PETALING JAYA: Private investigator P Balasubramaniam, a key figure in the Altantuya Shaaribuu murder case, was claimed to have secretly negotiated with a deputy minister to implicate PKR as his secret financial backers.
In a Malaysia-Today post, controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin alleged that Balasubramaniam spoke with Plantation and Commodities Deputy Minister Hamzah Zainuddin to settle the remainder of a RM5 million payment.
In return, Balasubramaniam, better known as PI Bala, was to sign a Statutory Declaration (SD) claiming that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and PKR Subang MP R Sivarasa were “behind him”.
“Bala wanted the balance of the RM5 million that was promised to him and he told Hamzah that this would be the price of his third U-turn.
“Hamzah told Bala…[that] he would need to sign a third SD revealing that Sivarasa and Anwar were behind him and had been supporting him financially all these years.
“Bala would also have to reveal that Suaram had arranged for his trip to Paris and had coached him on what he would say to the French investigators,” Raja Petra wrote.
In July 2008, Balasubramaniam came up with a SD linking Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to Altantuya.
The latter had been murdered in October 2006, with her remains destroyed by C-4 explosives. She was allegedly linked to local political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was close to Najib.
He retracted this SD the very next day in a second SD, and fled the country soon after.
Recently, Balasubramaniam claimed that he was threatened to sign this second SD and was promised RM5 million to do so.
However, Raja Petra said today that Balasubramaniam only received a total of RM700,000 in instalments, after which his payment ended.
‘Playing a double game’
According to the blogger, Sivarasa had raised this matter with Anwar, who then got an unnamed “Chinese tycoon” to support Balasubramaniam financially.
It was at this point that Balasubramaniam allegedly approached Hamzah, and following this discussion, returned to the Chinese tycoon.
“Balasubramaniam then went back to the Chinese tycoon and revealed that Umno was prepared to pay him RM5 million if he, again, did a U-turn,” Raja Petra claimed.
He added that Balasubramaniam tried to persuade the tycoon to “outbid” Hamzah; a ploy that did not work.
“When the Chinese tycoon discovered that Bala was playing a double game, he stopped the payments to Bala and this made him quite desperate,” he said.
Raja Petra also wrote that he contacted Umno and threatened to expose this arrangement between Balasubramaniam and Hamzah. This deal, he added, was supposedly aborted.
The blogger then alleged that Sivarasa assured Balasubramaniam that another financier would be brought along to support the investigator as long as he did a Malaysiakini interview implicating Hamzah.
This episode led Raja Petra to denounce Balasubramaniam as a “gun for hire”.
“This time around, he [Balasubramaniam] has been caught with too many contradictions… It is no longer clear who Bala’s masters are,” he said.