Geopolitics and a clean pair of hands
The month of May was crowned by the ‘pop in’ visit of the House of Saudi Prince Al Waleed who stopped over from Mauritius in his big 747 (largest private plane in the world). As he swooped over Praslin to catch a glimpse of the massive hotel project close to our infamous ‘Pti Zil’, the stage is set for the welcoming of the Prince at State House about to receive its largest delegation including some lovely ladies. Natti was on hand to add a dash of colour to the presidential delegation. He puts on a final splash of his favourite eau de cologne, ready for the Royal handshake.
JenPa: Good Morning Sir! We have received news that Prince Talal will be making his way here from
Mr. President: Very good! This is our most high profile visitor to our little State House. He is accustomed to high luxury but we will give him the Royal Welcome when he visits our humble abode. Make sure we have our First Lady to provide a beaming smile.
JenPa: Sir the Prince will on the way in swing by Praslin to check on his own Kingdom Raffles Hotel development there. We have advised SCAA for clearance. He will also eye a few more spots on the way in to landing in Mahé. This massive 747 swooping by should be a great sight to see, just like Air Force One did over
Mr. President: How I would love to catch a ride is this big bird. I gather it is in the Guinness Book of records. He also has a beautiful yacht and a brand new one of 170 meters on the way in 2010. Pretty soon they will be gracing our marinas.
JenPa: Indeed Sir. The ex ‘Nabila’ is a super luxury yacht that used to belong to Khashoggi and was in port on the day of the coup. The Prince also owns a lot of stocks including shares in Citibank and the photocopy company Xerox. He can probably be generous to us and help to bail us out. The Prince will soon make our islands his second home just like Khashoggi wanted to do.
Mr. President: Yes! It was this yacht that relayed the news to Mancham when we took over. Is it a bad omen that we are now dealing with the guy who owns that very same boat? The Prince is a great visionary and believes in the potential of our tourism development. He can contribute massively to keeping us afloat. And if we cannot achieve this we can always borrow one of his yachts and sail to an outer island.
JenPa: He is also a very influential man and has met with several dignitaries across the world. He is well educated and is also strong on the defence of women’s rights. Now that we have a Four Seasons & a Raffles Kingdom Hotel, he might want to go for a Fairmount. He is no doubt a master in the real estate and stock market investments.
Mr. President: At least we have levelled the playing field to have a real Prince compete with our own little home-grown stock. No fat little Savy princes here! We have been mandated to encourage foreign investment and we are knocking at the right doors JP. Hope that our people in our districts are watching these developments closely. I tried to show that I have a clean pair of hands and now have to live up to it. I will now ask all my cabinet, starting from myself, to be as transparent as a leaf and as clean as possible!
JenPa: This should be the new approach from now on. We have already showed much openness with the meetings and all the other shows on SBC. If we continue to convey this message of coming together, history seems to be coming at a crossroads with the Prince’s attachment to our islands. This is where we should appoint Mancham to be leading these kinds of fanfare.
Mr. President: Yes JP! I don’t need to be reminded that ‘mon pep pe soufer’ and I need to show them that I am sacrificing with them. The Prince has also handled an AK 47 and he knows how difficult it is to work for your people. Why are they not asking if he’s got dirty hands?
JenPa: He is from the highly respected Saudi family and owns a $100m sand-colored palace whose 317 rooms are adorned with 1,500 tons of Italian marble, silk oriental carpets, gold-plated faucets and 250 TV sets. It has four kitchens, for Arabic, Continental and Asian cuisines, and a fifth just for dishing up desserts, run by chefs who can feed 2,000 people on an hour's notice. Their royal highnesses can swim in a lagoon-shaped pool, or catch a film in the 45-seat basement cinema.
Mr. President: You see! And then they want to accuse me for having a small retreat on Desroches that I can use to escape the bombardment of questions from the district meetings occasionally. We are being commended for our reforms and diplomatic overtures. We now need to get the Prince to contribute to a fund that will help keep the pirates at bay so that he can enjoy his sailing trips around our islands in peace.
JenPa: We need a more rapid response and highly sophisticated setup to handle this and I am sure that we can get some nice flying machines such as F-16s and perhaps even a fast yacht to chase them on the waters. I gather that Topaz is a big gas guzzler and we cannot afford trips from Mahé to Praslin costing over 30,000 rupees of burnt fuel. If this is the case, it will be a costly exercise to be at the forefront of this pirates hunt.
Mr. President: You seem to be having too much of Seybrew lately JP! We have secured you will recall, mister Secretary of State, that we already have the Americans back on board (after we kicked them out with their tracking station). In our coup days we wanted to have the Russians now we are back to great cooperation with the Yanks. It is easier for them to cover us from their neighbourhood base of Diego Garcia. Don’t forget… they wanted Aldabra!
JP leaves the president in his thoughts of the coup d’état era which seems to be recurring flashes with him these days…oh, those ghosts of dead opposition people just won’t go away! Oh of course it is close to June 5th. That dreaded anniversary. The President needs to find another excuse not to go through this torture of laying a wreath at the feet of ‘Zom Lib’. Will he or won’t he? Bet you a devalued 500 rupee note that the shameless tralala takes place as usual….