Archive for category Good Governance

Two-week stalling by Apandi from resigning as Attorney-General is petty and long enough – he should immediately resign without further ado if he does not want to become the greatest obstacle to legal reforms in Malaysian history

The two-week stalling by Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali from resigning as Attorney-General is petty and long enough – he should immediately resign without further ado if he does not want to be the greatest obstacle to legal reforms in Malaysian history.

Apandi cannot pretend that his appointment as Attorney-General is not akin to a political appointment, whether in the form of a contract or otherwise, and with the earthquake development on 9th May 2018 bringing about the historic change of the Federal Government in Putranjaya in the 14th General Election, it is completely untenable and undignified for Apandi to contine a single day as Attorney-General especially as he does not enjoy any confidence whatsoever from the new Malaysian Government.

Leaving aside for the moment the most suspicious and even inauspicious circumstances in which his appointment as Attorney-General was made in July 2015, Apandi, who had been a Federal Court judge, should not to subject the high office of Attorney-General to further indignity of being asked to go on leave and other forms of public humiliation!

Let Apandi demonstrate to Malaysians that he can act with dignity and honour to face the fact that his time as Attorney-General was up when Malaysians shocked the world with the historic decision on May 9 to have a peaceful and democratic transition of power – the first in the nation’s history; and that the vote of May 9, 2018 was not only to throw out Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional government in Putrajaya, but also a personal vote of no confidence in him as Attorney-General.

In fact, all political appointees, whether Senators or appointment to GLCs and public bodies, should have submitted their resignation in the last two weeks after the results of the 14th General Election for new appointments to be made.

Recently, the Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad revealed that there are some 17,000 political appointees in the country, but the state of civic and political consciousness among these former wielders of power and influence in the country is so low and primitive that until now only the former Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad had acted honourably in resigning as Felda Chairman after the general election.

What are these 17,000 political appointees waiting for instead of submitting their resignations without any further ado?

(Media Statement in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday May 23, 2018)

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“Police detain man who insulted Dr M” is Old Malaysia – time for all agencies to develop “New Malaysia” mindset

“Police detain man who insulted Dr M” is Old Malaysia which was voted out by Malaysian voters on May 9, 2018.

The time has come for all public agencies to develop a “New Malaysia” mindset, which is why I had tweeted last night: “Release him Let us not embark on this path”.

Malaysians made history on May 9, 2018 but such a history will only be meaningful and lasting if it signalled the dawn of a New Malaysia with structural, institutional and mindset changes to enable the fulfillment of the Malaysian Dream, not just a change of Prime Minister or coalition forming the Malaysian Government in Putrajaya.

Under the Old Malaysia, police reports by Pakatan Harapan leaders and civil society activists against Barisan Nasional leaders are invariably ignored, while police reports by Barisan Nasional agaisnt Pakatan Harapan leader and civil society activists given priority attention.

In the New Malaysia, police response must not depend of “who” lodges police reports, but “what” was in the police report, and actions where civil remedy is available should not be criminalised just because the subject-matter involves the Prime Minister or any Minister for that matter.

It is good that Mahathir has acknowledged this, and he has publicly stated that he disagreed with the arrest of a man who criticised him and had instructed the police to look into the matter.

Many Malaysians see the 14th General Election as a national watershed where a New Malaysia can be born, and whether Malaysians adopt “New Malaysia” or “Old Malaysia” mindset will be an acid test whether we are building a New Malaysia or just continuing with an Old Malaysia.

On the occasion of the 49th anniversary of the May 13, 1969 racial riots on Sunday, I had called for the dark days of May 13 to be placed firmly behind us, but Malaysians must learn the most lesson of the need for perpetual mutual respect, sensitivity, civility and decency among Malaysians even among political foes in our plural society of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures.

I had called for a more decent and civil politics, minus the lies, fake news and false information so ubiquitous in recent general elections campaign.

Not everyone can respond positively to such a call but I hope that the majority of those who did not vote for Pakatan Harapan in the recent general election will be able to see the merit of this proposal and join in creating the New Malaysia mindset to bid farewell to the Old Malaysia of global kleptocracy, abuses of power, injustice and exploition of various forms.

(Media Statement in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 18th May 2018)

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Mahathir’s helming of education ministry does not violate the letter and spirit of Pakatan Harapan manifesto

I was stumped when the press phoned yesterday for comment on MCA/Gerakan criticism that Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s helming of Education Ministry was a breach of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.

This was news to me and I can understand why at the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting yesterday nobody objected when Mahathir revealed that he would also be the Education Minister as everybody felt it was ok.

How could there be such an election promise when none of the Pakatan Harapan leaders from the four component parties of DAP, PRK, AMANAH and Bersatu had known about it or had made such a public commitment? Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the PSD Director-General suggesting that 85% of Malaysian Chinese voters, 65% Indian voters and 40% of Malay voters who voted against UMNO/BN in 13GE are not loyal to Yang di Pertuan Agong and country?

I am shocked at the mindset and mentality not only of the political establishment as demonstrated by the recent furore over “quinoa politics vs rice politics” and the flurry of gratuitous and baseless UMNO attacks on tycoon Robert Kuok but also of the top bureaucrats in the civil service, who seemed to have forgotten and deviated from the vital cardinal principle of non-partisanship of the civil service in politics and political matters.

