22
Nov
15

Malaysian government a sick joke

COMMENT | While Malaysia is embroiled in controversy over 1MDB, the tiny Pacific nation of Vanuatu is showing the world it is walking the talk against corruption with a dramatic judicial blow to its corrupt political leaders.

It is in stark contrast in terms of concrete results to what is taking place in Malaysia. It begs the question, ‘How serious is Malaysia in tackling its problem of endemic and high-level corruption?’

When instead a government cracks down on whistleblowers and civil activists and clamps down on opposition politicians who are often the vanguard in the war on corruption – it is indeed baffling – and raises the criticisms and suspicions there is something to hide and someone to protect.

It is a criminal act against the rule of law and an abuse of power to punish those who expose corruption. It turns law enforcement upside down and results in legal anarchy.

The charging of Bersih 4 leader Maria Chin Abdullah is an illustration of the problem. The innocent become political victims when lawful acts of patriotism are deemed crimes when they are spuriously charged with various offences and double standards are applied.

Allegations of wrongdoings rot the fish from tail to head and leave an odious stench in a country’s governance. Unresolved and unconvicted cases of flagrant corruption weaken a country’s administration and give rise to more incidences of corruption.

Yet in Malaysia convictions of big fish despite a boost in anti -corruption government funding are rare. The recent jailing of former Selangor menteri besar Khir Toyo for corruption is proof there are corrupt activities at the top, something that is public knowledge. But so far while high profile former government leaders are sometimes charged, convictions are rare.

Thus in the Malaysian ‘political soap opera’, the incumbent government grapples with its receding credibility and PM Najib Abdul Razak, the star attraction in the 1MDB drama desperately clings to power while his former boss, Dr Mahathir Mohamad tries equally hard to unstage him and constantly harps on his wrongdoings, with justifiable reasons.

If the government is sincere in its political rhetoric against corruption it must prove beyond doubt that no one is above the law and that it will turn on its own to either convict or clear a leader from the taint of wrongdoings.

That has been the Vanuatu lesson to the world, and importantly and relevantly, Malaysia. But that may be a hard ask in Malaysia unless you have a leader of the calibre of Singapore’s late Lee Kuan Yew, who would tolerate no hint of corruption in his government.

Malaysia’s record in its efforts to stem corruption is unimpressive.

…more
Malaysian government a sick joke
5/11/15 – malaysiakini

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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