THE HONEY TRAP- NO COINCIDENCE
She arrived on the same flight as he did from Hong Kong. They were briefly acquainted on the plane mid flight. He was queuing for the toilet as was she was. She stood behind him in that queue pretending not to notice him.
He could not take his eyes off her. Her short skirt and low cut blouse which she continually fidgeted with revealed the top half of her ample bosom. She was clearly not wearing a bra from what was already visible to him. She had a pout and her lips were certainly not developed from chewing gum or sucking icy poles.
She gave him a brief glance which was as if to say she was annoyed. She frowned but it was all contrived. Instead of apologizing he simply said “ma’am you go before me please”. It was the opportunity she had been groomed to seize (well at least one of them). “Ooh you’re such a gentleman thank you” she responded. “No problem. Anytime” he replied enthusiastically.
The toilet door opened she went in and Osman returned to his seat hurriedly. He went for his travel bag in the overhead compartment ripped open the Velcro fastener and grabbed a few business cards tucked away in the flap. He quickly grabbed a pen and headed back to the toilet queue. She was gone.
MORE THAN ONE PREDATOR IN THE SKY
He then just as soon observed the woman talking to a stewardess in the galley near the toilet. He wanted to introduce himself to this walking fleshpot but felt a bit apprehensive. She passed him thanking him again for his civility and he nodded.
Osman approached the stewardess and handed her two copies of his business card. “give this to that woman you were just speaking to. She knows who it is from. Please yah?”. The stewardess looked at it herself briefly. Her facial expression changed immediately. “Yes sir I will. Anything else?” “No but if she gives you her number……. “ he paused briefly then continued “No no please get her a complimentary drink and say it is from me”.
The stewardess appeared to understand. She had been through this ritual many times before. This was no ordinary lech. He was no ordinary passenger. Osman was an influential cabinet minister in the Malaysian government. He had a reputation for having acquired power and untold wealth in office. His friends did well too. Very well in fact.
A CREDIBLE INTRODUCTION
Ayesha the Stewardess felt so badly the desire to ingratiate her self to Osman although not for the same reasons, but felt she was no match for the buxom blonde fleshpot in row K 14 competing for Osman’s attention.
“Excuse me madam, the gentleman you were speaking to outside the toilet has asked that I give you this” handing to the woman his business card. “This drink is for you compliments of the gentleman”.
“This is easy” the woman thought to herself. “Oh how awfully nice” she responded. Is he sitting with someone?” she continued. The stewardess took a look and replied I can move him to another seat. But better still there is a spare row at the rear of the plane. I will come back to you”.
MOVING IN FOR THE KILL
Ayesha then moved gracefully and swiftly to Osman bending over whispering into his ears so closely her mouth briefly touched his ears. He grabbed Ayesha’s thigh lightly and she did not resist. She whispered “that lady wants to sit with you behind the aircraft. Do you wish to move to the third last middle row at the back?.
Osman needed no further encouragement and complied. “Get me a drink will you”. Ayesha glided to K 14 and said to the woman “He has a row all to himself. I will take you there if you wish”. The woman rummaged her hand bag, quickly adjusting her hair and followed Ayesha trying to be as discrete as she could.
As she found her place next to Osman, Trish Johnson introduced herself as a beauty therapist and a natural health consultant. She looked every bit the part. Osman was beside himself. The somewhat athletically built 60 something balding Malay cabinet minister was very close to his prime minister and his influence in the inner cabinet was unimpeachable. He couldn’t believe his otherwise bald luck.
Osman asked Trish about whether she was considering stopping over in Malaysia to which she replied she would love to but did not know anyone there well enough to make it worth her while. “Oh is that your problem?” he asked. “Believe me you have a friend, that’s if you consider me a frien” he continued as politely as he could not wanting to make it sound like a pass at her. “and I will show you Malaysia in style. You may even end up considering the opportunity of opening up a branch of your business there”. She laughed in reply adjusting her already short skirt further upwards of the knee line and ridiculously higher up revealing her upper thighs in the process.
Trish Johnson was acutely aware of the attention Osman was paying to her anatomy and teased him silently every minute of the journey. She played with her long manicured finger nails at the tip of her slender long fingers adorned very subtley with a platinum ruby crusted ring on her engagement finger.
CIRCLING THE PREY
Ayesha came back to offer more drinks. Ayesha had noticed the passenger in the rear window seat adjacent to the pair. A white male Caucasian observing the two with a magazine for cover in his hands. She said nothing but made mental notes, taking time to check the passenger manifest noting the names of each of Trish and Allan Davis the white male in the window seat in the row adjacent to the pair.
