by Ganesh Sahathevan
While this writer has suggested that Malaysia's renewed interest in the Pedra Branca matter may have more to do with China's South China Sea ambition, the matter of PM's Najib's funds in Singapore ought not be disregarded.
It was the Singaporeans themselves who let it be known that they have frozen a number of accounts in Singapore in relation to the 1MDB theft,and it has now been admitted by even Malaysia's Attorney General Mohd Appandi that some USD 620 million of that money was sent back to an account in Singapore (even if he described it as a generous donation that was returned,in part).
These two images from Sarawak Report tell the story.
The two objectives, doing China's bidding and extorting the return of the funds held in Singapore, need not be mutually exclusive.Everything is negotiable, or to use a term popular in this Trump era, it is all in the art of the deal.Singapore's top leadership understand that,and China and Malaysia know that the Singaporeans can be relied on to hand over cash ,even if it only minimizes the pain.Readers may want to refer to the matter of Suzhou,where Singapore was forced into a loss making minority position despite having seemingly watertight (pun intended) agreements and impeccable connections.