Malaysian Private Eye’s Last Case

(Asia Sentinel) – All of the information – the emails, the deposit slip, the purchase agreement for the flat – were sent to Asia Sentinel. 

Tale of murder, bribery, double cross and a plot against Anwar Ibrahim follow private eye to the grave

As if the long-running tale of the grisly 2006 murder of a Mongolian party girl wasn’t already complicated enough, evidence has emerged that a recently deceased private detective who once tied Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the crime, was the focus of an attempt in 2011 to blame opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for the allegations against Najib. 

The plot almost backfired, however, when the private detective, Perumal Balasubramaniam, who died March 15 of a heart attack, set out on a vain months-long attempt to entrap the prime minister into acknowledging he was personally behind the plot. There is no evidence that Najib participated in the plan to discredit Anwar and he may have not even known of it. In any case, Najib wasn’t born yesterday, and he refused to meet Balasubramaniam despite the fact that a number of United Malays National Organization figures including a deputy cabinet minister attempted to intercede on Balasubramaniam’s behalf.

The story began in 2008 when Bala, as he was generally known, published a sworn statement based on his professional relationship with one of Najib’s best friends that Najib had had an affair with the Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was murdered in October 2006 by two of Najib’s bodyguards. Bala was almost immediately pressured to reverse his statement on threats of harm to his family, hustled out of Malaysia and promised RM5 million (US$1.6 million) to keep his mouth shut.

Bala described the 2011 bribe attempt to the Kuala Lumpur-based website Malaysiakini in August 2012, saying it was carried out by Deepak Jaikishan, then a close friend of Rosmah Mansor, the prime minister’s wife. However, Bala’s allegations went largely below the radar. Depak has since become a bitter and public critic of Najib and Rosmah. 

Well before the meeting with Malaysiakini, however, Bala approached Asia Sentinel through his lawyer, Americk Sidhu, and provided detailed evidence of the bribe attempt, along with a request that publication be held off until he gave his approval while he attempted for weeks to arrange a meeting with the prime minister. Approval was never forthcoming. He went to Asia Sentinel, he said, because he wanted to give the evidence to a regional publication that could not be accused of bias against the government, rather than local websites, which were regarded as allies of the opposition.

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