HORS D’VERS A MILE HIGH
“What if I said yes” Trish light heartedly asked Osman. “What about your parliamentary business? I can’t possibly impose on you or take up your time”. Osman laughed. “I do not need to be in parliament all of the time. I can still move the government from my office and from my car.” “Yeah” she said mockingly, “Big tough boy aren’t you?”. “In more ways than one” he replied cheekily”, nudging her upper arm with his elbow, missing his target but getting a quick unintended feel of her breast in the process. Neither said anything.
“So what will it be?” he asked again. “I would dearly like you to meet some of my friends and introduce you to them and you know Malaysian’s are cashed up and very health conscious. Maybe I can be your business partner here”. She laughed again. “You are really sweet Osman. Maybe I will. But I don’t know about having a business here. Too difficult. I have heard of how difficult it could be for foreigners here”.
“I don’t know where you got that information from Trish. We are really very hospitable and would go out of our way to help foreigners. That’s our Malay culture and we go out of our way and encourage foreign investment in Malaysia” he replied. “please try the place for a weekend. I promise you won’t regret it”.
“Aaah the problem is”…she continued. “I just purchased my 8th Salon and am short of money to open another salon abroad or to indulge myself in an impromptu holiday in expensive KL. Okay I tell you what, I’ll give you and your wife or daughters a free…a complimentary full course of our therapy over the weekend. You’ll love it. It cleanses the skin, tones the muscles, puts colour back into your complexion and generally rejuvenates you. You’ll end up looking much better than you already are”. She had clearly prepared herself to flirt with her target to the nth degree and it was working.
“Please be my guest. I will check you into the Shangri La in KL into a suite you need not worry about anything and I will have a car and a body guard on stand by for you. Everything is on me. Honestly. What do you say……?”
They both paused briefly to think. Osman then suggested “We can have dinner tonight…. my wife you and I”. Trish was taken back by his response. “Oh yes I’d like that. I’d like to meet your wife too”. He had no intention of bringing his wife along and Trish’ brief on Osman appeared to be a little flawed in this respect.
FLY ON THE WALL- THE HAND IN THE GLOVE
Little did Osman know that Trish had already studied every minute detail of he and his family. It had been passed on to Trish’s unit unwittingly by Osman’s tudung clad medical student daughter Khatija, a final year medical student at a prominent Australian University.
Khatija like many of her compatriots from Malaysia and Indonesia often prayed together at a Sydney Mosque. Being devout Muslim women who eschewed almost everything western and decadent, it became the centre of their social life away from home. Little did they know that they were also being preyed upon. They were easy prey for the local and overseas intelligence services of their host and its allies in the region.
The girls often confided in their hosts, the local Imam and his wife in whose house they were often welcomed guests. The Imam himself a migrant came to Australia as a refugee from Irak. He was a Sunni. The Sunnis are a persecuted minority in Shia dominated Irak. The Imam had also been an academic, a lecturer at a university in Irak and was on Saddam’s death list before foreign diplomats smuggled him out of the country through Jordan to Italy then to Australia in 1994.
Khatija was proud of her country. She was proud of her father and his many achievements in an industrialised Malaysia. Her mother was a lawyer and an activist on Islamic women’s affairs and a local party branch official. Both her parents were rural Malays. Neither had won scholarships as popular myth would have it amongst non Malays in Malaysia. Both parents had spent time in the public service of Malaysian government, were staunch active members of the youth wing of UMNO (United Malay Nationalist Organization) the dominant Malay political party and most important of all they were hard working people.
THE POWER OF NETWORKS
The enormous influence, organizational skills and the socio political impact of networked women’s groups in Australia impressed Khatija and her friends immensely. It was a whole new world. It was a world run by women. In this case it could not be haram. It was run by Muslm women. Educated Muslim women challenging not only male dominated Islamic values but confronting the Australian government in the process. Very unlike south east Asia.
There were hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of emails in support for the many western based Islamic women’s groups and their campaigns to which western feminists were tied. Khatija was given an impromptu tour of the owomen’s wing of the library and resource centre at the Islamic centre attached to the mosque. It was impressive, designed to overawe and impress novices like her. She was impressed and over awed at the information and organizational efficiency of this group. She wanted in. Khatija and her friends alike all thought that they may after all have been a bit behind the times and ought to progress like their sisters here in the west.
