Archive for March 24th, 2012

Malaysia after regime change

— Tricia Yeoh
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 24, 2012

MARCH 24 — The intricate nexus between the worlds of business and politics has been an age-old tradition in Malaysia. Crony capitalism, a term to describe the intertwined relationship between business, politicians and the state, where individuals in the private sector benefits by obtaining licenses, concessions, government subsidies, other forms of protection from governments and appointments to key state owned enterprises through their close relationship with politicians and bureaucrats.

The main questions to ask in the event of a regime change are: Will it really ever be possible to extricate one from the other, given the context where this is an assumed norm? Second, how would a new government go about making these drastic changes?

There has been recognition of this problem by political players from both sides of the divide.

The Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan) Shadow Budget admits, for example, that “Pakatan will face resistance from cronies that desire to perpetuate patronage and rent-seeking” when it begins to attempt open tenders and a more transparent procurement policy.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak also announced that a new initiative under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) would regulate financing for all political parties, where all funding must be channelled to an official party account. He said that “a proper receipt record” would “prevent corruption and misappropriation on a grass-roots’ level…” Read the rest of this entry »


‘No More Bullshit’: Political Cognizance of a Rakyat for the Rakyat

by Syed Zahar
Malaysian Digest

We are living in interesting times. Here and now is a crucial episode in Malaysia’s modern political history, where things can go either way. To put things in perspective, it is a national duty of writers and media practitioners to feed Malaysians with the lowdown on the political situation in this post-March 8, 2008 era. And one writer has stepped up to the plate since even before the historical 12th General Election to do Malaysians a big favor by helping us make that informed decision come poll day.

Following his March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up (2008) and its sequel, March 8: Time for Real Change (2010), veteran journalist Kee Thuan Chye’s latest book is aptly titled No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians. It’s a compilation of his trademark straightforward commentaries on Malaysian politics that were published in various print and online media (including Malaysian Digest) as well as the author’s past speeches, political plays, poems and interviews with various media.

Malaysians now can be categorized into four political mindsets. To put it simply, there are the staunch Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters, the fence-sitters, the strong Opposition supporters and then those who are more than willing to vote for the Opposition for the sake of change and to get the two-party system going. I would say Kee belongs to the last category as we can see from the following excerpt from his new book: Read the rest of this entry »