China has always wanted a corrupt leader such as Najib Razak to lead Malaysia for obvious reason. A crook such as ex-premier Najib could easily be bribed, controlled and manipulated. Likewise, neighbouring Singapore also loved Najib, so much so that its founding father Lee Kuan Yew took the trouble to visit Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, at her home in 2009 – a very rare visit request.
However, it’s also true that a corrupt leader, unless he is as brutal as Adolf Hitler or Kim Jong-Un, is typically quite dumb. Unlike Thai’s Thaksin Shinawatra or the Philippines’ Marcos, both Najib and Rosmah – drunk with power and arrogance – had failed to flee the country after their stunning defeat in the May 9th general election, thanks to their over-confidence.
Mahathir Mohamad is the last person both China and Singapore want to see as the prime minister of Malaysia. They would prefer prime-minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim than the 93-year-old Mahathir as the leader. And they can’t wait for Mr. Anwar to take over. Anwar is easier to deal with at the “negotiation table” simply because he isn’t as smart as the old man.
Additionally, at his advanced age, Mahathir has nothing to lose so he can’t be intimidated, blackmailed, threatened and bribed. Adding salt to the injury, the old fox is also a man who talks in riddles. He said there’s nothing to fear from economic superpower China yet he was foaming at the mouth talking about a new form of colonialism during his August visit to China.
PM Mahathir also expressed his belief that fugitive financier Jho Low (full-name: Low Taek Jho) is in China. Speaking at a meeting with the renowned U.S. Council on Foreign Relations in New York, he said – “It is quite tricky for us to accuse China of hiding him, so we are trying to work out some ways or private efforts to get back Jho Low from China.”
Can you see how the premier cleverly accuses China of harbouring Jho Low without actually accusing the superpower? It makes Beijing cracking its head whether to condemn Mahathir or not. As much as Jho Low, Najib’s partner-in-crime, is badly needed for his crime back in Malaysia, Mahathir has refused to ask “a favour” from Beijing for his repatriation.
The price will be exorbitant for the return of Jho Low as he holds the key to tens of billions of ringgit stolen from the national coffers. But every dog has its day. When Mahathir freed 11 ethnic Uighur Muslims who fled to Malaysia after a Thai jailbreak, he offered an unbelievable lame and childish excuse – that they did nothing wrong and had not broken any Malaysian laws.
It that was true, why were they being detained and charged with illegally entering Malaysia after breaking out of the Thai prison last November? Does that mean the Myanmar Rohingya Muslims can pull the same stunt and enter Malaysia illegally and thereafter demand to be sent to other countries of their choices? Should not the Uighur Muslims at least sent back to Thailand to face trials?
Under previous Najib regime, Malaysia was under great pressure from China to hand them over to China and not to Thailand. Beijing has accused the 11 Uighur Muslims, part of a group of more than 200 Uighurs detained in Thailand in 2014, as separatist extremists among the Uighur minority of plotting attacks on China’s Han majority in Xinjiang and other parts of China.
Not only Mahathir government dropped charges against the Uighurs on humanitarian grounds, the supposedly extremists were not deported to Thailand but instead sent to Turkey – their preferred destination. Obviously, it was a slap in the face of China because they are all Chinese nationals, not Turkish. Of course, China was furiously mad.
China – which had asked for their extradition – said last week it “resolutely” opposed Malaysia’s decision to release the 11 Uighurs and send them to Turkey, disregarding its request to hand them to Beijing. Back in February, under Najib regime, Malaysia said it was considering China’s request to extradite the 11 men. But Mahathir clearly refused to grant Beijing its satisfaction.
It was only partially true that the 11 Uighurs Muslims, desperately needed by Beijing, were freed under humanitarian ground. The release was deliberately carried out because Mahathir wanted to send a message. Since China refused to extradite Jho Low, Malaysia can on the same note refuse to extradite 11 Uighurs too.
By allowing the Uighur Muslims to travel to Turkey, the defiant Mahathir hopes to kill many birds with a stone. Besides protecting fellow Muslims in the Islam world, the prime minister is now seen as the beacon of human rights in the eyes of the West who refuses to be intimidated by a superpower. But the secret message to China is this – protecting fugitive Jho Low comes with a price.
Source : Finance Twitter