Little did Khatija know that these hundreds of thousands of emails from “Muslim women” worldwide, were in fact emails extracted from a carefully assembled database of Muslims worldwide, then broadcast from a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Centre possibly from a third country to the organization and its members for effect.
Each of these emails were sent out from the BPO Centre complete with protest notes attached to them vilifying Islamic orthodoxy and pledging support for a liberation theology if Islam. It was a manufactured campaign bought for with the money of members subsidised by foreign governments bent on dividing the Islamic threat as they saw it.
All of this unknown to Khatija and her novice friends had been carefully orchestrated and designed as part of a mass mailing campaign that cost tens of thousands of dollars to launch each time a campaign was required to draw attention and to create critical mass. Someone was paying for all of or part of it. Someone had to be paying for it. It mattered not to Khatija now. Something in her innocence had just melted within her.
She saw another lot of emails purporting to be from Malaysian Muslims within Malaysia’s public service this time. Each of these emails purpotrted to be from Malaysian public servants purporting to be supplying details of the excesses of their then Prime Minister, his family and his “cronies”.
Many of these the “researcher” at the Islamic centre divulged to her new ‘sister’ claimed to have first hand evidence and proof of the allegations. And for good measure and as ‘devout Muslims’ they were prepared to divulge at the right time all the proof in their hands.
Of course these too were but manufactured facts and emails, a part of the wider disinformation campaign being conducted through a reliable, dependable and trustworthy conduit. Thats the secret of success to any good campaign. Your source has to be trustworthy.
This particular campaign was slick. It was well orchestrated and being directed against a Muslim leader in the region who would not bend to the west or to their campaigns against Islam. And to the bargain he had gained respect and authority not only in the Muslim world but indeed in much of the developing world and the industrialised nations as well and was perceived as having become too independent, too dangerous to some and unmanageable to others. He had to go.
Khatija recognized at least half a dozen of the names and at sight could verify the email addresses as these were friends of hers and her family as being authentic. She felt sick. Her ‘tour guide’ observed her reactions. “Are you okay Khatija? need a glass of water?”. No I’m perfectly okay.Just a bit tired” responded Khatija.
The ‘Islamic centre’, the Imam and his wife, and the group within, a pro western (possibly Australian, Saudi, Singapore or US financed outfit) Islamic women’s organization whose members like Khatija were oblivious to the manipulation and disinformation campaigns being waged behind the scenes were not only influential with local politicians claiming to represent ‘progressive’ Muslims. They were also well connected and impressive.
There were at least 4 well known university lecturers who had access to regular TV news and current affairs programmes. They were often the selected “ community voices or specialists in Islam” the media went to for public comment on all issues Islamic. That included pillorying a non compliant some say anti western Malaysian Prime Minister. The poor girl was a mere pawn like her friends and she was blissfully ignorant of it.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Khatija attended regular meetings of “Islamic professional women’s groups” to hear impressive speakers condemn the actions of Palestinian militants backed by the Hezbollah as deviants and deviationists. They denounced Islamic violence but not its root causes, and read from carefully prepared statements denouncing Islamic governments for socio economic problems and religious persecution in their countries to the tyranny of the Islamic clergy in its persecution of Muslim women.
Selective examples of cruelty and tribalism were often portrayed as the staple of Islam and its hidden rituals. All of these sermons were delivered by Arab women. Some of them academics now resident in places like Australia. It made for very compelling listening indeed. These were Arabic women highly articulate and informed in matters of culture and religion. Islam.
Little did Khatija realise this was a front. A very impressive front and a catchment for pro western recruitments in places like Malaysia. She was always asked to make sure she remained close to her Islamic friends to make sure she was not followed by the Kafir’s who were waging war against them. It made the movement all the more believable, their cadres isolated and vulnerable to indoctrination and internal manipulation.
Like Khatija tens of thousands of Malay and non Malay students from the peninsula Malaysia, Borneo and Indonesia attend Australian tertiary institutions where such socio religious groups carefully set up by Australian and other western intelligence agencies find and train recruits both willing and unwitting to further their interests in the region.
And like Khatija many of these graduates then occupy key positions in the civil service, in the media, in politics, commerce and in defence on their return to their home turf.
