COMMENT | The remarkable ascension of Pakatan Harapan to the seat of Malaysian government was launched on a platform of accountability and good governance. In one of its first acts, the newly anointed government has commenced the inquiries into various entities that were a core focus of its campaign, with an alacrity and determination that has unsettled corporate Malaysia.
Through the establishment of various committees and task forces, the government is scrutinising and revisiting the allegations of the flagrant abuses of corporate powers and the unrestrained actions of rogue directors that have been whispered of for years. The intense media coverage detailing in graphic detail how a well-connected few appear to have been grossly enriched has incensed Malaysia’s urbane electorate.
While the truth of any of this remains to be uncovered, narratives such as these have dominated public discourse, and are flourishing through a newly empowered mass media, as well as on social media.
In the 2000s, the extraordinarily public exposé of the Enron scandal revealed the extensive fraud perpetrated by its executives and prompted the US Congress to enact the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, forever changing the landscape of corporate America.
In Malaysia, the spectacular unmasking of issues surrounding entities like the Port Klang Free Zone, and more recently 1MDB and Felda Global Ventures, ignited a catharsis and galvanised a nation to vote for reform....