Tuesday, June 15, 2010
By FMT Staff
KUALA LUMPUR: An opposition MP left Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein momentarily stunned when he asked him how travel records of murdered Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu was erased from the Immigration Department records in 2006.
According to Gombak MP Azmin Ali, the situation was even more tensed because with Hishammuddin in Parliament yesterday was his cousin Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who has been reportedly linked to the model’s death.
“It was obvious that my question caught him off-guard. But he [Hishammuddin] is rarely present in Parliament and I was curious as to how Immigration Department ran its operations,” he told FMT team yesterday.
Azmin said he had first asked Hishammuddin to explain the Immigration Department’s role and responsibilities in monitoring the movement of foreigners into and out of the country.
“I asked Hishammuddin about how Immigration monitored the movements of foreigners in the country.
“Hishammuddin said the department was responsible for monitoring movements based on possible security and national threats.
“Based on his answer, it is obvious that the department had a database to ensure all information regarding foreigners are kept safely allowing for easy reference and action, if and when necessary,” he said.
Bearing this in mind, Azmin then shot Hishammuddin with this question: “Does the Immigration Department’s scope of authority include erasing or losing travel records of foreign nationals such as Altantuya?
“If her records were erased, then who was responsible and what actions have been taken by the government so that a repeat will not occur?” he asked.
Azmin said Hishammuddin had fumbled with the answer and kept making contradictory statements.
“I am disappointed with Hishammuddin’s reply. He fumbled and kept looking at Najib for a signal.
“Why did he need to wait for a signal from Najib? And what is Najib’s link to the issue?
“Isn’t this the responsibility of the Immigration Department under the Home Ministry?” he asked.
Azmin said the Home Ministry had failed to provide him with answers as to how the entry and exit records of the Mongolian national were erased.
“The ministry’s reluctance has only created more questions as to what actually happened. We need answers from the ministry.
“We all know Altantuya was present in Malaysia but her travel records to Malaysia have been erased. The ministry must be brave enough to face the situation,” Azmin said, adding that the act of erasing travel records of foreign nationals was a big crime and must be viewed seriously.
at 5:11 PM