Datuk Seri Najib Razak invoked Allah’s name and swore before about 900 Umno grassroots leaders on Thursday that he was not involved in the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu case.
“I even swore in God’s name … Wallahi Wabillahi Watallahi … that I do not know this Altantuya woman at all. There is no greater oath.
“For Muslims, that is most supreme and the delegation applauded loudly when I took God as my witness. Some gave praise to Allah. So that is what I can do as a Muslim,” the deputy prime minister said in an interview published in Utusan Minggu today.
He was responding to a suggestion that the relentless personal attacks on him by the Opposition would create a bad perception.
“That is what is done by the Opposition. When they attack continuously, eventually if something is not true, or is a lie or repetitive slander, at the end it will either be true or at least, it will raise doubts.
“This is what is said to be a perception. In politics, perceptions are more important than truth or fact. I am aware of this game and I will face it. This is the reason why I have explained that I am not involved at all in the Altantuya Shaariibuu case.”
“Some time ago, according to Ezam, Anwar saw me as an authoritative and capable exco, but when it comes to a time when I am the obstacle to his ambitions of becoming prime minister, I become the target.”
“It’s okay. That is the spice in politics; there are challenges for whatever position we hold. The higher the position is, the more challenges. We have to face them. If we are on the side of truth, what should we be afraid of? Only if we are wrong should we be afraid.”
On Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s prediction that time will not permit him to be prime minister, Najib said: “I understand that Tun Dr Mahathir wants leadership changes to take place as soon as possible. He would want it to happen in December but my calculations are different. My calculation is for me to put the next election as the main consideration – not this year, or next year or 2010.
“It means I will have to make sure that the party strength is not jeopardised when I face the election as the main leader. So that is the reason, to me the date is secondary, what is most important is Umno’s strength in the 13th general election (due in 2012 or 2013).