There is a natural hunger to
know the truth. This makes keeping secrets difficult. Criminals
must be especially vigilant to prevent their crimes from becoming
widely known. In an effort to prevent detection and disaffection,
a number of standard subterfuges are used. A popular method is
to conceal the truth by cleverly camouflaging it in the clothing
of a lie. This method is a blatant attempt to trick the innocent
A secret, in this age of the
internet, has a short lifespan. This fact does not act as a deterrent
to those whose greed obscures any appreciation of present realities.
Today misguided government policies have put everyone into the
position of the spy, and reports are promptly put forth for all
to see. A crook finds more tacks in the carpet now-a-days.
Such vigilance does not prevent
routine and regular attempts to find new wrinkles. The entrepreneurial
spirit is constantly probing for new technological weaknesses.
There is a new honest man born every day, innocent of the world's
wiles, bravely stepping forth into the snake pit of international
business. The snakes are waiting.
Governments have secrets to keep,
and other governments are interested in those secrets as a means
of self-protection. There are governments whose malicious ministers
parade as honest, truthful men. They feel safe behind the Official
Secrets Act, subjugation of the media, and the intimidation and
arrest of those bold enough to publicise.
In the days of the Spanish Main
there were ships outfitted as innocent merchantmen, flying the
flags of a friendly and neutral country. Other merchantmen, spying
the flag at a distance, allowed these vipers to approach without
The pirate ships flew false colors
from the mainmast in order to gain confidence that allowed for
a successful deception. Once the range closed, the false flag
was lowered, and the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger were
hoisted. The gunports were opened to reveal hidden cannon.
A few shots across the bow were
usually sufficient to bring the victim about for a final approach
and boarding. The captured vessel and crew were quickly despoiled,
and once the more valuable cargo was transferred the unsuspecting
ship was usually burned. The crew often disappeared with the burning
hulk into the depths of deep sea silence.
Some governments today fly false
colors. Malaysia is one of them. The entire structure of the party-in-power
is filled end-to-end with pirates. There is not a party member
holding a position above that of village head who can stand close
investigation. This is a strange thing to find in the new millenium,
and certainly there will be loud protestations that this is false
news. In Malaysia those who tell secrets are put into prison,
on the theory that bad news ripens into something more palatable.
It seldom does.
The party-in-power does not wish
the world to know of the treatment of prisoners. The longest trial
in Malaysian history is the prosecution of a woman who told these
secrets. She is charged with false news. A man who reported the
misdeeds of party ministers publicly has been prosecuted interminably,
and there is no end to his persecution by the prosecutors, acting
as cat's paw of the party-in-power.
The ex-finance minister, who
of all people knows many secrets, has been arrested without bail
and kept incommunicado. His medical problems, brought about by
imprisonment, have forced him to be hospitalised. But the home
minister warns, "If he talks too much he goes back to prison."
It is too late. The ex-finance minister has already revealed the
truth of the matter.
The continuing attempts to maintain
silence add greatly to the frustrations of the party-in-power.
Their ability to remain in power is threatened by widespread public
discontent. The Anwar Ibrahim incident has been a flashing beacon
that warns the world there is danger. Most mariners know there
are pirates in Malaysian waters. There is even a realtime website
devoted to news of daily pirate attacks in Malayian waters.
What is not so well known is
that the Malaysian government, as operated by the party-in-power,
is itself a conspiracy operated by a band of pirates. The party-in-power
in Malaysia, in the persons of its ministers, daily struts before
the commercial world, proudly boasting of trivial triumphs in
an effort to conceal the underlying deceit. These are seen as
nothing more than the false colors. The Jolly Roger is ready at
A small example suffices to reveal
the general tone. Let the failure of the party-in-power to bring
a quick resolution to these matters act as confirmation of the
accuracy of this admittedly jaded view.
