This was P.I. Balasubramaniam’s statement, which was recorded by his lawyer, Americk Sidhu, and handed over to the Malaysian authorities. This statement contradicts what Deepak Jaikishan said in his recent press conference. And it took Deepak a long time to rebut what Bala alleged a couple of years ago.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
What happened on the journey from Cheras to Rawang?
ASP Suresh received some calls on his handphone from persons I subsequently discovered were Dinesh and Deepak. They apparently wanted ASP Suresh to arrange a meeting with me. At first ASP Suresh did not agree to any meeting but finally agreed to meet in a Bak Kut Teh shop in Rawang.
Did you go straight to the Bak Kut Teh shop?
No, we first went to the Kuala Garing area to burn some cables and wires. After that we went to the Bak Kut Teh shop where both Deepak and Dinesh were waiting for us.
What did you discuss?
Deepak started talking to me to try and persuade me to withdraw my 1st statutory declaration. He mentioned to me that there was a red car outside my house in Rawang with military intelligence personnel in it, and that they knew my wife and children were at home.
What was your reaction to this piece of information?
I was very concerned about this as my wife had called me on my handphone while I was on my way to Rawang with ASP Suresh to inform me that there was a suspicious looking red car parked opposite our house and that the persons inside appeared to be watching the house. She had been informed of the presence of this car by a neighbor. I told her to lock the gates and to remain inside.
What else did Deepak say?
He talked to me about the virtues of the present government and what a wonderful woman Rosmah was. He told me he was very good friends with Rosmah and how she visited his shop all the time . He then offered to pay me RM4 million to withdraw my 1st Statutory declaration. I was rather stunned but before I could say anything, ASP Suresh signaled me to refuse this offer. I said I was not interested in money and so Deepak said he could also organize the release of 5 Hindraf leaders in Kamunting, he could arrange for 528 Tamil schools to become fully aided schools by the government, that he could get ASP Suresh’s job back and also give him RM4 million as well. He wanted to take me to Putra Jaya and kept persisting but I refused to go.
What happened next?
ASP Suresh asked Deepak to raise the offer to 5 million and he agreed straight away. He also told me he was willing to organize a monthly payment of RM20,000.00 and that if there was anything else I wanted to put this in writing. He then made a few phone calls on his handphone and then told ASP Suresh to drive me to The Curve near One Damansara Utama.
Were you negotiating with Deepak?
No, I did not say anything. ASP Suresh was doing all the talking and negotiating. I was more concerned with the safety of my family as I did not know what was going to happen to them.
What happened next?
Deepak left by himself leaving his brother Dinesh with us. After about half an hour we all left in ASP Suresh’s car. Dinesh was seated in the front passenger seat and I sat in the rear seat. We reached The Curve about half an hour later. The time now was 11.45 pm.
Why were you going to The Curve?
ASP Suresh told me we were going to meet a VIP there. When we reached the curve I suggested we go to the MacDonald’s restaurant but ASP Suresh said that was not a good idea because there were CCTV cameras there. We then proceeded to the Volkswagen showroom where a Malay gentleman arrived with his pregnant wife and Deepak.
Who was this Malay gentleman?
I did not recognize him. I was just told he was a VIP Datuk. I did however recognize his wife.
Did you speak to this Malay Datuk?
Yes, I was introduced to him by Deepak. I was very surprised when I realized who he was.
What did this Malay Datuk talk to you about?
He told me he knew I had a family and asked me whether I loved them. I replied saying of course I loved my family. He then told me I should take good care of them as anything could happen to them. He then told me that if I wanted to avoid any problems with my family I should just follow Deepak’s instructions and everything would be OK. He told me I had to retract the contents of my 1st statutory declaration.This Malay Datuk then left immediately with his wife.
What happened next?
Deepak gave instructions to Dinesh to book a room at the Hilton Hotel KL Sentral. I left with ASP Suresh to my house in Rawang to see my wife and explain to her what was happening. I was concerned for the safety of my family. Deepak had informed me he wanted me to retract my 1st statutory declaration and then to immediately leave the country with my family. I was in a state of shock as to what was happening. I had anticipated that I would be arrested and interrogated after releasing my 1st statutory declaration but I did not anticipate my family would be threatened so I was not prepared for this. As this VIP Datuk was also involved, I realized the situation was very serious.
What time did you arrive home after leaving The Curve?
ASP Suresh and I arrived at my house at about 2.00 am that morning. I explained everything to my wife and told her we had to pack up and leave Malaysia that very day, as I had been instructed. I also told her to get ready to go to the immigration department that morning to apply for my children’s passports and to renew hers. I had arranged with a friend of mine called Christopher to pick them all up at 8.30 am and to drive them to the Pusat Damansara immigration department that morning with all their luggage.
Where did you go next?
ASP Suresh then drove me to the site at which he was burning wires where he organized his workers to do the loading onto some 3 ton trucks. We then left for the Hilton Hotel in KL Sentral.
What time did you arrive at the Hilton Hotel?
