Enron-ising Malaysia

by Azly Rahman
Feb 22, 2014

Malaysia’s monopoly corporate crony capitalism, framed and flourishing ethnocentrically and laced with economic fascism continue to take root, fashioned after the ethos and eerie-ness of America’s Enron Corporation which was said to be too big to fail yet fell like a house of cards that turned into ashes after an internal combustion of a self-immolation.

It also brought down one of one of the world’s biggest accounting fraudsters and master of creative accounting – Arthur Anderson. This is a feature of the many a Wall Street-fashioned American corporation – grow bigger with bigger lies with the help of world-class lying accounting firms.

What will Malaysia see decades after the seeds of destruction have germinated out of the three-pronged policies of Malaysian-styled Reaganomics and Thatcherism and Marcos-Mugabeism of Malaysia Incorporated, Look East Policy, and Privatisation Policies. Or have we not seen the impact of these policies in terms of the growth of big businesses whose survival also lie in the political-economic patronage of race-based political parties?

The 1997 socio-economic manglement of the Tom Yum Effect with the destruction of the Thai Baht has not be fully healed and like a mathematical Mandelbrott/fractal geometric set of the Chaos and Complexity theory we continue to see mutations and manifestations of a Hayek-Friedmanian legacy of Malaysian corporate-capitalist cronyism of old an new money taking centre stage in a politics no one have a clear idea of what is happening, whilst the middle class live in an illusion of wealth and the poor live in a dungeon of despair under a Klang Valley bridge.

Our ‘Dark Spring’ is becoming a winter of despair with occasional glimmers of hope of this and that political change for the better; even this, met with more filth of a behind-the-scenes dealings of power struggle the rakyat will never know.

In the collapse of one of America’s trumpetedly best and profitably run, Bush and Cheney- regime-linked Texas company the anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and psychology of a monopoly global capitalist outfit is clearly defined – the giant is made out of a house of cards and surviving through the ingenuity of ‘creative accounting’, of a degenerating cut-throat capitalist, Man-eat-Man , Corporation-mauling-Public investors kind of ethos, which ended up like a Caesarian tragedy of executives committing suicide out of the guilt of robbing too many a grandmother and their savings aplenty.

The top executives get paid five hundred times more that the middle managers and the complexity of this ultra-modern capitalist system of growing by constantly “thinking outside the box and even lying to the confession box” – all these colour the story of the American corporation.

The story of Enron is one in which even the most brilliant Accounting professors could not figure out; it took a group of students doing a case study of it to conclude by these beautiful words as the dawn of its demise: SELL, SELL, SELL.

Bailout yet to happen again?

In the looming bankruptcy of Malaysia’s airline MAS, what is actually happening, that the public need to know? What kind of bailout is yet to happen again, and how will private companies prey upon dying government-linked businesses and ultimately how will the rakyat suffer in the scheme of things entire?

How can we teach Malaysians to think like forensic accountants and see the complexities of the work of the “smartest guys in the room”, – of our own Ken Lays, of Jeffery Skilling, and the like, of Bernie Madoffs and help us see what is happening around us that make our lives more difficult, of poverty amidst plenty, of the chief executives of Malaysian corporations getting paid tens of thousand per day whilst the abject poor may soon be eating sand and grass.

How do we get access to the facts of who keeps what in secret vaults in Switzerland, Singapore and the Cayman Islands, or even on planet Mars?

Why are we seeing one-man one-dynasty one-corporate gang-styled ownership of conglomerates and corporations linked to a dying regime and seeing that and this brand of monopoly capitalism continue to destroy the economic and moral fabric of what we ought to be weaving as Malaysians and a society rooted in values of moderation, humility, and the taming of greed in us?

Man is trapped in a system he has created.

A matrix – in need of a liberator.

But what then must we do?

DR AZLY RAHMAN, born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Baru, holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in International Education Development and Masters degrees in four areas: Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 350 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience in Malaysia and the United States spans over a wide range of subjects, from elementary to graduate education. He has edited and authored four books; Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present, Future (2009), Thesis on Cyberjaya: Hegemony and Utopianism in a Southeast Asian State (2012), The Allah Controversy and Other Essays on Malaysian Hypermodernity (2013), and the latest Dark Spring: Ideological Roots of Malaysia’s GE-13 (2013). He currently resides in the United States.

  1. #1 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 8:24 am

    “Ok my view.

    Now first of all, and I can by without repeating these, the comment above is clearly anti-melayu (read umnoputra), anti-islam jenis-umno, anti-agung, anti-gobermen, anti-malaysia, unpatriotic and ungrateful.

    Umno is the supreme grand master of the universe and the GOD of all gods. No one questions umno. No one. Or he will incur the wrath of umno.

    Umno is entitled to bail out MAS. Umno has done it before and umno is entitle to do it again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.

    Get it?”

    … kangkung belacan – taiking’s meal last night.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 10:50 am

    Its really bad for MAS..If you look at SIA and other well-runned premium airlines, they are not having and easy time too because of cost and budget competition.

    The case is not that different than say the Department Stores and retail. Long term wise, it just bad news. Your main customer base is shrinking and alternatives is springing up left and right. In the case of MAS, its also badly run with legacy problems.

    The closest model MAS can go for, if it still go it alone, is what the US majors go through – consolidation and cost cutting. Its a real tough act in a still regulated market in the region – and even if its possible, MAS is a candidate to be acquired NOT the predator.

    The truth is the duopoly Air-Asia -MAS idea was possible the only viable long term future for MAS which Pakatan opposed when it first mooted. Its unfair to consumer and hence why UMNO/BN can never be the one to do it because they have lost public trust.

    So the stark reality, for MAS survival, UMNO/BN has to go and Pakatan become a hypocrite and do what they they had opposed before..

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