News reports today complain South
Korea secretly subsidises the building of ships. Shipbuilding
employs large numbers of people, utilises major resources such
as steel. Shipbuilding is big business. Malaysia buys ships. Therein
The chairman of the national
oil company, Petronas, is thought to be a capable executive. Under
his care has been put the national car corporation, the national
airline, the national shipping company, and numerous other less
weighty enterprises. He is thought to be a capable juggler.
He is also compliant. Under his
watchful eye the party-in-power has removed a major royalty payment
to one of Malaysia's northern states. Located within this state
is Perwaja Steel, a favorite enterprise of the party-in-power,
into which enormous sums of public money have been converted into
useful private and party accounts.
A fraud investigation into missing
funds has been delayed by the party-in-power. Delay is a principal
means of protecting secrets. An investigation is announced, a
scattering of progress reports is issued intermittently, then
the matter is left to digest in its own feces. The smell, however,
grows and grows.
The new PAS government in the
northern state of Terengganu refuses to drop further public money
into the Perwaja Steel rat hole, and the royalty payment from
Petronas has been diverted as replacement. The Petronas chairman
has not vigorously complained. He is apparently distracted by
the large number of enterprises he juggles.
When contracts for new ships
were let by Petronas, an opportunity for large kickbacks was opened.
Arrangements were made on the recorded telephone lines of Petronas.
The cash was duly delivered to Kuala Lumpur by courier, transferred
to an official bagman in a local restuarant over dinner. All was
observed. Petronas executives cursed the loss of their bonus money.
The Malaysian public, through
Petronas, must now pay for the five ships a generous 20% overcharge,
which went into the pockets of the ministers and treasury of the
party-in-power. The transaction is widely known throughout Petronas,
and the chairman cannot be ignorant. He does not complain, perhaps
preferring the details of the transaction remain a trade secret.
He is a good, compliant executive. Company secrets must be kept.
Petronas is controlled by the finance minister, who also serves
as party treasurer. He has private business interests.
Electoral fraud is the principal
prop to the party-in-power. Trusted party members previously responsible
for gerrymandering and voting day irregularites have changed sides,
taking their knowledge with them. Their secrets are such a threat
they have been incarcerated. It is part of a keep-the-secrets
policy put in place by the pirates of the party-in-power. The
party-in-power is old, of another time, and there is little appreciation
of the new millenium. They do not see that their pirate ship is
on international radar, constantly visible by satellite to all,
everywhere in the world.
Many more secrets are known,
yet to be told. The rich lore calls out to the bold and the brave,
offering a career of investigative journalism. The journalist
is thus the foe of the pirate state, carrying forward mankind's
hopes for justice and democratic processes. The entry fee is low.
All that is needed is desire and a computer. There is excitement
and danger. Just the thing for a bright tooth to bite into. The
allure is magnetic, the reward rapturous.
The media in Malaysia is compliant
also, with an annual permit acting as a boot on the throat. The
cadre of professional journalists is suborned to coverup the conspiracy.
Happily, the market for their fickle fiction freely falls, and
the party-in-power must find funds to finance future falsity.
In Malaysia the secrets of the
Mitsui bribe and the five billion US dollar government bond scam
funnelled through Malaysia's Labuan Island International Money
Laundering And Fraud Center are still hidden. But the secrets
will be told. Piracy today is too obvious, too transparent. Those
who tell the truth cannot be silenced by threats of solitary confinement.
The ancient ministers still believe the old strategy of cruel
solitary confinement will still work. The younger party members,
however, do not, opting instead for a policy of honesty, openness
and humanity. That is the modern Malaysian generation gap.
Pirates have a long history in
the Straits of Malacca. Malaysia has new fast patrol boats to
curb their appetite. But the big pirates still sail the seven
seas. They have a special appetite for gambling, timber and oil.
Their colours are the ensign of Malaysia. Let commercial interests
of the world's waters beware. There is another flag in Malaysia's
locker, waiting to be flown.
It is the Jolly Roger.