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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Deepak - the man who knows an awful lot



"I cannot be bought. I'm priceless."

So says Deepak Jaikishan, the man who appears to know a damaging lot about a murder mystery and is threatening to tell some or tell all he knows about it.

But one cannot be sure about his bona fides because the ‘now you see me, now you don't' businessman seems to have a taste for expedient disclosure: he dangles tantalising tidbits as bait, perhaps, for negotiated compromises.

It appeared that one such pact was negotiated last Friday when he abruptly withdrew a court case he had filed on grounds that he had been cheated in a land deal.

NONEHe emerged with RM30 million as the price for the withdrawal. But he says the sum was meager compared to what he could have gained had his interlocutors not reneged on prior commitments.

He had no choice, he said, but to settle for the mere return of the costs he had initially incurred as the price for the withdrawal of his court case.

End of story?

No. It looks like the saga of the ‘Deepak Disclosures' is set to continue.

This ‘DD' saga, after flickering twice, once before the Umno general assembly and the second time after the annual confab, appeared to have guttered out with Friday's news that a cheating case he had filed was settled out of court.

The trial of the case could have opened up a Pandora's box of incriminating details.

Dramatic twists and turns

No sooner had speculation swirled that the businessman equipped with what seems to be lethal inside knowledge of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder was being bought off with the settlement of his land deal, he emerges to say that come New Year's Day he will reveal more of what he knows, with some supposedly incriminating documentary evidence in tow.

This is ominous for personalities within the fire zone. Given what forewent in past phases of this saga, intimations such as Deepak shed, after the withdrawal of his case, is the prelude for dramatic twists and turns.

NONEWitness the episode of the two conflicting statutory declarations by private eye P Balasubramaniam in July 2008.

Deepak said he knows quite a lot about the second SD that reversed the sensational contents of the first. In fact, he is on record as having facilitated the second SD.

Now he says on Jan 1 he will disclose details of his and other facilitators' roles in the reversal of Balasubramaniam's second SD.

There are some 48 hours to go before the ‘DD' saga resumes, a hiatus in which a lot can happen, notwithstanding Deepak's claim that he cannot be bought.

But we know, and he has admitted, that he had helped arrange for Balasubramaniam's provisional silence after the dramatic reversal of the investigator's first SD.

The question, in spite of Deepak's assurances to the contrary, inevitably arises: Will he opt for a Faustian bargain in reverse?

In the literary legend, Faust sold his soul to the Devil as the price of his acquisition of knowledge.

Could not Deepak be enticed into silence about what he knows for the lucre of fulfilled ambition as a real estate magnate that he obviously aspires to be?

Never a dull moment 

Very little is known about Deepak the man. Thus far he appears to be a character from the novels of Graham Greene where the truth of any situation remains hidden and is riddled with ambiguities.

But with people like him haunting the corridors of power, is it any wonder that there is never a dull moment in Malaysian politics.

NONEThe situation is positively hilarious when you have characters like Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, the preternaturally sanguine Umno secretary-general, who yesterday announced that both the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police have cleared all BN candidates for the parliamentary and state assembly seats at the coming polls.

No doubt the member for Pekan has also had his credentials cleared.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last, time that Tengku Mansor has delivered himself of such fatuities.

Next month it will be five years since he unleashed that classic explanation for why people used his name as they please: asked by the royal commission on the Lingam videotape why the lead player in the drama had mentioned his name in connection with what seemed look a scandalous attempt at judge-fixing, Tengku Adnan said he has discovered that people were wont to use his name, even inmates in prison have been known to do so.

Little wonder some pundits concede that while the provenance of the saying - ‘May you live in interesting times' - is assuredly Chinese, its pertinence is decidedly Malaysian.

What with our political stage peopled with the likes of Deepak and Tengku Adnan, our times are not just interesting; they are riveting.


TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them. It is the ideal occupation for a temperament that finds power fascinating and its exercise abhorrent. 

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