KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak on Friday (Dec 20) swore an oath in a historic mosque in Kuala Lumpur to deny an accusation he gave the order to kill Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
The accusation was made by former police commando Azilah Hadri, who was convicted in 2009 of the murder that occurred in 2006, in a recent statutory declaration (SD).
Najib carried out his oath inside Masjid Jamek in Kampung Baru after Friday prayers.
His wife Rosmah Mansor and daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib were by his side while Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was sitting cross-legged nearby with thousands of other congregants, and surrounded by dozens of media personnel.
The solemn oath is rarely uttered by Muslims as it calls for divine retribution on the party who is lying in what is usually a serious familial issue.
This was the second time that Najib has sworn using the sumpah laknat in dealing with the murder of Altantuya.
He swore a similar oath in 2008 at the height of the controversy over her murder, in a mosque in Penang.
"On this holy Friday and in this holy mosque, I hereby swear that I have never ordered any individual to kill the Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu."
"More so, I had not met nor have even known her," he said in front of the mosque's congregation.
"If I lied, may the curse of Allah be on me, and if I am truthful, then those who slandered me and do not repent will be cursed by Allah here and in the hereafter."
Azilah rocked Malaysian politics when he filed a 17-page SD recently claiming that he had killed Ms Altantuya, 28, in 2006 on the "arrest and destroy" orders of Najib, who was then Deputy Prime Minister. Azilah claimed Najib had described the Mongolian as a foreign spy.
The SD was filed by Azilah's lawyer J. Kuldeep Kumar on Oct 17 as part of his application in seeking a Federal Court review of Azilah's murder conviction, which carries a mandatory death sentence.
Najib's Facebook was peppered with hundreds of praises for daring to take the oath, as proof that he isn't guilty.
But others say the court system is the way out for Najib.
Veteran government MP Lim Kit Siang asked on Thursday (Dec 17) in a statement: "Whose sumpah laknat will prevail if Azilah is to take a sumpah laknat in Kajang Prison to reaffirm that his statutory declaration is correct and true?"
Retired military general Mohamed Arshad Raji said Najib should stop "making a mockery of the Islamic religious oath".
Arshad, chief of the National Patriot Association said, as quoted by Malaysiakini: "An allegation of murder is a very serious matter. It is not a trivial matter such as a chicken or a goat has gone missing in a kampung where the matter can be settled with a sumpah (oath)".