Phone call to be arranged between Malaysia's ex-PM Mahathir and Mongolian's killer Sirul

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Parti Islam SeMalaysia MP Mahfuz Omar is arranging for former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and former commando Sirul Azhar Umar to have a telephone conversation, where hopefully Sirul will divulge information pertaining to the controversial murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

In a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Thursday, Datuk Mahfuz confirmed that a closed-door meeting had taken place between himself, Tun Mahathir and Sirul's family members concerning the latter's fate.

The meeting between Mr Mahfuz, Dr Mahathir, Sirul's mother Piah Samad, 72, and his uncle Mustafa Samad, who is in his 70s, came to light on Wednesday night after images of the four together leaked on social media.

"I admit that last night, I brought Sirul's mother and his uncle for a meeting with Tun Mahathir at Tun's office in Yayasan Perdana, Putrajaya," Mr Mahfuz said.

In the meeting, which started at 3.40pm and ran for about 40 minutes, Ms Piah had poured her heart out to Dr Mahathir, said Mr Mahfuz.

"Tun was very sympathetic in listening to Sirul's mother and hoped that something could be done. Piah was also hopeful that Tun can do something to give renewed hope to Sirul and his family," said Mr Mahfuz.

Mr Mahfuz said that he was planning a second meeting, where he could arrange for Sirul and Dr Mahathir to talk via telephone.

"It is to give room to Sirul to talk with Tun so that Sirul can share with Tun what actually happened. I hope the party who arranged our meeting last night can arrange another," he said.

"I hope that Sirul will be able to tell all that happened to Tun directly. I believe that if offered, Tun would be ready to talk to Sirul himself," said Mr Mahfuz, who explained that Dr Mahathir had many times called for Sirul to come forward with the details to the public.

Sirul once served as Dr Mahathir's bodyguard during the latter's tenure as prime minister.

At a question-and-answer session at a youth conference in Cyberjaya last Saturday, Dr Mahathir said that Sirul should not be hanged as he was acting upon orders and should instead be given the opportunity to state his case.

Sirul and former chief inspector Azilah Hadri were charged with killing Altantuya in 2006.

On Jan 13 this year, the Federal Court upheld the High Court's 2009 death sentence for the murder.