Najib ignores PI Bala’s claims

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has frostily ignored P. Balasubramaniam’s claims that the prime minister’s architect brother was allegedly involved in the private investigator’s disappearance and payoff for his silence in the Altantuya murder case.

The missing private detective has made a series of sensational claims that Najib knew murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu and his brother Nazim and a businessman linked to the prime minister’s wife made him retract a statutory declaration on the case.

“I will not entertain any frivolous statement,” Najib said icily before asking reporters to move on to the next question at the Umno supreme council meeting last night.

The Umno president has previously denied knowing Altantuya, who was killed in October 2006, despite claims by Bala and popularised by fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin. Najib’s close friend, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was acquitted of charges of plotting her murder while two elite policemen are to hang for the offence. They are appealing the sentence.

In an interview with Bala carried in Raja Petra’s Malaysia-Today.net news portal, the private investigator claimed he had met architect Nazim, who is the younger brother of Najib, last year.

Bala claimed the meeting had been arranged by carpet businessman identified as Deepak Jaikishan, whom the investigator claimed was a close associate of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the PM’s wife.

He also alleged that he was offered RM5 million to retract his first statutory declaration and that his family was threatened if he did not do it.

The former special branch policeman further claimed he was forced to sign a second pre-prepared statutory declaration which he claims to have never read and was paid RM750,000 after he disappeared.

So far, no one knows the whereabouts of the private investigator but he claimed he had return three times to Malaysia this year since fleeing in July 2008 after issuing contradictory statutory declarations. Police are seeking him although he claimed to have given them his statement in Bangkok before travelling to India.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has begun investigating Bala’s claims by questioning two opposition leaders yesterday.

One of them was PKR youth chief Mohd Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin who lodged a report against Nazim on Wednesday.

The Pakatan Rakyat have used the Altantuya case in some of their campaigns in the nine by-elections in Malaysia since Election 2008, winning seven in most opposition-held constituencies. The only Barisan Nasional seat they wrested effectively was the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat.

Opposition leaders and Raja Petra have claimed Altantuya was linked to the Scorpene submarine purchase made when Najib was the defence minister. Malaysia has since received the submarines in a deal where Abdul Razak’s consultancy received a hefty commission.

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