This is for my friend MD Mutalib who passed away so suddenly on 29th of June 2013.
Although he was a Peninsular Malaysian born in Kedah, Mutalib was a true Sabahan who fought for justice for Sabahans and pursued Sabah’s Mother of All Problems 'the illegal I/C'. I dare say here that its because of Mutalib’s years of painstaking efforts Sabah got its Royal Commission of Enquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah.
But I’m also pondering how his sudden demise has raised some strange questions since he was the key witness for the ongoing RCI. A ‘conspiracy theory’ – RCI on illegal immigrants has just lost a credible witness just days before he is about to appear in the witness box. Mutalib’s death has also sparked rumors among those in the know and even on Facebook that he might have been the victim of an assassination plot.
This is no speculation; Mutalib himself had raised the question many times with me in the past when we were discussing of the sudden death of Private Investigator Bala who was involve in the Altantuya Drama. Mutalib wondered if the 'government' could be infecting the 'government critics' with illness … Mutalib even told me, "I don’t want to make any reckless accusations". But Mutalib said he was concerned by something he finds ‘very, very, very strange.’
‘Would it be strange if Malaysia had developed a technology to induce heart failure or stroke, and for no one to know it?’ he asked me. As with many conspiracy theories, there are a few grains of truth that lend such stories plausibility.
But, there’s also some evidences that governments have used poison to target enemies of the state. In 2006, former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko became sick and died from being poisoned by a dose of radioactive polonium-210, and before his death accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of the assassination. Still, government denials of sinister, clandestine assassination plots are to be expected, and did little to discourage conspiracy theorists.
I suppose only time will be able to tell. For now, I bid a final farewell to my friend Mutalib, a true and fearless Sabahan who tried to right the wrongs, but did not live long enough to see through with what he had been fighting for all these years. A champion for Sabahans, an unsung hero, we will be missing him.
My deepest condolence to his family and may Allah bless his soul. He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery