‘Tis the season of forgetfulness over financial scandals

12 November 2014

So much has happened over the years that one is forgiven for forgetfulness about what went wrong or right in Malaysia.

Malaysians have seen a series of financial scandals, each that seem bigger than the previous one.

Right now, the focus is on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Everyone is concerned about its debts and the government’s liability if it fails. That includes Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin, and rightly so, as the two men navigated Malaysia through tough economic times in the past.

But what about the huge gaping hole called Perwaja, not to mention Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and PKFZ during Dr Mahathir’s long 22 years in power. Or Maminco or Bank Negara’s forex scandal if that ever strikes one’s minds.

Weren’t they scandals that hogged the headlines in the past, only to be quickly dismissed by the government of the day and either government guarantees or public funds poured in to bail them out?

And then Daim talks about widening income gap, blah blah blah… that is blighting the nation. Didn’t that also happen in the past few decades and not just a recent phenomenon?

The thing is, the Malaysian economy did not become dysfunctional overnight. The excesses, subsidy mentality were also features in both of Daim’s terms in office during the Mahathir years.

Malaysia went through several cycles of economic slowdowns where there was much pump-priming. That playbook has hardly changed in recent years although prime ministers have changed.

See, the only saving grace for all the missteps and mismanagement and gross incompetency or corruption over the decades is that Malaysians are a forgiving lot.

We have not pushed anyone out office for losing billions of ringgit over the years. Financial scandals have not lost anyone public office in Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir and Daim have a right to be concerned as much as other Malaysians about the country’s economy and the rising public debt but they have to remind themselves the same happened during their time in office.

There is little difference between them and the current government in thinking that they know best for the country’s economy – no matter the criticisms and concern of the ordinary people who have to tighten their belts because the government is not doing exactly that.

They can forget the past financial scandals but Malaysians should not, and not let them get away without accounting for their deeds in public office. – November 12, 2014.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Thursday, 13 November 2014 - 9:32 am

    Yes, lots of complaints, corruptions, n negative news here day in day out
    Yet, dis 1DERful land is d top 3 country among world’s best countries to retire in 2014 & “Malaysia—Asia’s Best Retirement Haven”
    Hard 2 believe we r oredi living in Haven, right?

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Thursday, 13 November 2014 - 9:49 am

    2 divert rakyat’s frustration n anger over financial scandals, there will b continued public n noisy PROTESTS fr certain ultra grps against previously accepted events, like Oktoberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Consuming turkey, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year (Note: January 1 is d first day of d year on d modern Gregorian calendar. Furthermore, New Year’s Day traditionally marks, horror upon horrors, d Feast of d Circumcision of Christ – WHOA! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year's_Day), etc

    All in d CONTEXT of SENSITIVITY, my frens!

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 13 November 2014 - 11:52 am

    Najib’s “:transformation” is simply Greece-style debt hidding and Mahathir’s style spending. BUT with removal of subsidies and GST implemented, the current level is not catastrophic yet but if all the plans for Trains and other “buy votes” within his party and general elections goes as plan, then it will be pretty close to maxing out our national credit cards and shuffling payment from one card with another.

    Really, why would opposition even want to take over the govt with the huge pile of debt Najib is racking up?

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Friday, 14 November 2014 - 8:35 am

    Tommy Thomas says UMNO/BN committed ACCOUNTING FRAUD and breaking the 1965 Loan Guarantee Act. What is the recourse for White Collar Criminal Act by the Govt?

  5. #5 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 14 November 2014 - 8:36 am

    It is ironical that these 2 are concerned with the welfare of Malaysia as they were the originators of such scheme. Maybe, they sighed because the ringgit has gone down and the current operators have surpassed them in their operation. Just look around the nation, we are sliding backwards for sure. In the past the Super-ego had used the little dot to justify his actions or in-actions and the leadership still plays on; forgetting that the LITTLE DOT has practically flown to Mars and back! As things are developing, they better look North and further South; both nations which we Malaysians have taken for being laggards all these years! Soon the next generation of Malaysians may have to seek their daily wages. Their cronies can only seek the Gomen for protection of their profits even after they are in business for nearly a generation- 30 years! We have Perwaja, PKFZ, Cow-gate, Megasteel, MAS, privatized public utilities etc What the F… are we talking about that some industry is seeking duty up to 30/40% to prevent competition? Are we so incompetent or someone is doing double accounting system? We can just wait for Thailand and Indonesia to settle down by 2015 when the AEC is supposed to be implemented!

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Friday, 14 November 2014 - 10:34 am

    SO WHAT if Tommy was correct?
    WHO do rakyat expect will take action against corrupt UmnoB/BN?
    Of cos, NO action will b taken lah

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