When did Razak meet PI Bala?

A document submitted to the French courts by the police there indicates that the relationship went further than 2004. 

(FMT) – The controversial submarine contract and the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu continue to be an albatross around the neck of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Despite his denials and swearing upon the Quran, the opposition never ceases to exploit the issue while a significant number of Malaysians believe that the prime minister’s hands are stained both with corruption and the blood of the Mongolian national.

And now, the French courts have launched an inquest into the submarine deal.

However, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin pointed out that certain claims don’t add up and also reveals that the relationship between private investigator P Balasubramaniam and Najib’s confidant Abdul Razak Baginda can be traced back as far as 2000.

Razak Baginda was involved in an extra-marital affair with Altantuya, who apparently served as a translator for the submarine deal. The former was charged with abeting her murder but the court later acquitted him.

He was said to have met Balasubramaniam in 2006 when he needed help to end his relationship with the Mongolian woman.

Citing one of the documents submitted to the French courts, Raja Petra in an article published in Malaysia Today today said the two knew each other even prior to that.

In the document, defence firm DCN’s regional director Didier Arnaud stated that he had met Balasubramaniam in 2000 and identified him as one of the members of the Razak Baginda-linked Perimekar company.

“There is something very wrong with this story. But which story is the wrong one? Did Didier lie to the French national police? Or are the others lying instead?” asked Raja Petra.

“On page 4 of document 146, one of the 153 documents submitted to the French court, the French police said: In the chapter entitled ‘Commercial Partners’, Didier Arnaud said, ‘On Aug 1, 2000, we signed a cooperation business contract with Thomsom International Asia defining our respective responsibilities. Whatever one may think about the appropriateness of such an agreement, it seems certain that this must be made for the success of the operation. The Perimekar team has evolved over the past year, and with the eviction of Tan Sri Razali and Pintar group, Suhaidi Sulaiman, Rosli Rahman and Balasubramaniam took charge of Perimekar, also supported by Ismail Noor who had sidelined Jasbir Chahl’.”

However, it could not be ascertained if the “Subramaniam” mentioned by Didier in his statement was the same person as it was a common name.

The ‘right hand man’

Raja Petra also noted that Suaram’s Cynthia Gabriel had revealed Jasbir Singh Chahl’s name on June 16 this year.

During a fund raising dinner for the Scorpene inquest which was initated by Suaram, Gabriel had described Jasbir as the right-hand man of Razak Baginda.

“Jasbir is a central figure in the negotiation and procurement process. He is the first person to be served with a subpoena,” she had said.

Raja Petra said Jasbir was supposed to be the initiator of the submarine idea back in 1999 when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister, Daim Zainuddin the finance minister, and Najib the defence minister.

“However, Jasbir was kicked out of Perimekar not long after that. He then sued Perimekar for a couple of millions and the case was settled out of court. According to the reports, he was paid an undisclosed sum of money to settle this case out of court.

“Now, it was then when Razak Baginda was supposed to have appeared onto the scene, after Jasbir was ousted (the word the French used was ‘sidelined’). And the French national police quoted Didier as saying that the Perimekar team had ‘evolved over the last one year since 1999, which means, Perimekar had ‘changed hands’,” he said.