PETALING JAYA: Chaos ensued at a press conference here when the wife of the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam contradicted herself by first apologising to the Prime Minister and his family for accusing them of her husband's murder and then retracting her apology.
During a press conference at Pertubuhan Minda dan Social Prihatin Malaysia (Minda), A. Santamil Selvi first read out an apology to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his family for the allegations and difficulties she and her family had caused to them.
When asked for an explanation on why she had "all of a sudden" apologised, Santamil just said she had made the allegations out of anger.
"I was upset over his death and so upon hearing everyone blaming Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (Najib's wife), I too was influenced that she murdered my husband.
"Which is why I want to retract what I said and I want to apologise for causing the family any sort of difficulty," she said.
Balasubramaniam was the PI during the murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantunya Shaariibuu.
Balasubramaniam, who passed away in 2013 soon after returning from exile in India, had made two statutory declarations (SD) over Najib's alleged involvement in Altantuya's murder. The second SD was made to rectract the first.
Asked whether she was retracting her suit against the Prime Minister and his wife, Santamil hesitated to answer.
"I am just here to get funding for my children's education, those who promised me the money and a lot of other things, they did not keep their word so I am here today to ask this NGO for money.
"PKR promised me financial aid but when I went to them I was asked to see if Barisan Nasional can give me a better offer, I am left with no choice so I am here.
"I struggled for three years since my husband passed away in 2013 and now I agree that he had died due to a heart problem and not murdered," she said.
In 2013, Santamil and her three children filed a suit against the Prime Minister for their exile from 2008 until 2013.
The suit that also named Najib's brothers, Datuk Ahmad Johari Abdul Razak and Datuk Mohd Nazim Abdul Razak, senior lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham and his son Sunil Abraham, commissioner of oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat and lawyer M. Arunapalam as respondents.
When asked again if she was retracting the suit, Santamil said no, adding "whatever Bala said was true I am only taking back what I had said. I blamed Rosmah for my husband's death and now I am taking that back".
Asked if she still believed that Najib and former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda were involved in the murder, Santamil nodded.
Pressed further for an explanation on why she needed to apologise to the Prime Minister, Santamil said it was to get funding for her children's education. Santamil then became anxious and began muttering under her breath.
A heated conversation took place between Santamil and Minda president Datuk Ramesh Rao when she blurted in Tamil, "This is not how it was supposed to go!"
Shortly after Santamil got up and shouted at reporters saying that she was merely there to get funds for her children's education and had nothing to do with the Najib or Rosmah.
Santamil then stormed out of the room.
Ramesh Rao explained that the NGO only wanted to help the family who was an acquaintance for over 25 years. He was himself unable to explain why Santamil had gone to the extent of apologising to Rosmah.
Asked why Santamil needed to apologise to get funds from the NGO, Ramesh Rao shot back saying "you don't get it, you don't get it."
When a foreign reporter interfered, asking for further explanations, Ramesh Rao shouted him blurting out "you white man, why don't you understand."
The press conference ended there as Ramesh Rao walked out of the room.