With P Balasubramaniam’s death, his wife and three children are now in a dire financial state, reports Anisah Shukry of Free Malaysia Today. Will you chip in?
20 March 2013, KUALA LUMPUR: The nation reeled in shock last week as private investigator P Balasubramaniam abruptly passed away, just days before declaring he would continue to seek justice for the murdered Altantuya Shaariibuu.
But as the shock wears off and Malaysians move on, his family is left picking up the pieces of a shattered life – a life already strained five years ago, when Balasubramaniam’s declarations regarding the prime minister forced his family to flee the country.
Now, with Balasubramaniam dead, his wife, A Santamil Selvi, and three teenaged children are stranded in Malaysia with diminishing funds and a rapidly dimming future.
Funeral expenses, education fees and mortgages are weighing heavily on the widow’s mind, who is currently homebound in accordance with Hindu tradition.
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“I visited Bala’s wife last night to talk about how her family was coping – she showed me her IOUs, how she is well in debt. She has even resorted to pawning the items she owns,” Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gow Burne told reporters today.
“Unfortunately, despite Bala’s sacrifice for the country, his family is now in serious trouble.”
In a bid to keep the bereaved family afloat, Loh is now initiating a fund-raising campaign and is appealing to the public to donate any money they can spare for the widowed Santamil Selvi and her fatherless children.
“The priority is for Bala’s children to be given the opportunity to finish their education, and to ensure that someone who sacrificed all he had for the nation, would not have his family left in poverty,” said Loh.
Balasubramaniam’s lawyer, Americk Singh Sidhu, said the funds would immediately be used to help Santamil Selvi and her children return to India, where they had been residing for the past five years.
“His children must go back to India as they have been schooling there for five years. It would be too difficult for them to adapt to the school system here, especially after all the trauma they recently went through,” said Americk.
“The funds will also go towards basic requirements such as food, clothes, mortgage, education… Monthly expenditure can easily reach up to RM15,000,” he added.
Urgent monetary woes
The lawyer dismissed rumours that Bala had received RM5 million for retracting his claims that Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor were linked to Altantuya’s murder .
“If Bala had never revealed the truth, then maybe he would have got the RM5 million. But he stuck to his stance that the first statutory declaration was the truth, and the funding stopped,” said Americk.
Americk also clarified that the RM750,000 businessman Deepak Jaikishan had given the family in 2008 had already run out as the family had no other source of income.
“Bala and his wife have not been working for five years. Because they are Malaysian citizens, they were not able to gain employment in India.”
Americk said the donations would be used to solve the family’s urgent monetary woes.
He said he and Loh would also seek a long-term solution to Santamil Selvi and her children’s finances.
“In the meantime, Goh Burne and I shall also update the public on the family’s situation, and how much money we were able to collect,” he said.
When asked what compelled him to start the campaign, Loh said that he had worked closely with Balasubramaniam for the past four years and sympathised with his predicament.
“We were involved with Bala since 2009; we helped him collect evidence for his case, so we understand the situation he was in, being on the run for so long.
“We really sympathise with him and we feel there’s a huge injustice done to him due to his steadfast refusal to bow down to authorities. Society should be rewarding him and his family and I hope what he has done will encourage other people to do the right thing.”
Those interested in donating to Balasubramaniam’s family may bank in their money to Santamil Selvi’s Public Bank account at: 4866 0747 04 or contact either Americk or Loh.