BN’s campaign was shot down to tatters when Uztaz Ramlang Porigi testified that he had been ordered to witness the swearing and it was not carried out in the proper manner. I hope he would be given adequate protection and that displinary action would not be taken against him for speaking out the truth.
Barisan Nasional, or more accurately Umno’s campaign, for Permatang Pauh looks set to be in tatters after the drama surrounding Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s oath took a turn for the worse.
Round-the-clock ceramahs and screenings of Saiful taking his oath, alleging that PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim had sodomised him came undone early this morning.
So too is their constant haranguing of Anwar to make similar oath in a mosque or before Islamic scholars.
Just a day before polling on Tuesday, one of the central figures in the swearing case has stepped forward to reveal his doubts over the swearing on Aug 15.
Making his debut at the Bandar Perda Mosque and then two ceramahs at Kg Belah Dua and Padang Ibu last night, imam Ramlang Porigi (photo) stunned everyone when he revealed that he “had been instructed” to witness Saiful’s swearing show.
“My task was only to hear the oath and I had no part in the drafting of the oath which Saiful made. It is also unimportant for me so specify who.”
“I also wish to deny that I received any money to witness the swearing. I was only acting on instructions,” said Ramlang in a hastily arranged press conference by PKR at 12.30am this morning.
Also facing the media for the first time after the incident at the Federal Territory Mosque, Ramlang said that Saiful made two mistakes that day.
“During the swearing, Saiful mis-pronounced one of the Islamic words because he had it written down in Malay instead of Arabic.
Ramlang also revealed a Freudian slip by Saiful.
“Saiful also made a mistake on when Anwar Ibrahim had allegedly inserted his penis into his rectum.
“Instead of June 26, Saiful said he was sodomised on Aug 26 before correcting himself,” said Ramlang at PKR headquarters, Yayasan Aman in Permatang Pauh.
A fake Umno member
The Sabah-born imam also revealed that he is an Umno member, registered in Permatang Pauh in 2003.
But when asked if he was worried about the status of his membership in Umno, he said he was not.
“I only joined Umno because of a friend. And since I don’t hold any positions in the party, I’ve nothing to be afraid of.
“I’m not active even and I can be said to be a fake member,” Ramlang added (photo: right).
However, Ramlang provided no further details on who instructed him to witness the swearing ceremony except to say that the order came from his superiors.
On what encouraged him to come forward now, Ramlang said that the criticism and pressure he has faced after the event was overwhelming.
He said that he also wanted to clear the air on his position in the FT Mosque.
“Many people would call or even text me on SMS (short messaging system) to scold me and accuse me of not being a legitimate imam,” he explained.
“Although, I’m not the Imam Besar, I’m a real imam,” said Ramlang.
But he clarified reports that said he was an Islamic scholar.
“I also want to make known that I am not an ulama nor the Imam Besar as what some reports have said.”
But the FT Mosque imam said that he was not paid any money nor benefit from coming out now.
“I only want to clear my name and conscience,” he added.
Journalists were unable to grill Ramlang for more answers as PKR wrapped up the press conference after just 15 minutes, stating that the imam was tired and needed to rest.
Under heavy protection
The 29-year-old is a registered voter in Permatang Pauh and he said that he will try to do his obligation on polling day.
On whether he thought that the timing of the swearing was a political conspiracy, Ramlang said: “For me it is, as it was done on the eve of nomination day.”
On why he chose to use the PKR platform to clear the air, he said that the party was the only one which offered to back him.
“When the attacks began, no-one defended me. But I’m thankful that PKR has invited me to state my case.”
On whether he feared for his and his family’s safety, Ramlang said that as long as it was the truth, he did not fear anything.
He also said that he remained an imam at the KL Mosque as of now, adding that he was however not sure if he would be sacked after making his stand today.
He also said that he was not representing any political party by making his revelations.
Ramlang started appearing in PKR ceramahs today, revealing his role and his view on Saiful’s swearing.
He was under heavy protection due to obvious fears over his safety now.
PKR leaders said that they first came into contact with Ramlang only yesterday and were doing everything possible to protect the ustaz.
Immediately after the press conference, which last for about 15 minutes, Ramlang was whisked away by PKR leaders to an unknown location.
Also present at the press conference was PKR vice presidents Azmin Ali and R Sivarasa as well as a host of other local leaders. PKR information chief Tian Chua was also present.
Anwar was shocked
Earlier in the day, Anwar briefly mentioned about Ramlang in his ceremah at Padang Ibu in Penanti.
“He came to see me here in Permatang Pauh and told me who he was. He said he was a witness at Saiful’s swearing ceremony
“I was surprised and asked him what he wanted, to which he said he had to tell the truth.”
Anwar said that Ramlang told him that Saiful’s swearing was not done accordingly.