Khairuddin Abu Hassan, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s proxy, has gone to a few countries to lodge corruption reports against Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Yesterday, he was supposed to have flown to London via New York where he was scheduled to have a meeting with the FBI on Monday. The purpose of this exercise is to get the western countries to take action against Najib regarding the alleged abuse of power or corruption involving 1MDB.
This is the same strategy that Suaram adopted when they lodged a complaint with the French court alleging that Najib was involved in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. The French replied that this was an internal matter for Malaysia, which the French authorities would not get involved in.
What the French will investigate, however, is whether there was any element of corruption in the Scorpene submarine contract and whether, if there was corruption, it involves French companies. Even if there was corruption involved, and if it does not involve French companies but is an entirely Malaysian affair, then France would also not get involved.
This reminds me of the Manuel Noriega case back in the 1980s. Noriega, the military dictator of Panama, was said to be involved in drug trafficking. Panama was being used by Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria as the transit point to smuggle drugs from Colombia into the US.
Escobar, ‘The King of Cocaine’, was the wealthiest criminal in history with an estimated known net-worth of US$50 billion. But Escobar was anti-Communist, and so was Noriega, so the US did not do anything. It was only when Noriega began to do deals with the Communists that the US invaded Panama and arrested him.
So the US did deals with even the biggest drug lords as long as they were enemies of the enemies of the US. Only when they made deals with the enemies of the US did the US whack them good and proper.
Such is the attitude of the US and the western countries. They make deals with Iraq and the Taliban as long as these terrorists are friends of the west. They will even finance these terrorist groups and supply them with weapons as long as the weapons are used against the enemies of the west.
The west does not give a damn whether you are a dictator or corrupt to the core. What you do in your own country is your business. Only when what you do threatens or compromises western interest does the west begin to get concerned. That is the reality of the western attitude, the US included.
Fidel Castro removed the corrupt government of Cuba, which the US was propping up. But Castro was Communist. So Castro, and not the corrupt Cuban government he ousted, became the enemy of the US.
So, even if Najib did abuse his power as alleged, and even if there was corruption regarding 1MDB as alleged, do you think the west and the US really care as long as Najib does not declare that he is pro-China or pro-ISIS and is anti-US?
This is part of the speech that Najib made in the US back in 2002 when he was the Defence Minister and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Prime Minister:
Historically, Malaysia has been a steady, reliable friend of the United States. Our multitude of common interests include trade and investment on a sizeable scale and security cooperation across a range of fronts. An equally important point is the common values our two countries share, including a commitment to democracy, religious tolerance, and equality for all our diverse citizens. In times like these — in a time of war — it is these values that bind nations together.
Malaysian forces regularly conduct joint training with United States counterparts, and the United States routinely enjoys access to Malaysian airfields and ports. Also, Malaysia provides one of the few bases outside the United States for U.S. military jungle-warfare training. U.S. troops are warmly welcomed in Malaysia and enjoy training there.
As you can see, cooperation between our two nations started long before September 11, 2001. But the horrific events of that day galvanized our relationship as never before. Prime Minster Mahathir has been vocal in condemning the attacks, and we have been happy to provide an elevated level of cooperation with the United States on the range of fronts.
Beyond our bilateral cooperation with the United States, Malaysia has been at the forefront of prosecuting terrorists within our region. The capture in December of Philippine terrorists in Malaysia and the subsequent arrests of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists cells in Malaysia and Singapore have underscored the need for regional coordination, which we are actively advocating. Some 62 terrorists and militias with global and regional links have been arrested under our Internal Security Act, and more are currently being hunted down.
So you see, that is what matters to the US. They can tolerate Marcos and Suharto and will help them stay in power as long as they are friends and not enemies of the US. And even if it were true that Najib did do what they allege he did regarding 1MDB, that is extremely small potatoes compared to what the other friends of the US did over the last 30 years or so. If not, the US would have helped Anwar Ibrahim oust Dr Mahathir way back in the 1990s.
So, if you really want the west and the US to help you oust Najib, then you need to convince them that Najib is anti-west and that what he is doing is detrimental to the safety and security of the west and the US. If not, even if Najib did do what you say he did, that, as far as the west and the US are concerned, is an internal matter that does not involve any foreign governments.