Proverbially the remedy is to hold the nose while looking steadfastly the other way. These skills have long been mastered in official London and its attitude to Malaysia, and its master criminal Prime Minister Najib Razak, obeys faithfully these parameters.
To anyone puzzled as to why this attitude persists in the face of overwhelming evidence that Najib, most of his Ministers and many top officials, including his Attorney General and the chief of the Police Force, are totally corrupt and act as pawns for Najib in his criminal activities.
Now if similar statements should, Heaven forbid, be made about the British Government and senior officials, writs and handcuffs would be flying in all directions. But no. Whitehall slumbers on, waking from time to time to assert that in Malaysia all is well.
What can be the reason for this? It cannot be ignorance of the facts. If nothing else the US Department of Justice have published the facts and the FCO maintain a High Commission in Kuala Lumpur which, presumably, reports on what is happening in Malaysia.
The answer must lie elsewhere. Is it merely the protection of the very significant commercial interests in Malaysia held by British companies? Unpalatable but perfectly possible. Or the alleged pro-Western stance of the mega criminal Najib and his past record of buying obsolete UK weaponry of various kinds?
Surely not some sort of past sentimental attitude towards a former colony? Even if Whitehall still thinks Malaysia is a bulwark against communism and Chinese expansionism in South East Asia they could only be doing that in the face of Najib’s recent deal with Beijing to borrow about twice the real cost of a projected railway line. Najib’s interest is clear. He can use the money so obtained to try to clear up the 1MDB swindle out of which he personally had not far short of a billion dollars. Washington, and therefore London, will not be happy at all in seeing the Malacca Straits under PRC control.
So where and why the dichotomy? Does London actively want to condone, and profit from, mega thefts of Malaysian public money? Or do the business interests involved think that it will all go away if ignored long enough? Perhaps there is reason behind any such optimism.
It is not as well known as it should be that fewer than 400 police officers in the UK are dedicated to investigating fraud? Or that big business has managed to set up a system of private Courts to deal with disputes over financial matters?
All this the work of previous Conservative Ministers who appear, for whatever reasons, to have arranged matters as big business wishes. Will the new Prime Minister and her new Foreign Secretary allow this state of affairs to continue to both the shame and damaged reputation of the country? One has to hope not. But time will tell.