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How Malaysia can transform from a global kleptocracy...

Lim Kit Siang  |  Published:  |  Modified:

MP SPEAKS | Malaysia has many national holidays that provide Malaysians more opportunities for reflection and review as to why one or the country failed to achieve greater goals or achievements.

The 2019 Chinese New Year is similarly a useful occasion for a national review by all Malaysians of the many great questions confronting the nation.

One of these great issues of the nation is undoubtedly how Malaysia can transform from a global kleptocracy to a leading nation of integrity in the world.

The 36 days from the 2019 New Year to the 2019 Chinese New Year have provided plentiful evidence of how the country had been saved from a national catastrophe of being confirmed as a global kleptocracy, which could only end with only one result: Malaysia becoming a failed state and relegated to the bottom league of the world’s nations.

But who saved Malaysia from a global kleptocracy and a failed state?

Not the three branches of government - the Executive, Parliament or the Judiciary - or even the great institutions of state, those supposed to be responsible for upholding law and order or provide the checks and balances against abuses of power and corruption like the Attorney-General’s Office, the police force, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Auditor-General Office, Bank Negara or the mass media allegedly performing the role of the fourth estate.

All the three branches of government, the great national institutions and the Fourth Estate, failed the nation in preventing Malaysia from becoming the butt of international jokes for becoming a global kleptocracy, and it was the ordinary Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, class or region, who saved Malaysia from continuing as a global kleptocracy in the 14th general election - a miraculous exercise of the democratic will, however difficult or impossible, because of the odds stacked against such a historic outcome.

How did Malaysia go so terribly wrong as to become a global kleptocracy when we are the confluence of the world’s great religions and civilisations?

Some of the leading events on the road to transforming Malaysia from a global kleptocracy to a leading nation in integrity in the past 36 days from 2019 New Year’s Day to the Chinese New Year Day today, Feb 5, including the following nine developments:

  • Apology by Goldman Sachs Group Inc chief executive officer to the Malaysian people for its role in the 1MDB corruption, embezzlement and money-laundering scandal. Latest reports indicate that Goldman Sachs' former CEO Lloyd Craig Blankfein stands to lose up to US$14.245 million (RM58.3 million) in bonus over the 1MDB imbroglio;

  • Securities Commission imposing an RM2.2 million fine on accounting giant Deloitte PLT for four breaches involving the RM2.4 billion bond issued by Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (BMSB), a 1MDB subsidiary, in 2014, which Aliran has described as “paltry” and “a pittance”;

  • Malaysian authorities looking further back into a pre-1MDB bond deal in their probe into fugitive financier Jho Low – whether he profited from a 2009 RM5 billion bond sale involving 1MDB's predecessor, the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), Malaysian banking group AmBank Bhd, as well as Thai and Singapore-linked companies;

  • The announcement by the Inspector-General of Police Fuzi Harun that police investigations into the 1MDB affair are expected to be completed by March;

  • The untold story of the role of MCA ministers and leaders in the cover-up of the 1MDB scandal;

  • How the opposition political party espousing Political Islam compromised its principle to support corruption, embezzlement and money-laundering to the extent of using Islam to defend Malaysia as a global kleptocracy;

  • Continued manhunt for Jho Low with the police open to the idea of putting up a reward for information that can lead to his arrest;

  • First kleptocratic trial in Malaysia on Feb 12, set to run for over 43 days; and

  • Launching of the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy to a leading nation of integrity in the world.

Malaysia was saved from becoming a global kleptocracy and a failed state by ordinary Malaysians and its behoves all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, to ponder as to how they can ensure that Malaysia does not return to the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy.


LIM KIT SIANG is Iskandar Puteri MP and DAP adviser.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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