Tuesday, September 4, 2007

840-Million-Ringgit Rumour?

Many believe Malaysia Today thrives on rumours. Actually we don’t. Malaysia Today depends on Deep Throats and we trust only reliable Deep Throats. If we were to publish every unquantifiable report which the government would classify as rumours then there would be much more which Malaysia Today reports. For example, while we all know that Abdullah handed RM600 million to 191 Umno Divisions last year, and this is based on letters and Minutes of Meetings so this is no rumour, there is this story that Singapore gave Khairy Jamaluddin RM840 million which was handed to the Governor of Melaka so that he could buy off all the Cabinet Ministers and Members of the Umno Supreme Council.

Now, there are no documents to prove this other than the testimony of one high level Umno official who obtained this information from an operative of a foreign intelligence agency who followed the money trail from Singapore to Australia and which finally ended in Malaysia. The story related by this particular high level Umno official is as follows:

Tun Dr Mahathir had announced his resignation during the mid-2002 Umno General Assembly. Of course no one noticed the then Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi breaking out into a smile because most, if not all, were focused on Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz rushing to the podium screaming and breaking her high heel shoes in the process. Abdullah rapidly regained his composure and did what was expected of him -- demonstrate shock -- while quickly taking charge of the highly emotional situation. Mahathir was ushered into the backroom, and after a short lapse which left the 2,500 or so delegates in the hall in an utter state of confusion, Abdullah re-emerged to announce that the Umno Supreme Council had successfully persuaded Mahathir to delay his resignation until the following year.

Not long after that Mahathir went on leave for two months and this created concern that the two months break would enable him to reflect on his mistake of suddenly resigning and he might return home from his leave to announce he had changed his mind about resigning. To pre-empt the possibility that Mahathir may retract his resignation, the Umno Supreme Council and Cabinet Members needed to be bought off. But Abdullah did not have the money yet at that time to fund this. So Khairy was sent to Singapore to negotiate with the powers-that-be there to advance them the RM840 million that would be required to fund the operation. In return, Malaysia would help Singapore out of its predicament of shortage of land. Firstly, Malaysia would sell Singapore the sand it needs for the land reclamation exercise that will expand Singapore to two and a half times its present land area. Secondly, Singapore would annex part of Johor, though not directly like Province Wellesley was annexed to Penang, but indirectly by creating the South Johor Economic Region which in reality would be the North Singapore Economic Region; now of course called the Iskandar Development Region.

Armed with this RM840 million, says the high level Umno guy who claims he obtained the information from the foreign intelligence agency operative, the Cabinet Members and Umno Supreme Council Members were handsomely rewarded. The plan was, in the event Mahathir changes his mind about resigning, then a 2 September 1998 Anwar Ibrahim ouster would be executed. It seems, according to this same source, Daim Zainuddin himself was tasked with the job of delivering the message to Mahathir that he changes his mind at his own peril. At that point of time Mahathir realised that a very clever coup had been launched and it is clever in the sense that it is being made to look like it was Mahathir who bailed out and not that he is being pushed out.

Now do we understand why Mahathir is bitterly opposed to the sale of sand to Singapore, the IDR, and many more issues all related to Singapore? Mahathir realised too late that Singapore financed his exit and as repayment to Singapore Abdullah now has to do the bidding of this Island State.

As I said though, Malaysia Today can prove that Abdullah used RM600 million of the taxpayers’ money to bribe the 191 Umno Divisions to block Mahathir in the Umno General Assembly last year. The RM840 million from Singapore to buy off the Cabinet Members and Umno Supreme Council Members, however, is based on hearsay from a high level Umno official who in turn obtained this piece of information from a foreign intelligence agency operative. In the absence of tangible evidence, Malaysia Today would have no choice but to treat this story as just one more rumour amongst thousands of other rumours that Malaysia in inundated with. And in spite of the fact that in the end 90% of rumours are invariably proven as fact, we would like to retain the classification of this story as rumour until such a time it is proven otherwise.

Our Deep Throat assures me that this is no mere speculation or rumour and that he trusts this foreign intelligence agency operative friend of his whom he has known for decades. He further explains that they followed the money trail because at the time when it first surfaced in Australia the West was suffering from ‘911 Fever’ and were on the lookout for illegal funds being channelled to Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups. Their first suspicion was that this was one such Islamic terrorist funding but when they followed the trail to Malaysia they discovered that the money went to Umno rather than Al Qaeda or other similar Islamic terrorist groups.

Chances are this story will eventually be filed in the 10% rumour-confirmed-rumour section. But then it may just be that in time this will be transferred to the 90% rumour-proven-fact category. I suppose time will tell. Anyway, it makes one wonder since Mahathir is up in arms about the Singapore issue and he suffered three heart attacks over the last one year because of this stress could it be that the Grand Old Man of Malaysian politics knows something the rest of us do not?


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