Indonesia and Thailand are particularly known for their Australian ‘graduate plants’ right up to the office of president and prime minister in these respective countries. It was a standing joke in media circles at the time that the late blind cleric president of Indonesia ‘Gus Dur’ had his eyes and his ears transplanted in Australia. A crude reference to his niece and advisor a woman trained and educated in Australian and partial to anything Australian. Especially its media and its political elite.
IN THE BAG
Osman and Trish met that night minus Osman’s family, had dinner together, one thing led to another and they spent the night together at the Shangri La neither of them sleeping a wink till the wee hours of the morning.
Osman feasted himself on Trish who indulged his every fantasy playing the guilty party for effect when morning came around. She now wanted to be alone. What would his wife think? What would her husband think if he came to know? She played the role convincingly enough to make Osman feel he was special enough for her to have strayed.
Trish had to up load all the information her camera had recorded of her tryst with Osman complete with sound track digitally recorded. She went into the bathroom to ‘refresh’ herself whilst Osman excused himself and went downstairs to the hotel lobby to make a call in private.
“Trish” an Australian, traveled on a British passport. She knew Osman was by now so besotted by her that she began visiting him regularly. They exchanged emails, telephone calls and Osman generally became a bit careless as it was not his head in charge of this situation.
Pillow talk was an opportunity for Trish to flesh out vital information about the PM and cabinet. General discussions about business prospects diluted the potency of the subject of her otherwise innocent inquiries about government and matters of state.
Between discussions about franchising her salons to the wives of various minister’s and party officials through Osman’s wife’s(who would be master franchisee for Malaysia) she teased out every possible detail of important state and commercial secrets from an Osman his guard always completely impotent in her presence. Dates, names, places, travel itineraries, educational background and position held. She made it appear as if she were soliciting influence and opportunity. Not the type of opportunity Osman believed she had in mind.
Topical, though one not likely to raise any suspicion was, the PM and cabinet’s thoughts and views on the strengths, weaknesses and threats posed by Malaysia’s opposition. Of particular interest to her line of inquiry was the opposition’s controversial leader charged with sexual offences.
Osman told her how much the government really knew about the opposition and its links to foreign government’s and their agencies and what they planned to and were doing about it. He dropped names like confetti and she soaked it all up in that spongue, her brain.
ON WINGS OF EAGLES
They had not traveled that day on Malaysian Airlines. Ayesha lived in a neighbouring country. A Malay by race, she too was a highly trained operative in the service she believed of her airlines security department. And the information she gathered on Osman and Trish and Allen Davis was carefully detailed and passed on to a handler at the Malaysian stop over (Her change of shift). She would be debriefed later on her encounte with Osman and encouraged to respond carefully and tactffully to his advances in order to maintain contact with him.
Perhaps by luring him back to her base country across the border where Osman often visited to do his banking (or shopping as he preferred to call it) like many other south east Asian and perhaps international government officials.
The subsequent chain of events to that first meeting between Osman and Trish aboard an airliner flying between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur reveals a vulnerability, a chink in the power structure in Malaysia.
Unaccountable parliamentarians, government servants, public officials, the opposition and their generally unsupervised and unchallenged exercise of parliamentary power, freedom of expression and the personal morality (or immorality) of these individuals when viewed in the defining role power and money plays in the politics of the state undermines the capacity of government to function effectively.
By Osman, foreign government’s would already have cut a swathe into the parliament of Malaysia. It would haave provided them access to individual government ministers, their departments and highly classified information. Through the wives and childrenof the Osman’s of this world they have operatives working against each other in the same family without any of them being aware of it.
Introductions to family membes and friends and the network expands laterally and horizontally in every which way. It is innocent, undetectable and highly effective. Everyone loves a friend. Especially where that friend can fulfill a need or provide some assistance on the spot when least expected to.
The art of espionage does not require trenchcoats from Burberrys or Fedoras fitted on the head at an angle to coneal ones face. There are no fast cars custom fitted with gadgets and information can travel at the speed of light and travel silently.
THE BN AND THE OPPOSITION
“Spies within” is about the constituent components of the ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional), the Opposition political parties and its inividual members and why it is always going to be more convenient and easy for the west to continue to support a Barisan Nasional government even if there is a healthy opposition at their heels. It would be easier for them to keep the BN in government than for them to support an unknown untested commodity in the PKR and DAP two inexperienced, emotionally driven groups with divergent interests and little else in common that the overthrow of the Barisan.
This is the first in A series of intrigue in politics by our writer Thomas Copeland Marsh. Names events and places bearing any resemblence to people living or dead is purely coincidental. The story though is based on factual events.