Water cannons in Cambridge

Sabri Zain's Cambridge Diaries


Hidden Agendas
December 7th, 1999


Desperately running out of scapegoats to blame for its dismal performance in the country's tenth General Elections, the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) this week launched yet another attack on its favourite bogeyman - the ubiquitous evil foreigner out to re-colonise Malaysia. Former UMNO Women's Wing leader Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz this week accused the United States of harbouring a "hidden agenda" when the US State Department spokesman James Rubin congratulated the Opposition for its performance in the General Elections. Obviously, more than doubling the number of seats they have in Parliament and the State Assemblies and capturing a State Government from right under UMNO's nose did not, in her opinion, warrant such dubious accolades.

Her vitriol towards the Opposition is quite understandable, especially towards Datin Seri Wan Azizah's National Justice Party which was started from zero last April and now already has five seats. After all, it was Wan Azizah's husband who accused Rafidah of using her political influence to siphon off millions of ringgit worth of shares to her son-in-law's business. And that sort of thing can get you into serious trouble these days - one poor chap named Anwar Ibrahim was accused of using his influence and he got a six-year prison term. And there wasn't even any money involved.

But what really got the Mother-in-Law Of The Year's knickers in a twist was the US' apparent refusal to "acknowledge" the government's victory in the polls. "The US action shows it has ulterior motives," Rafidah seethed, apparently miffed that the US did not regard UMNO's losing over twenty parliamentary seats, seventy State seats and a whole state as a "resounding" victory for UMNO.

"We have to be very cautious and ensure that we do not fall into the hands of foreigners . we must continue to suspect that foreigners have an interest in the country," she warned. Revealing words coming from the Minister of International Trade and Industry, who is paid taxpayers' money to help ensure there is a good, steady flow of foreign investment into our country and foreign investors feel they are welcome to do business here. And they wonder why it is only international loan sharks like Soros who like investing here.

"The country must not be pawned," she declared. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of our tottering banks and mega companies that is in hock up to their eyeballs to the evil foreigners.

Rafidah urged the people to reject leaders who solicited the help of foreign powers. "They are traitors and have sold the country for self-gain".

And talking about selling the country, the recently-concluded Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition successfully netted a total of RM 300 million worth of contracts, mostly involving the government and companies from a lot of these foreign powers who are out to re-colonise us.

Gleefully witnessed by no less than the scourge of the foreign barbarian - Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad - our former colonial masters, in the form of British Aerospace, sold parts for 54 aircraft worth RM15.4 million to SME Aerospace. Another local company - PSC Defence Technology Sdn Bhd - is working with those same foreign devils to manufacture a product most sorely needed by a rapidly-developing-but-caring country such as ours - 105-mm artillery guns. No doubt, those very same guns may probably be trained on Parliament the day the re-colonisation starts in earnest.

Squadrons of US-built F18 hornets zoomed across the sky above this orgy of high-tech weaponry and mass carnage as thousands of US, British, Russian and other foreign airmen, naval officers, army advisors and goodness knows how many CIA agents wandered with impunity around Langkawi in their Bermudas, sipping Martinis.

And docked in the harbour was none other than the US Navy Cruiser USS Vincennes - the same vessel that, in 1988, 'accidentally' shot down Iran Air Flight 655 with two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 290 civilians aboard. A small fact which inexplicably eluded the keen journalistic noses of the hordes of intrepid reporters from the local media that swarmed the show.

But then, they probably thought there was no need to be rude by reminding the Yanks about it - the foreign devils were, after all, our government's honoured guests. And when there are rich pickings to be made 'processing' defence and high-tech contracts worth millions, there are no hidden agendas - even for the evil foreigner.

INDEX