath to deny any wrongdoing.

The PKR de facto leader has refused, and for that, he has been vilified by BN leaders as well as the mainstream media.

To put further pressure on Anwar, Najib, who is leading the BN campaign in the by-election, swore in a Permatang Pauh mosque that he had nothing to do with the murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

On Anwar's part, he and his campaigners have been insinuating that the Umno deputy president had somehow been involved in the murder linked to an alleged multibillion ringgit submarine deal.

But in front of thousands in Penanti last night, the imam, who said he did not arrange the ceremony on Aug 15, claimed he was directed by -a higher authority- to conduct the oath-taking ritual.

He added that the oath was not completely Islamic as both parties the accused and the accuser must attend. It was an ex-parte admission by Saiful.

When met by the press, Ramlang insisted that as a civil servant he is one of the nine official imams paid by the government to run the KL mosque he must obey the directives from his superiors.

Why did he have to be on a PKR ceramah platform to explain himself? Ramlang said he did not want to be blamed for conspiring with Umno, and the fact that no one in authority defended him.

He has been exposed as an Umno member registered as a voter in Penanti under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency, which he later confirmed. He even asked the voters of Permatang Pauh to stop blaming him for having to do what was directed by the top people, and for that he received thunderous applause and chants of 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great).

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali, who leads the party"s campaign in the by-election, has denied rewarding Ramlang who came forward willingly.

He told the press that it was proven that the second sodomy allegation is yet another Umno political conspiracy against his boss.

With less than 24 hours to go before polling, PKR and its allies especially Pas are expected to bombard the Malay-majority areas with this latest bombshell.

Many Malay voters are in doubt after Saiful's oath despite repeated assurance from Pas religious scholars that it was a wrong way to take an oath.

Ramlang's insinuation that Saiful was not all worried when taking his oath is expected to seen by many Malay voters as a signal that it was a false admission that"s what PKR campaigners are going to exploit today.

Anwar has refused to swear on the Quran despite calls by BN leaders, saying that many religious scholars advised him not to resort to it.

He has also referred the case to the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Religious Department, accusing Saiful of false accusation even as his Sodomy II charge is to be heard on Sept 10.

Anwar's campaigners are striving to ensure their leader surpasses his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail's majority of 13,000-plus votes in the March 8 general election.
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