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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MACC no-show, as most Malaysians had expected


The press conference on 7th July will still go on. It will be at 11.00am at the Holiday Villa in London. Bala and his lawyers will no doubt not be telling the world what MACC asked him and what he replied. Instead, they will be telling the world what Bala would have told MACC had the session not been aborted.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Actually, this was already anticipated. MACC had initially wanted to record private investigator P. Balasubramaniam’s statement in the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore. That would have been as good as asking Bala to go to Bukit Aman for his statement to be recorded.

Of course, Bala’s lawyers disagreed and insisted that the meeting be held in London, the Holiday Villa to be exact. After a certain period of silence, MACC finally came back and agreed to the Holiday Villa London but insisted that they book the meeting room.

That was no problem. After all, they would be paying for it and as long as it is in the Holiday Villa who cares which room it is.

The reason why MACC wanted to make the room arrangements is because they wanted the entire session to be confidential and covered by Malaysia’s Official Secrets Act. This means Bala would not be allowed to reveal what transpired during his meeting with MACC. And they were also worried that if Bala’s lawyers arranged for the meeting room they may plant bugs to record his session with MACC.

What MACC failed to realise is that you no longer need to plant bugs in the meeting room. You can record whatever transpires from another building across the road or from a parked van outside the building. And you can zero in and pick up exactly what you want without too much interference from other goings-on.

Anyway, up to yesterday, MACC did not contact Holiday Villa about the booking of the meeting room. Bala’s lawyer then wrote to MACC telling them that since they have not made any booking then the booking will be done on their behalf. The lawyer also wrote to Holiday Villa to inform them that the meeting room is being booked on behalf of MACC and that MACC would be paying for it.

That was when MACC decided to announce that the session has been aborted.

MACC wanted to impose Malaysian laws under the Official Secrets Act and Anti-Corruption Act on Bala. But these laws can’t be enforced in the UK and in the UK you just can’t deny a person legal representation or stifle information, as there is a Freedom of Information Act.

What MACC wanted to do was to have a secret or confidential meeting with Bala without the presence of his lawyers and then go back to Malaysia and announce that they have taken Bala’s statement and have found nothing to incriminate Najib or his family in any criminal act. This would work only if no one else knows what Bala told MACC. But if the interview were to be made public or Bala’s lawyers were also in the meeting then this would not work.

MACC wanted three days with Bala -- 5th, 6th and 7th July. But Bala’s lawyers were going to give MACC only two days because on the third day, 7th July, they were going to hold a press conference to inform the world what MACC asked Bala and what Bala replied over those two days.

MACC wanted the interview embargoed and the last thing they need is for Bala and his three lawyers to hold a press conference on the third day and pass documents, evidence and tape recordings to the media.

MACC realised that a trap had been laid and they were walking right into it. They tried to determine the ‘rules of engagement’ but discovered that these rules will only apply in Malaysia and not in the UK.

The safest thing, therefore, would be to call off the session with Bala.

But the press conference on 7th July will still go on. It will be at 11.00am at the Holiday Villa in London. Bala and his lawyers will no doubt not be telling the world what MACC asked him and what he replied. Instead, they will be telling the world what Bala would have told MACC had the session not been aborted.

This is heads I win, tails you lose. Either way Bala and his lawyers are going to have the last word. And there is nothing MACC or the Malaysian government can do about it.

MACC walked into a trap and by withdrawing they walked into an even bigger trap.

In the meantime, just to recap, watch the videos below. These have previously been published and this, plus more, is what Bala will be confirming in the press conference of 7th July 2010.

Watch these videos:

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

courtesy of malaysia-today.net

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