Salleh Said Keruak
Yesterday, a WhatsApp message that said Sirul Azhar Umar was going to break his silence and will be testifying in an Australian court that Rosmah Mansor had personally ordered the killing of Altantuya Shaariibuu went viral.
I found that message very hard to believe for a few reasons. First of all, why should Sirul testify in an Australian court? Was Sirul charged for anything in an Australian court? And if they are suggesting that the Australian court is going to conduct a trial to investigate the murder that is also not logical because the matter is out of Australia’s jurisdiction.
Anyway, that message was ‘hot news’ yesterday but today Sirul’s lawyer said that the message was a hoax. I am not surprised by the lawyer’s announcement but what did surprise me was the fact that many people believed that message, even some intelligent people and those who should have known better.
It appears like nowadays people are prepared to believe anything as long as it is news unfavourable to the government or to the government leaders.
The second reason I find yesterday’s WhatsApp message unbelievable is because Sirul had already testified in court and he already said he does not know whether anyone ordered the murder and if so who did. All he knows, Sirul said, was that this was the initiative of his boss, an inspector, and he does not know more than that.
Malaysians tend to forget what was said earlier or analyse what is said now compared to what was said earlier and whether there are any discrepancies in that statement. Once a statement is inconsistent then we have to treat the person making that statement as unreliable.
In fact, even Islam states that the testimony of an unreliable witness cannot be accepted in a Shariah court. And the common law court says the same thing. So Malaysians must learn how to think before accepting what is being presented as fact.