Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Zaid Ibrahim: Goodbye Bala



Mar 18, 2013
Three days ago Balasubramaniam Perumal, the former private investigator, died of a heart attack. He was 53. He left behind a wife, three young children and a dog named Altantuya.
I met Bala in London two years ago. I was able to ask him questions that many of us Malaysians wanted to know: Did he know why Altantuya was killed? Who ordered the killing? The presiding High Court Judge Dato’ Mohd Zaki Md Yasin, who said in his judgment that “whatever the motive is, it is a matter of law that the motive, although relevant, has never been the essential to constitute murder,” was correct.  It’s not the mens rea of the two Policemen who pulled the trigger that was in question. The public want to know why the Policemen who did not know Altantuya would kill her in cold blood. Most people would have said that from their life experience, motive was always present when something like murder was committed. Even a schizophrenic killed for a reason, distorted though his mind might be.
I found Bala to be candid and he spoke without any inhibition at all. But he did not tell tales. He confined himself to what came to his knowledge. He did not accuse anyone and maintained only that there had been a cover-up. In this, too, he related only the things he knew first-hand or which were told to him by his clients Abdul Razak Baginda and Altantuya. Not once did he try to speculate or make unwarranted remarks.
Those who have made accusations against Bala—that he was paid to make his first statutory declaration—are not only stupid but malicious. Bala would not dare to make false accusations against the most powerful man in the country just for money. After what happened to Altantuya, Bala knew better. The only reason he did what he did was because he wanted to know the answers to the questions you and I want to know. He wanted justice for Altantuya.
He believed that there had been an obstruction of justice and a criminal conspiracy at the highest levels. He had a conscience and he wanted to tell the world what he knew so that the Police would investigate the matter, and so that we would all know what actually happened.  It is unfortunate that Tan Sri Musa Hassan, the former Inspector-General of Police, was not willing to come forward and tell us what he knew. His plan to give a Press conference in Bangkok was aborted at the last minute, and instead of responding to these serious allegations, the powers-that-be chose to malign Bala and relocate him and his family to India.
I believe Bala was being truthful when he told me that his father always reminded him that truth was better than lies and falsehood. If it was money that Bala wanted, he could have stayed on with his second statutory declaration. Had he kept quiet in Chennai, Deepak and others would have paid the RM5 million promised to him. Instead, he changed course and decided to explain everything behind the second statutory declaration, which led to the payment to him being withheld.
The events leading to the second statutory declaration have been well explained by both Bala and Deepak. No one else has come out to rebut these allegations, and those concerned have chosen just to ignore them. I believe that the reasons recounted by Bala as to why he signed the second statutory declaration are totally accurate.
I hope Bala’s death will spur more Malaysians to be brave and to be prepared to fight for the truth so our country will one day have leaders worthy of our support. I was touched when Bala told me that he would come back to Malaysia to campaign if I were to stand in the General Election. He did come back and he was prepared for hard work to help the Opposition. He even painted his car yellow (the colour of Bersih) to use during the campaign. Sadly, he will not now be around when that historic day comes.
The brave man from Taman Pelangi, Rawang, was not a crooked man. He was not a mercenary who would do anything for money. He had no titles and no wealth, and yet he was prepared to give up everything in search of the truth. What a contrast to the bunch of mercenaries who manage lies and deceptions with great enthusiasm just to keep their leaders in power. They have no morals and no conscience. They are the walking dead.
I am so proud of the lawyers at the Bar Council’s Annual General Meeting yesterday who spontaneously donated close to RM20,000 to Bala’s family. More of us should do the same.
~ zaiduntukrakyat.com

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