PETALING JAYA, Jan 6 – Despite doubts, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli says he will back Deepak Jaikishan to expose the truth in controversial projects, in the public’s interest.
The well-connected carpet dealer is back in the spotlight over a lucrative land deal that involved Wanita Umno chief Senator Datuk Raja Ropiaah Abdullah’s firm, the armed forces pension fund for a military project—all of which had gone sour.
“Most importantly, this is not about political mileage, this is public interest,” Rafizi told The Malaysian Insider in a recent interview.
“Our interest is just one.
“We don’t want the RM160 million from the army’s pension fund used for this,” the PKR strategy chief said, referring to the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) land deal.
The under-pressure Deepak had called for politicians to help him in his moment of need, which he described as akin to facing “a thunderstorm and 350 km/h typhoon”.
The controversial businessman had earlier criticised Rafizi for revealing bank transaction records between him and two jewellery suppliers amounting to US$4 million (RM12.15 million), accusing the PKR strategy director of using him for political mileage.
Deepak has denied the documents were his. He also denied meeting Rafizi to hand over the papers as alleged.
Rafizi maintains that it was Deepak who handed the documents in question to a PKR leader, which eventually arrived in his hands.
He said PKR was initially reluctant to help when Deepak first approached them, fearing a backlash if the party were accused of conspiring to entrap its political foes.
“He wanted us to champion his cause but we didn’t want to,” Rafizi said.
According to Rafizi, PKR only decided to stand by Deepak after government investment fund LTAT was found to be implicated in Deepak’s accusations.
“It was tricky for us. If there were photos of (PKR leaders) sitting together with Deepak, then people would say that we were planning a conspiracy.
“Now that he has told to the world that we have nothing to do with it, that’s fine,” Rafizi added.
Rafizi said he has informed Deepak through a third party that PKR is willing to sit down with the businessman and hear what he has to say.
He also said Deepak had met party advisor, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim once, when the businessman pleaded through a mutual friend for legal assistance.
Deepak had told reporters he met Anwar the night before his court suit against Raja Ropiaah for allegedly cheating him in the Bukit Raja land sale.
He was subsequently represented by PKR lawyers R Sivarasa and N Surendran in the case, before he decided to throw the case without consulting his counsel, said Rafizi.
Deepak’s lawsuit against Putrajaya for an alleged breach of agreement over land in Bukit Raja, Selangor was withdrawn on the same day LTAT-owned Boustead Holdings Bhd reported it bought an 80 per cent stake in Astacanggih for RM30 million.
Raja Ropiaah has mainatained her silence about her company Awan Megah Sdn Bhd’s failure to build the RM100 million National Defence Education Centre.