Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rethinking Malaysia tonight

Y4C and Citizen Nades. The Bar Council and the Youth for Change, or Y4C, kicks off its Siri Pemikiran Kritis II on "Rethinking Malaysia" at the Bar Council auditorium in Leboh Pasar Besar, KL, at 8pm. Tonight's session is on Planning Law - Corruption, Accountability and Transparency in Local Councils. Seasoned journalist R. Nadeswaran, who sort of specializes in this area, will be one of the panelists. Three more sessions after tonight's are scheduled for:
June 20 - Between Teh Tarik, KLCC and Starbucks: Are we a developed nation?
June 27 - Media and Civil Society
July 03 - Youth Roundtable: New Voices and New Visions for Malaysia
For more info, call Yeeling at 012 7355025 or go here.


  1. Anonymous2:39 pm

    The Unholy Trinity of Malaysian corruption

    MALAYSIA may be doomed as being dismissed, somewhat indefinitely, as a nation too easily susceptible to corruptive trickery. Our ranking in any international study/poll on graft is still as loathsome. I don’t see Malaysia cracking the top five of least corruptible nations as long as the present administration is governed by an insignificant, self-important boy-man who brazenly triggered a political/economic quake with hostile and resentful consequences.
    After 50 years of this venal moral standard, packaged obtrusively in legitimate transactions or covertly in offensive bargains, the cursory glance would suggest that corruption is ingrained in as many people as religion is, in that it has convinced the majority that while there is an angry God, there is also the concept of people’s innate bribability – corruption is as obvious as bribing kids with a Playstation3 to offset catastrophic or non-existent parental skills.
    So, it’s not all very bad but neither is it all very good.
    Conversely, any scholarly or journalistic drilling into the farthest depths of Malaysian corruption, if at all possible, would likely spew putrid boils hardened by two generations of payola, an iniquitous inflammation immune to public distaste because of its protective force field – the Unholy Trinity of politicians, corporations and media – which emits a shielding effect against official snoops or the Attorney-General’s prosecutorial sovereignty.
    I suspect Malaysian corruption has engendered a new generation of bribers, inducers and pay-offers, or has spawned to the point of hopelessness, resignation or lost apathy that we are soon to ignominiously equal Nigeria. It’s mortifying but to be sure, we may not scale the Nigerian quality – yet – but some academic, NGO or political scribe/researcher will no doubt buttress stacks of statistics to prove that I am actually “understating” my proposition of this dark homily.
    Anyway, I’ll state this: corruption is the fuel empowering the Malaysian socio-economic-political lifestyle, in as much as it is venerated and celebrated. At the heart of it, corruption bolsters the economy to a state of mirthful superficiality, swells the pockets of enervated bureaucrats enviously desperate for the High Life, provides paranoid politicians the funds to pork-barrel their way into winning elections, and secures greedy corporate raiders the next mega contract through shifty political connections instead of honest smart work.
    Corruption recurs inside political parties’ machinations of vote buying and intimidation, and it plays encores at the introduction of every new Malaysian Plan or the latest development project pledges conferred to the growingly over-dependent electorate. Literally everybody wants to be on the take and they will fight like crazed hyenas to have a bite, no matter how small, at the palatable course of development, construction and engineering contracts.
    On the instigation of the Unholy Trinity, corruption provokes corporate chieftains to ruthlessly institute mergers that defile the best interests of shareholders and employees. In recent months and weeks, several corporations of expansive global reach, good stature and impressive profits have been squeezed by the Unholy Trinity’s python-like coiling grip, not hard enough to kill their professionalism but strong enough to compel the eaten-up entities amply submissive.
    The same Unholy Trinity perniciously allowed foreign intrusion into controlling strategic Malaysian companies despite warnings of its worrying advances. Nothing is sacred anymore. The Unholy Trinity’s unwritten maxim: slaughter as many sacred cows as possible and the best way to ensure a limpid decapitation is to employ their use of bribery and corruption.
    In its most twisted sensibility, corruption has become the “legitimate prescription” to the ills of the Malaysian way of life. Howl if you like in protest but many Malaysians, whether unwitting or not, encounter it everyday, endure its encumbrance as part of cost of living, and even encourages the scourge by ignoring the transaction or, more likely, participating in it.
    They can’t help it: corruption is a diabolical fact subtly emboldened by sloganeering, social campaigning, TV commercials and electoral promises. This is an extremely cynical overview but there’s no other way of stating it unless you believe everything the Government says, that the economy is chugging along fine, that police officers are incorruptible and that millionaire citizens don’t create dubious tax shelters to dodge taxes.
    To show that they mean what they pledge inside the election manifesto, the Government erected this façade of acting against offenders, some high priests of law enforcement while others, corporate sages. A meagre few indictments are filed despite the many open transgression while convictions are as rare as a trishaw ride. The vultures of big-time corruption fly contemptuously against decent law enforcers trying to clip those condescending wings.
    Even the journalistic fraternity cannot circumvent the corruptive sickness: just as dirty are editors too fearful of publishing embarrassing investigative pieces against those with the ignoble might to depress damning exposure. If that is terrible, then wicked are the editors induced with cash, junkets, club memberships and expensive gifts (wine/cigars) to print flattering advertorials masked as news of some political or corporate monstrosity.
    There is another form of journalistic corruption even more insidious: the scandalously flagrant editor–cheerleader morphing into slippery subordinates of political-corporate chieftains, eager to please and eager to defend their masters. No full microscopic glare for larceny and hypocrisy by the fervid protectorate. Not far behind are the prevaricating and plagiaristic editors whose poetic heads should be guillotined.
    There is nothing more I could state to expound these indictments of corruption to be more derogating. Malaysians are living in the era of the easy, big pay-off, where the cliché “money talks” has been immorally constitutionalised in their psyche to somehow subsume graft as part of an accepted culture and not a first class felony.
    It is in this sense that I decreed Malaysia to be doomed. Otherwise, have a nice day slipping a few bucks to the cop who stops you at the traffic lights for a perceived offence, or to the debased grunts shelling out driving licenses, passports or identity cards for a nifty price, or accepting in return politicians’ promises of mosques, roads, bridges, houses in lieu of squatting and shopping malls, or simply a stash of cash, for those precious votes. After all, the difference is calculatingly equal.

  2. Rocky,

    Let's hope all this leads us to somewhere ...... better.

  3. Anonymous10:15 am

    and also datukship for sale (add to list).

  4. Wow, Rocky, I didn't know you support the SPK? Edmund and Dippen would be very grateful to know about this announcement of yours :-)