By: B Goode
He has been called the biggest thief in modern history. Via his investment vehicle 1MDB, billions of dollars have gone missing, laundered through a series of shady dealings that have caused international banks to be investigated. The FBI are now suing 1MDB calling it a personal bank used by corrupt officials for their own gains.
He rules over a failed state where government institutions are filled with his lackeys. Wounded and cornered, he is desperate to cling to power. So desperate that he is now evoking racial and religious sentiments to appease to his rural support base.
His wife has single-handedly led to the near extinction of crocodiles due to her love for Birkin bags.
His name is Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia whom Singapore has just signed an MOU for the construction of the Singapore-KL high speed rail (HSR).
No doubt it is just an MOU, but while he is being shunned by the rest of the world, why are we doing business with him?
The reason is because it makes for a very good deal.
A cornered despot like Najib craves for validation. Already his people have celebrated the MOU by calling it a great achievement for their money-pot. Whether you believe it or not, doing business with Singapore, a country seen by many as the epitome of clean governance is great for his reputation.
Whether the project will ever be completed in 2026 is another story. Whether Najib will survive that long is highly doubtful. But it’s like the proverbial saying: strike whilst the iron is hot.
Najib is desperate for a prestige project to lift his sagging image. And we should take account of his desperation to knock together an agreement that will be advantageous to us.