Malaysia Is Drowning Under Corruptocracy – Comment

The overturning of Malaysia’s elected government and its agenda for reform has soon given way to the purpose behind those events. The political elite of money and influence brokers simply could not tolerate the disruption of their access to public wealth created by losing office.

So it is that, despite the Covid cover-ups and crackdowns, scandal after scandal has emerged with the return of the kleptocrat parties, spitting like snakes between themselves to get the largest share. Hand in hand with that has come abuse of power, the harassment of civil society and whistleblowers, intimidation of the media and of individuals (even imprisonment in certain cases) when they dare to  speak out on social media.

Sidelined, as always, have been good governance, the management of Malaysia’s environment and resources and the problems faced by the poor and vulnerable in society. It all owes to lawless greed on the part of an hereditary political class who have learnt to sponge off everybody else.

Malaysians need to understand their problems are caused by this corruption and to again vote out all these thieves before the economy tanks and they are taken over by a dictatorship run by a nearby super-power – there are plenty of examples they can look to choose from.

Meanwhile, the nation can only look at the slide into kleptocracy in every corner as the UMNO boys and their various allies have taken charge. In Sabah, the first state to give way to the post-coup pushback, the media group Al Jazeera has just put an appalling price tag of of $80 billion on the value of the shadowy carbon credit deal that has snatched a huge asset from under the noses of the population by placing the rights to sell almost the entire offset value of the state for the next hundred years into the hands of a politically connected concern without the slightest oversight or tender.

The contract is clearly a fraud of the most immense proportions. From the reported details it would appear that the players have neatly written in for themselves an exit deal that  guarantees them the full value of the carbon for all those years to come should the state choose think the better of this folly.

Even if they were to negotiate a fraction of that commitment just to walk away, it would make easy billions for the politicians behind the fraud in the well established pattern of so many similar self-serving contracts in Malaysia – designed purely to enable politicians to hold their own governments to ransom in order to close down commitments they themselves organised to benefit themselves.

Meanwhile, over the border in Sarawak, where GPS used the Covid crackdowns to bulldoze their own ‘election victory’, the most disgraceful power grab has been taking place on the part of the chief minister who has now seen his opportunity to set himself up as the new Taib Mahmud by grabbing every significant office of state to himself.

Abang Johari has now appointed himself not only Chief Minister but also the Chairman of GPS, the President of PBB, Finance Minister, Minister for Natural Resources and also Development and Minister for Energy and the Environment. No democratic or accountable government can possibly be run in such a manner – in fact, there is only one category of government to describe such despotic powers and that is dictatorship.

In setting up his total power grab Abang Jo is clearly copy-catting his predecessor Taib Mahmud, who spent his entire thirty years in power raping and pillaging the resources of the state to the detriment of a population who could during that prosperous time have been lifted from poverty and educated had they been better governed.  So what purpose does anyone think this new potentate might have in mind?

Meanwhile, over on the mainland, sultans have returned to their own unsupervised and self-serving managements of their states – states that are ostensibly and constitutionally supposed to be democratically run according to proper laws and governance. They and their families have taken the opportunity of the return of their crony politicians to grab licences and contracts with renewed vigour to benefit themselves.

There is no oversight, transparency or due process from so many of the state governments who ought to be representing the interests of their electorate but who too often operate like feudal lackies in return for their own kickbacks and crumbs at the expense of all those outside the magic circle of royalty and politics.

As for the federal political scene, does anyone think other than that first ‘PN’ and now the returning UMNO/BN had any priorities in mind but to take advantage of their seizure back of power in order to grab more wealth, kickbacks and contracts for themselves? The only other pressing need on any of their minds was to get those who were facing charges for their history of similar corruption off the hook.

However, even the likes of Zahid, facing some 76 charges for prior (alleged) corrupt practice, and fighting to overturn and disrupt the political scene in order to consolidate UMNO back in power (most lately by seeking to nail another bought and bulldozed ‘election victory’ in Johor) appear to have spared sufficient time to channel yet more of the nation’s wealth into family pockets.

Today’s hottest story on the WhatsApp beat has been the revelation that Zahid’s relative has secured the classic ‘enabler’s stake’ of 30% in a RM1.2 billion construction project in KL that will land yet more air-con’d tower blocks on the city, to be occupied and controlled by foreign owners as bit by bit the decision makers of the country sell off its assets to calculating international businessmen and super-power interests.

It has been the pattern for politician after politician over the past months as they have settled greedily back into monetising their office’s of state and the opportunities their responsibilities have brought them at the expense of their countryfolk, the environment and the future of their nation.

At the same time, of course, all these characters have postured with the most enormous piety and spatted against minorities and the now opposition figures who failed to curb their lust for office. Meanwhile, the nation has been treated to the boastful displays of the youthful and generally jobless family members of these parasites, happy to sport fleets of fancy vehicles and to flaunt their wasteful lifestyles online at a time of major stress and hardship for the rest of the population.

Malaysia started out as a country with enormous promise and vast natural resources in its gift. A huge proportion of these assets have now been wasted, despoiled and unsustainably pillaged by a few at the expense of the many who have suffered the destruction of their forests, the erosion of their lands, the pollution of their waters, the loss of their fisheries and faced flooding and pestilence, rising prices and growing national debt.

The people need rid of these appalling rulers before the worst happens and independence is finally lost to the country’s creditors (thanks to these greedy politicians) and bully autocrats take full charge. Zero tolerance of corruption is the only way forward which necessitates the removal of the entire class of kleptocrats who have brought the country to its knees and the prosecution jailing of all those who were prepared to overthrow a democratically elected government in order to evade justice.

At every opportunity Malaysians should vote them out.