Well, that was awkward.
A way to point out the elephant in the room, the much-anticipated, 15-minute teleconference call between Malaysian media and Altantuya murder suspect Sirul Azhar Umar failed to come into being, resulting in a painfully embarrassing moment for the host, Pas information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar.
The teleconference, which was supposed to take place at 11.30am Monday at PAS headquarters here, was delayed for about 45 minutes when 15 attempts to call the former police commando failed.
Mahfuz said he had sent a text message to Sirul at 10.44am to alert him that he would be calling him for the teleconference via a different number.
â€œHe responded with, â€˜Okay, Datukâ€™,â€ said the Pokok Sena MP, before giving up on trying to reach Sirul.
Mahfuz also showed the text of the prior conversation between him and Sirul to the press as a proof that they were in contact.
â€œI apologise for the inconvenience caused. The line might have been congested,â€ he said.
Earlier, while waiting for the phone call to go through, Mahfuz was put in the hot seat over the real reason he wanted to poke his nose insideÂ the high profile murder case of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
â€œIâ€™m not trying to meddle but this case has received worldwide attention and we would like to know the motive behind the killing.
â€œIn 2009, Sirul had also admitted that he was merely a scapegoat and he was only carrying out his duty after receiving an order,â€ he said.
He was further pressed by several reporters whether the man at the end of the line would be Sirul, as there was no visual.
â€œThatâ€™s up to you to decide, but for me as someone who has been in contact with him, I know for a fact that it will be him,â€ he said.
Mahfuz also denied influencing Sirul into giving a teleconference, saying that Sirul was willing to speak to the media on his own accord.
Sirul, 43, was reported to have been in Australia since November and was detained in Brisbane last month is now being held at the immigration detention centre in Sydney.
He had failed to appear in the Federal Court which sentenced him and former chief inspector Azilah Hadri, 38, to death for the October 2006 murder of Altantuya, then 26.
Mahfuz has been in contact with Sirul since he offered himself as a confidant following allegations by Sirulâ€™s mother that his son was just carrying out his duty as instructed.
Ending the press conference, Mahfuz said he would be flying to Sydney with Sirulâ€™s family members next week and the details would be made known to the press on Friday.-MYNEWSHUB.CC