And Saiful did not swear right.
Ustaz Ramlang Porigi, who witnessed Saiful Bukhairy swear on the Quran that he was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim, stood on PKR’s platform in Padang Ibu, Penanti, last night and admitted that he was “ordered” by his boss (the chief religious head) to witness the controversial oath.
I read somewhere that Ramlang revealed that Najib Tun Razak’s special assistant who arranged the ceremony. He was one of the four imams present at Saiful’s swearing.
In front of about 6,000 strong crowd, many women and children, Ramlang said he needed to clear his name and explain exactly what had happened (with regards to the oath incident) as he did not want to be blamed for ‘conspiring’ with UMNO.
In not so many words, he sought the understanding of the Permatang Pauh people not to fault him for this incident.
“I did not arrange it (the oath taking ceremony)”, he said. The content of Saiful’s text, from which he read the oath, may have been ‘advised’ by his lawyer, perhaps “someone else”. “No need for me to say who at this momentt”.
“Saiful’s swear was a ‘sumpah laknat’ only upon himself. Based on my knowledge, for something like ‘sumpah mabalah’ which Saiful did was to be done, both persons must be present, and it has to be after the evidence taking process has been exhausted” he added. “The case is still pending in court, so this is a ‘sumpah mubalah’ and was done upon himself only”.
The Ustaz also commented on Saiful’s disposition when swearing on the Quran, that he was unfazed (did not look guilty). “Usually, for a pious Muslim, if we wanted to swear, we would be very afraid. About what will happen to that sumpah”.
“Perhaps because he read from the text, he did not feel at all at fault”.
Ramlang also clarified that Saiful uttered the wrong (Islamic) words when swearing. Furthermore, Saiful did a mistake twice with the dates when he was purportedly sodomised.
Later (after the ceramah, which saw several PAS leaders like Mahfuz Omar and Husam Musa present to support Anwar), PKR organised a press conference at Yayasan Aman, where Ramlang fielded questions from several journalists, who were keen to cross examine his intentions, although the clock already showed past midnight.
I was there, too. I can tell you, it was an ‘explosive’ night.
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Ramlang was queried: Who actually ‘forced’ you – Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi ) or Najib (Tun Razak) to witness the oath?
Ramlang said he did not represent any party. He refused to reveal if Abdullah or Najib had a hand in the matter.
“Suffice to say it was a higher authority who asked me to do it”.
He denied receiving any money to witness Saiful’s oath taking. “It is slander if anyone ever said I received money to witness…”. His voice was quite raised when saying this.
“As a government servant, we have to obey orders from above from time to time”.
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So, what motivated him to make this confession? Why is he only making this relevation NOW, and not earlier (for example, right after Saiful made his oath)? And why did he choose PKR’s platform to reveal this?
Ramlang siad : I was accused of many things, among others, of not being a real imam, that I masqueraded as an Imam. The truth is, I am an imam. So I am doing this to explain that I am a (real) imam and to clear my name and credibility.
Ramlan said he did not make this confession sooner as he did not feel any pressure earlier – especially two or three days after the oath taking incident.
However, in the past few days, he received several sms-es and phone calls insulting him, which made him feel he needed to explain himself.
“For example, I received a call which asked me if I was Ustaz Ramlang, and when I said yes, the person on the phone said I lacked manners (kurang ajar). Would an Ustaz want to be insulted as such?”
On why he spoke on PKR’s platform last night, Ramlang said when he was insulted, he was not defended by anyone.
“I must be thankful that PKR offered its platform for me to reveal the real situation, especially in Permatang Pauh”.
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As at press time, Ramlang is still working with the government and he is a voter at Permatang Pauh.
He explains about his UMNO membership.
Ramlang became an UMNO member around 2003 to “help his friend”, before he migrated to Kuala Lumpur in 2004. He was not an active member. “You can say I was a fake member”.
He maintained that he was not representing any party or any sector.
He did not hold any positions in UMNO. So, was he afraid of being sacked from UMNO or disciplined by the party after this?
Ramlang said he was not affected as he never held any post in the party. “I have no interests in UMNO”.
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It was indeed a wild night. Ramlang looked calm as he took the questions from the floor. Too many hands were up. Amazing. Reporters seem excited as well. Reporters were disappointed that their question time was cut short.
Some fear for Ramlang’s safety now. Some wondered if he would disappear after this, or if he would be making a statutory declaration.
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From L-R: Christopher Choong, Lucia Lai, Ong Boon Keong and Ng Hock Lai.
Earlier, I visited MAFREL’s office in Permatang Pauh, met with the election observers, and discussed how we could work together to share information regarding the by-election.
Co-incidently, all of us are bloggers. And I met Lucia Lai of mental jog for the first time :). I also met Jong, who did not want her pixs in my blog. But she was a wonderful lady and had written a sort of ‘expose‘ here.
I interviewed the MAFREL crew about their experiences observing the campaigns on both sides since nomination day. They received many complaints from the public or while they are conducting their monitoring.
Do hop onto their website for treasures they have discovered the last few days.
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Word is going around that the Election Commission might call off the by-election as ‘violent incidents’ are mounting. You must have know about the HINDRAF incident in Seberang Jaya yesterday. 9 were arrested, including two women.
Today they released the two women but sms-es are going aroung provoking HINDRAF supporters to gather in front of the Butterworth police station for protest.
The above sms, which challenged the police to release the detainees “Or we will show our color”, was definitely not from HINDRAF supporters, said a seasoned journalist, who covered the Makkal Sakti events often.
So, who is it from?
More coming, be patient.