In early May 2011, Bala was contacted by someone called ‘Siva’ who apparently was very close to the powers that be. Siva had been designated the task of finding out from Bala whether he would agree to meet a Minister to discuss SD1, for reasons not ascertained at that stage. Bala agreed to this out of curiosity. Arrangements were first made to meet in Chennai, but the venue was then changed to Bangkok.
Meeting with the Minister
Bala flew in to Bangkok on the 11 May 2011 and waited for the Minister to turn up. Bala’s lawyers also flew into Bangkok to monitor the situation. Unfortunately, the Minister had to cancel the meeting at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. However, he was gracious enough to arrange a wire transfer via Western Union of RM3000 for Bala’s expenses.
Bala’s lawyers then suggested that he fly from Bangkok to Phuket for a break. Arrangements were made for him to stay at a friend’s hotel at no expense. His family later joined him for a well-deserved holiday.
On a balmy tropical evening in late May 2011, whilst relaxing on the deck of a boat anchored in Phi Phi bay, Bala sat watching the sunset over the Andaman Sea, with a tiger beer in hand, discussing matters with his lawyers. He began reflecting on his predicament.
Bala was understandably becoming less and less enchanted with the way his life was going and where it was heading. He missed Malaysia. He had no income and was running out of money.
Bala wants to return and to be left alone
It was during this heart to heart conversation that it was decided Bala would pursue attempts to ‘negotiate’ a safe passage of return with the powers that then were. The offer was to be simple – allow him and his family to slip quietly back into Malaysia and he would not say a word to anyone about anything in exchange for being left alone
Siva, the ‘go-between’, informed Bala a few days later that he had succeeded in re-arranging the meeting with the Minister but this time it was to be held in Singapore instead. This was Bala’s chance to negotiate safe passage back into Malaysia with the Minister envoy.
Bala arrived in Singapore on the 29 May 2011 and met with Hamzah Zainuddin, (photo) the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, at a café along Orchard Road. Siva and his brother-in-law (Ramesh), were with him. They spent two hours chatting, Bala informed the Minister he wanted to return to Malaysia without being harassed.
This brief encounter ended with a promise of a follow up meeting in the very near future to iron out details. Siva was tasked with making the arrangements for this event.
At the end of June 2011, Siva organized Bala’s return to Malaysia. He was flown business class from Chennai to Haadyai via Bangkok and was picked up by Siva at the Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint and driven to Kuala Lumpur to await further instructions.
According to Siva, the plan was to keep Bala in a ‘safe house’ while ‘No. 1 had a chat with him’.
The Duta Vista sojourn
On the 5 July 2011, Bala was escorted to Apartment No. 334 Vista Duta Condominium along Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur by Siva and Ramesh, where he met Hamzah Zainuddin. His instructions were to sit there until he had finished writing out all that had happened to him from the time he was hired to protect Razak Baginda until he released the Singapore tapes.
While this was being discussed, Ramesh received a sms which he showed Bala. Apparently, this message was from the first lady and read “Try and negotiate with B. Must not let him know we are eager to contact him”.
Ramesh then explained to Bala, rather proudly, that he was very close to the ‘first couple’ and that he was the one who had been instrumental in organizing the Perak ‘coup’.
He proudly declared that he was the one who had persuaded three opposition members of the State Assembly to defect. Ramesh elaborated that he had flown them in a helicopter to Pekan where negotiations took place over a few days and finally agreed payments of RM3 million and RM5 million were made for their defections. Because of this, he was in Najib’s good books.
After ten days holed up in Duta Vista, Bala completed his dissertation. Hasnal Redzua Merican, a gentleman and a very good lawyer, was summoned to go through Bala’s transcript. Hasnal was also part of Sirul’s defence team. He confirmed what Bala said was consistent with the statements he had given the police in their investigations into Altantuya’s murder. Hasnal undertook to attend to the transcription of all the notes made for the purposes of having them endorsed by Bala.
The third attempt at bribery
On the 21 July 2011, Bala presented with details of the ‘deal’. The plan was that he would be charged in court for making a false statutory declaration (SD1). He was told he had to plead guilty to the charge and that everything would be organized so that he would be fined RM2000 and sentenced to 7 days jail. Arrangements would however be made for him not to serve this sentence. In exchange for Bala’s cooperation, he was offered compensation of RM3 million.
Bala left on the next flight to Chennai absolutely disgusted with the outcome.
There are now two episodes in which it appears very likely that Rosmah (photo) was involved in attempts to get Bala to recant the accusations he had made in SD1 and to further commit to falsely fingering a number of personalities as having put him up to this.
The first episode was the involvement of ‘Big Mama’ in the Sarawak recording that never happened, and the second the recantation of SD1 by pleading guilty to a charge of falsely making it.
There is a pachydermal presence in the room here. Why was it so important to have Bala retract the allegations in SD1, three years after he had made them? Who would most likely have benefited from this? Certainly not Siva, Ramesh, Deepak or Hamzah Zainuddin. They were merely part of a horde of delegates attending to the protection of the interests of others in exchange for their patronage. There can be no other explanation.