What happened to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s China trip? We can understand Tun Daim Zainuddin’s trip turning out a disaster, but Mahathir is a Prime Minister, so surely China would give face to a Prime Minister. And to the Chinese ‘face’ is very important. Chinese are capable of killing you if you cause them to lose face — at least in my Long Fu Tong days that was so.
Robert Kuok, a member of Daim’s Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), is supposed to have China’s ear. He can influence things in China just like Daim can influence things in Malaysia. If Daim is Malaysia’s Mister Fixit, Kuok is supposed to be China’s Mister Fixit — at least this is the legend being related from Bukit Kayu Hitam all the way down to Johor Baru and up to Rantau Panjang again.
Has Kuok lost his bite? Or has Mahathir upset the Chinese too much that even Kuok is not able to fix the damage? If Kuok is not able to deliver — meaning give Mahathir free access to China — then Daim might as well kick him out of the CEP. After all, the only reason Kuok is in the CEP is to open the right doors in China. Other than that what can Kuok do for Malaysia because his ideas are so outdated?
What a disappointment Kuok has turned out to be. We thought, with Kuok in the CEP, China would bring in at least RM100 billion in cheap money to Malaysia. Instead, Malaysia will have to pay huge damages and compensation to China for cancelling all those various projects — on top of the billions already spent so far.