In 2006, Malaysia was gripped by the brutal murder of a young woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28 year-old Mongolian. What followed were court trials, numerous newspaper reports smearing Altantuya’s reputation, the acquittal of the original suspect, Abdul Razak Baginda , and finally culminated with two police officers , Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, being sentenced to death by the High Court. The mystery surrounding this high profile case intensified as the two sentenced to death for the murder had no clear motive to kill Altantuya.
What remains a fact is that Altantuya was an innocent victim of a heinous crime that ended her young life. She was shot to death mercilessly, though she pleaded to have her life spared, and her remains were blown to pieces with C-4 explosives.
Altantuya’s father, Dr. Setev Shaariibuu’s parting words to the Malaysian Government and to all Malaysians were these ~"Where is your justice? Where is your conscience? Where is your humanity?”
Every Malaysian who has a conscience would have felt these haunting words, from a grieving father, cut into their souls and remain there, just as it did with me.
Many in power now, may elude justice for their crimes, but for how long? History tells us that eventually, at one point in time, one has to finally face his demons just as Saddam Hussain did, and the likes of him Pol Pot, Ferdinand Marcos, and in recent times, Hosni Mubarak and Gaddafi.
In Altantuya’s case, time will tell.
On 1st September 2010, I penned this special tribute to Altantuya:
What words are there to express sorrow..
When you can hear them no more…?
Your destiny ended here..in my nation called Malaysia
In the most tragic way
What justice can be great enough..
To bring you back..alive, in flesh and blood?
To restore your dignity torn apart?
How much pain did you go through?
How much fear filled your being?
At that moment..when time stood still for you?
Questions that will remain unanswered in the passage of time
People declared innocence
But none offered your dad
As he sat through it all..
A forlorn, anguish …figure.
Grieving the loss of his precious daughter
Did compassion take leave then?
When two innocent children became orphans?
I shed a tear for you,
I whisper a prayer for you…
For what more can I do;
Being a mere helpless, mortal soul among 28 million?
If even these, I do not offer you,
Human…I am not…
God is watching..
God is near you…
Your broken body He will make whole..
Justice will prevail one day
For no one is above God..
There will be a Judgement Day..
When all will stand equal
Before The Creator Himself
When you will have your say
And no fear to silence you
Till then…rest peacefully…
Forgive us…millions who watched and heard
Yet powerless to speak up
When justice died without explaining
How you landed here, on our soil… alive
And went back as ashes…in cold lifeless urns
Truth will not remain dead forever…
Dearest Altantuya…sleep now
Your time is up
Your suffering is over
But ours has just started…
Where will this sin take us?
How can we purge ourselves?
Your senseless death..
On the grounds of a nation
That was born through non-violence means
Time will tell..
Sleep now…you are safe…
But we are not…for we have earned
Your demise hanging over each and every one of us
Till truth is reclaimed…