The alleged assassination at KLIA2 of an alleged half-brother of North-Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the subsequent alleged holding of Malaysian citizens ‘hostage’ in Pyongyang have provided Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak with such an apparently heaven-sent opportunity to play the super-pious, super-patriotic super-statesman that we cynics could almost be forgiven for suspecting that the whole thing is nothing but yet another Najib-style con to divert attention from the fact that he’s the head not of a government but a gang of criminals.
After all, the only evidence that we appear to have for the proposition that the assassination victim was in fact Kim Jong-un’s half-sibling Kim Jong-nam comes from the alleged investigation of the crime by the alleged Malaysian police.
A force whose alleged ‘investigations’ into such previous high-profile killings as the murders of the Mongolian ‘model’ Altantuya Shaariibuu and MACC ‘witness’ Teoh Beng Hock, not to mention the countless suspicious deaths of ‘suspects’ in its custody or alleged ‘shoot-outs’ with its members, have turned out to be more like unvestigations.
And this current case has eerie elements in common with the Altantuya one. Firstly that only two junior members of Najib’s bodyguard were convicted of killing Ms. Shaariibuu, and only two apparently junior suspects have at least thus far been arrested in this case, while in both cases more senior suspects and the ultimate masterminds have proven suspiciously difficult if not impossible to apprehend or even identify.
And then there’s the strange coincidence that Ms. Shaariibuu’s body was allegedly blown-up with military-grade explosive C4, and Kim Jong-nam or whoever the victim was in the hit recently carried out at KLIA2 terminal was allegedly killed with a ‘nerve agent’ called VX, which is presumably as strictly restricted to the military as is C4, given that it is reportedly classified by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction.
And, as it appears to me and doubtless a great many other incredulous observers of the Umno/BN regime’s incredible lies and deceptions, an all-too-convenient weapon of mass distraction from widespread and compelling suspicions that Najib Abdul Razak is the ‘Malaysian Official 1’ (MO1) identified by the US Department of Justice in its probe of the massive 1MDB embezzlement and money-laundering scandal.
Such a convenient and timely distraction, in fact, that it is tempting to suspect that it is not a conflict between Pyongyang and Putrajaya as it is portrayed, but a conspiracy between what would far more accurately be called Pongyang and Putridjaya.
‘Pongyang’ because the pariah North-Korean Kim dynasty, or, if you prefer, die nasty, stinks to high heaven in the nostrils of the civilised world in every sense from imprisoning its own people in a gruesome gulag of the body, mind and spirit, to constantly threatening the citizens of South Korea, Japan and beyond with a series of increasingly long-range rockets.
And of course ‘Putridjaya’ because Malaysia’s rotten-to-the-core Umno/BN regime does nothing but enrich its members and cronies at the expense of its citizens with its ceaseless indulgence in criminal rackets.
But whether the recent alleged assassination and subsequent apparent diplomatic spat are truly a case of rocketeers vs racketeers, or pariahs versus putrids, as we’re all evidently expected to accept, or, on the contrary, the two sides are actually acting in collusion, the Umno/BN regime is making as much capital of it as possible.
With the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi doing his bully-boy best to both pose as a strongman in the face of North Korean alleged aggression and to pretend that he ‘definitely’ intends to ‘investigate a North Korea-linked company that is suspected of operating a sanctions-busting arms business in Malaysia,’ of course in concert with an Umno/BN crony, and Najib Abdul Razak doing his fake-sanctimonious best to look like a legitimate national leader.
As evidenced by his triumphant tweets just the other day when he tried by implication to take credit for the UN-arranged permission for two Malaysian employees of its World Food Program to leave North Korea despite the ban on the exit of other Malaysians.
‘Alhamduillah (Thank God). Two of our citizens under WFP, Stella Lim and Nyanaprakash Muniandy, were allowed to leave Pyongyang and have arrived in Beijing,’ he reportedly twittered.
Claiming that he had spoken on the phone with the counsellor of the Malaysian embassy in North Korea, Mohd Nor Azrin, he added that ‘I would like to update that he, his family along with all of the other Malaysians in North Korea are safe, Alhamdulillah.’
And in case he hadn’t already sufficiently convinced his Malaysian audience of his supreme sanctity, he went on to mention that ‘the whole of Malaysia is praying for them,’ and to ‘let us pray for the best,’ and that he ‘has also requested mosques nationwide to conduct prayers for the Malaysians in North Korea.’
What a pity that Najib so completely fails to extend his virtually orgiastic expressions of piety on behalf of Malaysian victims of alleged North Korean injustice to those who have been preyed on by his own, similarly God-forsaken Umno/BN regime, like the families of the aforementioned Altantuya Shaariibuu, Teoh Beng Hock and countless others, including public prosecutor Kevin Morias and, most recently, ‘missing’ Christian pastors Raymond Koh and Joshua Hilmy.
Not to mention Anwar Ibrahim, who still languishes in jail following his dubious conviction on the second of two clearly trumped-up charges of sodomy, or the passengers and crew of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 who ‘disappeared’ in decidedly murky circumstances three years ago.
In short, to return to the headline of this column, the current alleged conflict with North Korea’s Kim nasties is proving such an absolute godsend to Najib in his efforts to make his criminal regime appear respectable that, to slightly paraphrase the great Voltaire’s famous comment on God, if it didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it.