No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing. — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Serve the People 为人民服务? Najib used and still uses a public office, to wit, the Prime Minister’s department, to serve himself. The tragedy in Malaysia is that an entire Malay population — actively (Rahman Dahlan) and by acting ‘neutral’ (Annie of the Valley) — supports him serving himself, starting with a pious Islamist named Hadi Awang.
Najib in China
Judge Ley was making tea when we found him in his room overlooking a courtyard surrounded in a tiny forest of pines and maples. He looked up, straightened his back, took his mug to his desk, and rested his hand on a mouse. The desktop screen lit up. Sit, he said. No prior appointment was necessary; he knew why we were here.
“In my country, nobody visits the judge,” I once said to Lawyer Zhang, a tall woman with short hair and an exquisite face as smooth as glass. She emitted a look of incredulity and said: “Judges must serve the people” – wei renmin fuwu 为人民服务, the Communist Party slogan turned into a national punch line recited every October 1 when the President formally inspects the troops, lined up for two miles along Tiananmen in Beijing.
“Comrades! You have toiled hard,” the President would say.《辛苦了》xinkule. And the troops shout in unison response: “Serve the people!” 《为人民服务》wei renmin fuwu.
Some renmin asshole had taken a loan, didn’t repay, not a fucking dime, we sued, but the court judgment was, for two years, unenforceable. Naturally. The whole damn business was a scam right from the beginning. Exactly like 1MDB, with debt issued under false pretenses, forged papers, dodgy companies, non-existent assets, and a whole lot of lies. All contracts are just toilet paper.
That renmin man, along with the money he borrowed, has since vanished. We are now in the process of converting the civil suit into a criminal case, using the charges of contempt and fraud. That should locked up that asshole for up to a good ten years – even if the money is repaid. Judge Ley had already issued a warrant of arrest. On our part, we want his scalp, spiked on the electric pylons of Tiananmen for the world to see. That bastard thief.
The fate of Najib Razak ought to be worse.
Debt-fraud happens all the time in this country, which so prizes the written word – it’s called hanzi, Najib. Language’s sacrosanct status means words are for trusting. But this gets flipped around instead and when sanctity becomes the lie, contract fraud soon takes up more than half of Lawyer Zhang’s pending case files. Money’s gone, fraudster has disappeared, and nearly eighty percent of judgments delivered each year in China are unenforceable.
As for justice….
The problem, said a member of the People’s Congress, the city’s highest policy and law making institution, is with the people, the renmin. Unlike people in your country, they have no respect for the law. It was obvious the man from the Standing Committee hadn’t heard of Najib Razak. Nor Khalid Abu Bakar. Nor Apandi Ali.
Six months past, there has been no arrest. The judge knew, of course, and didn’t wait for us to start. He sipped his tea and said, “China is a big country. Many mountains and valleys and hidden caves.” He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s not like we hadn’t tried and we have worked hard at it.”
From somewhere came, I swear, the crow of a cockerel. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s No One Writes to the Colonel is the pairing of a cockerel and a lawyer.
I shot back: “America is a big country, too. And they always catch their bastards.” Lawyer Zhang stared at me, like as if the heavens had fallen over us. She laid a palm on my arm, gripped it gently, and signaled with her other hand below the desk top.
“It is like this,” she intervened, gazing at the judge. “You are a man of the law, a man of great learning, of culture, trying to do police work. Doesn’t work and, really, you shouldn’t trouble yourself in this way. Leave the work to the police; they are the professionals; they find the thief, they capture him. We have made arrangements with them. You sign the warrant over to the police. Once they find him, they will detain him temporarily until you arrive and they hand him over to you. Can you agree?”
The judge lit a cigarette and leaned back on his chair, as if dissolving into its soft leather. He is a small man with thin hair and is never seen to have smiled.
I seized on the opportunity: Of course, we’d be happy to cover all expenses including overtime and travel, especially for the weekends and if the arrest was made outside the city. Outside could be a thousand miles away. That’s only fair. Ten percent from all proceeds recovered. I lifted then crossed two forefingers in the Chinese script sign 十. This reaffirms the offer is ten and not four.
If that had come from the thief, it would be evasion of the law and it would be bribery; and we would be done in. But, we are paying for justice instead. Which is different for the reason it also fetches a price.
Muhyiddin Yassin completely overlooks the point when talking of the way Najib’s been handling the 1MDB fallout. To Muh, and from all outside appearances, the Bugis pendatang seems such a smart aleck to leave the impression that all is well while police in three countries trip over each other to catch the motherfuckers. Muh doesn’t know this: it’s the way with thieves and Najib is no different; they simply do nothing, say nothing, lay low, vanishing into a vacuum of silence.
It is been the same with that renmin bastard. The longer he is able to persist, to evade, the safer he feels. Muh couldn’t be more wrong about Najib’s handling. There is no magic to it; Najib has only to wait for the storm to pass, throwing up decoys in the meantime.
We, on the other hand, get more desperate.
Najib’s time in China helps the waiting to endure while he remains hidden in a fog of a platitudinous language courtship issued by the media named Bernama: ‘partnership, huge opportunities, transforming lives, reshaping the region, a better world‘. He sees himself in the shadow of a powerful ally and, by all appearances, backing him when no auditor at home would touch 1MDB. Even the language of Najib is fraudulent, like that of the renmin asshole.
These days, China despises nothing more than fraudsters and thieves — only because they are everywhere. But, like Najib, she, too, knows how to wait pretending.
Outside, there is a smell of Fall. Brown and yellow maple leaves carpet the sidewalk of loyang jie, Loyang Street. You think ten percent was enough, I asked Lawyer Zhang. She smiled, unraveling a pair of dimples. Our problem isn’t nailing that thief. It’s the judge. Isn’t it? This time, she nodded, looking serious.
We entered a restaurant and all conversation ceased. A young waitress came over, poured tea, and took our orders. “To justice,” Lawyer Zhang said, lifting the small tea cup in a gesture of a toast.
“Yes. To ten percent. Then to justice.”
“You were in America,” Lawyer Zhang went on. “What’s the restaurant tip?”
1MDB kakis: Paul Stadlen has good reason to smile and live it up; the kakis just made off with a good billion. In public they talk of transforming lives and a better world. After that, they drown us in their piss and actually believe they are a big deal — this bunch of 小人.
Chinese style justice — zhengyi — for the Thief in China.