Sunday, November 22, 2009

It Wasn't Fish Head Curry, It Was Bah Kut Teh, la

So, on the evening of 3rd July 2008 Bala did not go out for fish head curry with ASP Tonny after all. Well, I’m glad that’s been cleared up for us all; not to mention all the other details and missing pieces of the Bala saga that unfolded following his first statutory declaration.

So it’s been cleared up for us now that ASP Tonny wanted to actually get together with Bala at an ikan bakar joint, and this too did not materialise. Bala ended up with one ASP Suresh character and they were having bah kut teh when things began to really happen and Bala’s life takes a dramatic turn as his path crosses with some of the other characters. Well, I’m sure you must have read the transcript of Bala’s interview since he resurfaced again.

I’m glad the confusion about fish head curry, ikan bakar, and bah kut teh has now been cleared up. I suppose it’s understandable how we might have thought it was fish head curry as that was his lawyer’s understanding that Bala was meeting ASP Tonny when Bala left the lawyer's office. This was just before Bala ended-up in a deeper political web than he could have ever imagined, and before he was plunged into an abyss.

And I tell you I believe him when he says it was bah kut teh that he had that evening and not ikan bakar or fish head curry. And you know something else? I also believe his account of what transpired the hours, days, weeks, and subsequent months. Is it possible that there may be some details in his account that are not absolutely accurate as he recounted them in his recent interview?

Of course in recounting everything about one’s life over the past several months, you should be understandably forgiven if you, for example, could not exactly remember what time it was when such-and-such a person called you or met you in the lobby of a hotel or some such thing. And given Bala’s account, we’re of course free to draw our own conclusions.

For me, while I have several reasons to think he’s recounting events and incidents that actually did happen, the main reason why I find him believable is because he has spelled out so many specific encounters about people his path crossed with, places, and meetings he had with individuals that if any major aspect of his account was untrue, he would be in an even much deeper mess. And I’m inclined to think he – and his lawyer - understands this very well. After all, it would not take much for any investigation to verify flights on which he traveled the hotels he stayed in, and such. And Bala being a PI knows that better than anyone, so he can ill afford his story to be a fabrication.

And given the deafening silence from the other relevant parties in this saga, well, this just speaks volumes for me. But this latter point notwithstanding, what we might also consider is that if Bala’s first SD was untrue, he would have been especially concerned for his and his family’s safety after having made that first SD and sought to go underground immediately. Instead, he did not!

On the contrary, he only disappeared after the second SD, after supposedly recanting what he said in the first SD. If he had actually disappeared and left the country on his own will – and not been forced or intimidated to do so – he would have done so after the first SD. The fact that he disappears only after supposedly willingly and freely making the second SD – one that was favourable to the political establishment – and then disappears, does not make any sense.

Essentially, the mainstream media would expect me to believe that Bala stuck around after making damning claims in the first SD, when he might have most vulnerable to intense scrutiny from the establishment. And further, he stuck around to retract his first SD and, after having removed the cloud over some high profile politician and his inner circle, then felt like his life and the lives of his family members would be in grave danger? In fact, I would have thought if the second SD was true, rather than going underground, Bala's supposed new lawyer who was with him at the news conference for the second SD would have been glowing and beaming - along with Bala - that perhaps he'd be rewarded with a Datukship!

But instead, Bala goes missing after the second SD?

For me, all this is very sound reasoning indeed to suggest that, as the saying goes, where there’s smoke…there’s fire.

Well, guess what? I’m feeling the urge for some bah kut teh myself, so I’m off.

G. Krishnan