This is the Bernama report of Norian’s interview, which was given front-page
headline treatment by today’s Star:
"He said this was done with the hope that the calls they would subsequently post on the website would get support.
"Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said several members of the group used a rocket launcher to fire at a brewery in Shah Alam and an Indian temple but no serious damage was caused because they were not skilful in handling the weapon.
"In the interview, Norian said: ‘When chaos was started, a part of the group would make announcements on its website, through its computer, its Internet to declare that the war for martyrdom has begun.
"’And they expected that quarters opposed to the government, bent on undermining security would join them to trigger chaos in this country.’
"In the 45-minute programme, Norian was interviewed by RTM journalist Hashim Abu Hanifah and New Straits Times Group Editor Ahmad Talib. Norian was the director of operations by authorities which led to the surrender of all 27 men of the group holed up in Sauk, near Kuala Kangsar, on July 6.
"Asked how three or four members of the group carrying a grenade launcher could have slipped into the federal capital, Norian said at that stage (pre-dawn of July 2) police did not have the information and had not yet mounted roadblocks.
"This group of three or four people was arrested and the grenade launcher recovered in Sungai Petani."
Malaysians who have been following closely all news reports and government announcements on the Al-Ma’unah arms heists and killings will find problem with the credibility of Norian’s latest revelations because of the contradictions and inconsistencies in the various official accounts.
The following are some of the examples:
"The 28-year-old man was detained in Alor Star after his 14-day remand order expired. State CID chief Asst Comm Abdul Jalal Mohd Yunus confirmed the detention.
"The man, who operates a tom yam restaurant in Taman Bandar Baru here, was tracked down to Kuala Selangor where he was picked up on July 8.
"The next day he led police to his shophouse at 1pm where a 44mm M-203 grenade launcher and 36 (5.56mm) bullets were found hidden in the ceiling of a room.
"He is believed to have left the jungle hideout in Kampung Jenalik, Sauk, before it was cordoned off on July 3 following the arms heist."
The New Sunday Times yesterday identified the person as Subki Omar and stated that the Police "initially" intended to charge Subki under section 8 of the Firearms (Increased Penalty) Act 1971 for possession of a grenade launcher, which carries a maximum 14 years’ jail and not less than six years strokes of the rotan.
As the police had all along claimed that only one M16-203 rocket-launcher had been missing from the Grik arms heists and which was subsequently recovered in Sungei Petani, it is safe to assume that this was the rocket-launcher which was used to shoot grenades at the Carlsberg brewery on July 3 at about 4 a.m. and the Hindu temple at Batu Caves on July 9 at about 2 a.m. except that the facts and events could not tally.
The first question is how this particular rocket launcher could be used to shoot two grenades at the Hindu temple at Batu Caves on July 9 at about 2 a.m. when Subki was already arrested in Kuala Selangor on July 8 and took the police to Sungei Petani the next day to recover the rocket launcher?
The second question is that if the grenades at the Hindu temple at Batu
Caves were not from the grenade launcher, then a similar question arises
as to whether the grenades at the Carlsberg brewery were also from the
rocket-launcher - unless there is another M16-203 rocket-launcher which
is still at large and in circulation in unknown hands!
Thirdly, in his television interview on Wednesday, Mahathir was talking about "a group of between three to five people" which took the M16 rocket launcher from Sauk to Kuala Lumpur "to spark unrest" but in Norian’s interview, it became "a group of three or four people".
Fourthly, Norian in his interview talked about "three targets" for the grenade attack. What is this third target apart from the reported Carlsberg brewery and the Hindu temple at Batu Caves? Mingguan Malaysia’s Awang Sulung in his Sunday column "Bisik-Bisik Mingguan" said that the Guinness brewery at Shah Alam was also shot at. Is this correct?
The giving of information in dribs and drabs is the worst information policy that could be adopted by the Police, especially on an important and sensitive issue like the Al-Ma’unah arms heists and killings.
The Inspector-General of Police should realise that this is the time when the Police must be able to maintain unquestioned public credibility of its accounts about the Al-Ma’unah arms heists and killings, and that contradictions and inconsistencies in different official accounts as to what actually happened, however minor, would only undermine the credibility gap of the government in general and the police in particular.
This is why I seriously urge the Inspector-General of Police to protect police credibility and to stop giving information about the Al-Ma’unah arms heists in dribs and drabs with a lot of "holes" which raises more questions than answers.
What the police should do urgently is to give a full,fair, impartial and authoritative account with regard to the Al-Ma’unah arms heists and killings, to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth and not tailored to serve any vested political interests or the political agenda of any ruling party of the day.