We reached the Hotel about 3.00 am. ASP Suresh called Dinesh to find out the room number. Both Deepak and Dinesh met us in the lobby and we all went up to the room. I had been told earlier that my family and I would be sent to Hong Kong. I said I was not happy about being sent to Hong Kong and I would prefer to go to Chennai. Deepak agreed to this. He then tried to arrange a private jet for us. This had to be cancelled when it was realized we would have to go through immigration at the airport. Deepak then suggested we go through Singapore by road, then fly to Bangkok en route to Chennai. I agreed. They continued talking to me about the seriousness of my 1st statutory declaration and that I would have to retract it otherwise they could not guarantee anything if the deal failed. Eventually Dinesh left for home to take a nap.
What else did you discuss while in the hotel room?
Deepak was telling me how he had become very good friends with Rosmah from the time she used to visit his shop in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. He wouldn’t let me sleep as he was talking all the time.
Did anything else happen that morning?
Dinesh returned to the hotel looking refreshed. At about 7.45 am someone delivered a draft copy of the 2nd statutory declaration to the hotel. Deepak went down to the lobby to collect it after receiving a call on his hand phone. Sometime later a Commissioner for Oaths arrived. He was a Malay man. I was asked to sign this statutory declaration in front of this commissioner for oaths and he attested my signature. He asked me if I knew where his office was and I said I did not. He then told Deepak to make sure he showed me where his office was on the way to the Prince Hotel. I was never given an opportunity of reading the contents of this statutory declaration.
Did you know at this stage that you would be taken to the Prince Hotel?
Yes. Deepak had informed me that he would be organizing a press conference at the Prince Hotel later that morning and that he would make sure a lawyer represented me. He told me not to worry and that I would not have to say anything, just leave it up to the lawyer to talk to the press.
What time did you leave the Hilton Hotel?
About 8.45 am. Deepak, Dinesh and I left together. I went with Dinesh in his BMW while Deepak went on his own. Dinesh did not show me where the Commissioner for Oaths office was.
What time did you reach the Prince Hotel?
We arrived at the Prince Hotel at about 9.15 am and drove up the ramp to the car park where we waited for further instructions from Deepak who was apparently downstairs by that time. Eventually Dinesh received a call on his hand phone and he escorted me to a lift which took us down to what looked like a type of lobby on an upper level.
Did you meet anyone in this lobby area?
Yes. Deepak was waiting in this lobby with another Indian man. This Indian man was introduced to me as one Mr. Arunampalam, a lawyer. This lawyer spoke to me and told me to just keep quiet in the press conference arranged for us in the main lobby. He told me not to talk to any of the reporters under any circumstances and that he would do all the talking. Deepak then told Arunampalam to answer not more than 3 questions from the reporters waiting downstairs and handed him a few copies of the 2nd statutory declaration to distribute to the reporters.
What happened next?
At about 10.00 am Mr. Arunampalam and myself took the lift down to the main lobby where we met about 4 or 5 reporters. Mr. Arunampalam talked to them and gave each of them a copy of the 2nd statutory declaration. He told the reporters that I had been forced to sign the 1st statutory declaration under duress and that I now wanted to retract the contents. He would not answer any of the questions the reporters asked him.
Where were Deepak and Dinesh during the press conference?
I think they left the hotel as they did not join us in the press conference.
What happened after the press conference?
Mr. Arunampalam then drove me back to the Hilton hotel in his own car. He dropped me off at the lower lobby and I never saw him again.
Did you at any time engage Mr. Arunampalam as your lawyer to appear in the press conference?
No. I have never met this lawyer before. Deepak was the one who arranged for him to represent me at the press conference. I never told him what to say. All this was arranged by Deepak and not myself.
What did you do once you had been dropped off at the Hilton Hotel?
I went back to the room and knocked on the door. Deepak and ASP Suresh were there. I waited in the room while Deepak was making phone calls to a Ms. Wong who I think was his secretary. She was apparently with my wife and children at the Pusat Damansara immigration centre helping my wife with the passport applications and renewal.
During this period Deepak gave me RM20,000.00 in Hong Kong dollars for my expenditure. He told me he had arranged a tourist van to drive me and my family to Singapore where we were to catch a flight to Bangkok.
What time did you leave the Hilton Hotel?
At about 1.00 pm Deepak received a phone call from Ms. Wong informing him the passports had all been done and so I left the Hilton Hotel in the van with a Malay driver. This van then drove me to the Pusat Damansara immigration centre. The driver was talking to Ms. Wong during the journey and was receiving instructions where to meet my wife and children. When we arrived at the Pusat Damansara immigration centre, I met my wife and children and we loaded all the luggage into the van and proceeded on our journey to Singapore.
What happened when you arrived in Singapore?
The driver stopped at the Malaysian immigration at the causeway and we all had to get out of the van to present our passports at the counter. None of our passports were stamped. We then proceeded across the causeway to Singapore immigration who did stamp our passports. After clearing immigration, we were driven straight to Changi Airport.
What happened at Changi Airport?
I changed some money to get Singapore coins so I could call Deepak to find out about our flight to Bangkok. Deepak told me our tickets were waiting for us at the Swiss Air counter. I proceeded to this ticket counter and collected our tickets. We all caught the evening flight to Bangkok which left Singapore at about 8.00 pm.