By Hazlan Zakaria & Salhan K Ahmad
EXCLUSIVE Despite being able to visit Malaysia periodically since fleeing the country four years ago, private investigator P Balasubramaniam still fears for his life.
“I can come back, but come back (for visits) only. I am not safe here… Here in Malaysia, I am not safe.
“So many things can happen, accidents can happen…,” the former police officer told
Malaysiakini in an interview last month.
While Balasubramaniam did not name the people he feared, he said they are those in power who could commit abuses with impunity.
“They can do so because the power is with them. They can do whatever they want and we can’t fight (them).”
However, he is glad that his wife and three children are now safe in India. “My family is okay. They are outside (the country).” Asked why he had come back to Kuala Lumpur and gave an interview to Malaysiakini despite his fears, he said he wanted to set things right after his earlier misadventures.
“I just want to tell Malaysians that because the country’s 13th general election is near, we have to change (the government).”
He stressed that his intention was to tell the truth as he felt ashamed by his second statutory declaration (SD) – made scarcely 24 hours after his first in which he claimed his earlier sworn statement was made under duress.
“I have been wanting to tell the truth, but I kept quiet (until now) because I wanted to save my family.
“Once my family is safe, they can do anything to me. Let them. My family is more important,” Balasubramaniam said.
Money was secondary
He explained that while any normal person, himself included, would be tempted by the RM5 million offered to him to sign the second SD, he explained that monetary considerations were not what influenced him to do what he did.
“The thing is not money, the thing is the fear they put (into me).”
Balasubramaniam claimed that businessman Deepak Jaikishan (right) and a police officer called Suresh strong-armed him into signing the second SD on July 2, 2008 by threatening his family.
He recalled that when he was confronted by Deepak and Suresh, who asked him to renounce the first SD which he revealed at a press conference that day, he received a call from his wife about two men in a car stationed in front of their Rawang home.
According to Balasubramaniam, Deepak then told him that the men were military intelligence officers and that they would leave the house as soon as the private investigator did what they wanted.
The first SD linked then deputy prime minister Najib Abdul Razak to slain Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Later that day, when Balasubramaniam was taken to meet a ‘datuk’, who the private eye claimed was Najib’s younger brother Nazim, that person had also asked him to do as Deepak demanded.
It was this implied threat against his family that Balasubramaniam said drove him to sign the second SD and flee the country.
Now, he said, he was determined to come clean to redeem himself in the eyes of the Malaysian public.
Attempt to return money
Balasubramaniam also stressed that with the second attempt to bribe him to slander Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim prior to the Sarawak state election last year, he did not take the RM100,000 and the posh condominium offered to him.
He explained that the sale-and-purchase agreement for the luxury condo in Berjaya Times Square – estimated to be worth RM500,000 – which was made in his wife’s name, remained unsigned and is kept by his Malaysian lawyer, Americk Sidhu.
The documents even came with an access key card for the condo, which is on the 19th floor of one of two towers in the complex, located in the Bukit Bintang area of the federal capital.
Meanwhile, the RM100,000 banked into his wife’s account by those who tried to bribe him had been transferred to his lawyer’s client account with the instruction to return it to Deepak, a businessman who runs a carpet business and a close friend of Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.
Malaysiakini has sighted the communications by Balasubramaniam’s lawyer, who contacted Deepak to return the money and condo documents, but Americk said he has yet to receive a response.
When contacted by Malaysiakini, Deepak declined to comment on the phone but said he could be calling a press conference.