I was utterly shocked when I read yesterday of the reminder by the Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Zainal Rahim Seman to 1.6 million civil servants that they should discharge their responsibilities as members of the civil service with undivided support to the government and country based on the principles of the pledge of loyalty and integrity when they first joined the service. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Harapan Federal Government will introduce a new Federalism to devolve more powers and allocate more funds not only to Sabah and Sarawak but also to the various state governments in Peninsular Malaysia

As Penang DAP State Chairman and Penang Executive Councillor Chow Kon Yeow observed just now, this gathering is quite unique and historic as we have here three persons closely connected with the political development of Tanjong constituency, two former MPs and the current MP for Tanjong Parliamentary constituency, as I had been Tanjong MP for three terms from 1986 – 1999, Chow Kon Yeow MP for Tanjong for three terms from 1999 to 2013 and Ng Wei Aik, Tanjong MP since 2013.

When I moved from Kota Melaka to contest in Tanjong parliamentary constituency in 1986, the objective was to make Penang the front-line state for political change in Malaysia for democracy, human rights, justice, the rule of law and an united, harmonious. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Zahid to immediately head a task force to prevent any more tahfiz school fires and present a White Paper to Parliament when it meets on Oct. 23 on the result of checks on all tahfiz schools in the country

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should not just chair the task force on the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz schools fire which resulted in the death of 24 people yesterday, his task force should be expanded in scope and terms of reference to ensure that there will be no more tahfiz school fires in the country.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his upset that no lessons had been learnt from a tahfiz school fire in Kedah in 1989, which killed 27 people.

He recalled that in the fire at a tahfiz school dormitory in 1989, 27 female students died. The fire also totally gutted the school and eight wooden hostels.

Zahid’s task force on tahfiz fire should also probe into why no lesson had been learnt from the fire in Kedah in 1989, which claimed 27 lives, as well as other tahfiz fires. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is the Bank Negara Forex Losses Cabinet Task Force so keen to question Anwar but the Bank Negara Forex Losses RCI so afraid to summon Anwar, who was Finance Minister at the relevant period, to testify?

One question swirling in the minds of informed Malaysians is why the Cabinet Task Force on Bank Negara Forex Losses half-a-century ago was so keen to question Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim but the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Bank Negara Forex Losses is so afraid to summon Anwar, although Anwar was Finance Minister during a major part of the relevant period being investigated by the RCI –and especially when the Chairman of both probes is the same person!

Anwar’s statement from Sungai Buloh prison makes sad reading for Malaysians who had expected the RCI into the Bank Negara forex losses to function professionally and operate with full accountability and transparency.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s cautionary warning today to the RCI on Bank Negara Forex Losses is particularly pertinent in the light of Anwar’s complaints – that the RCI tasked with investigating foreign exchange losses suffered by Bank Negara over two decades ago must follow proper procedures to ensure it does not “blacken” the image of the monarchy.

Mahathir said the image of the monarchy was at stake, as it gives a certain image that is linked to the position of the rulers, and as such a royal commission must follow the rules and regulations and procedures that will not affect the image of royalty, in particular, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should explain how he could appoint Isa Samad as SPAD Acting Chairman when he should have thick dossiers about Isa being a problematic candidate for any top public post because of his controversial role as FELDA and FGV Chairman raising grave issues about integrity, breach of trust and abuse of power

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, owes Malaysians a full and proper explanation as to how he could appoint Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad as Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) Acting Chairman when he should have received thick dossiers about Isa being a problematic candidate for any top public post because of his controversial role as Felda and FGV Chairman, raising grave issues about integrity, breach of trust and abuse of power.

Mohd Isa was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday in its investigations into corruption and abuse of power in the purchase of two hotels, one in London and the other in Kuching, by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC).

The MACC said that it has “strong basis” to arrest Isa and is considering a bid to freeze all assets owned by Mohd Isa. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hishammuddin cannot be more wrong – the issue is not whether he has “nothing to hide” but why as Defence Minister, he could not answer questions about whether military intelligence chief had received RM7 million from Najib a month before the last GE?

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein cannot be more wrong when he gave a curt and terse response to questions about the claim that the director-general of the Defence Staff Intelligence Division had received money from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak about a month before the last general election.

He avoided the question by simply declaring “I have nothing to hide.”

Hishammuddin cannot be more wrong – the issue is not whether he has “nothing to hide” but why as Defence Minister, he could not answer questions whether the military intelligence chief had received RM7 million from Najib a month before the last GE; and if so, the reason for the extraordinary payment.

It is no use Hishammuddin going round the bush declaring that the military has “never been political” or that “we are not in the business of spinning this or making speculations”, when the question is why as Defence Minister he could not say “yes” or “no” to the allegation that the director-general of the military intelligence had received RM7 million from the Prime Minister about a month before the 13GE. Read the rest of this entry »

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Isa Samad should decline appointment as SPAD Chairman to end the fiasco of GLC musical chairs and start the era of appointment of the best man and not the PM’s closest crony to head GLCs

Tan Sri Isa Samad resigning as FELDA Group Ventures Holding Bhd (FGV ) Chairman but immediately becoming SPAD Chairman is only continuing the fiasco of GLC musical chairs and the farce of the GLC Transformation Programme.

It is another reason and example of the plummeting public confidence and credibility of the Najib premiership.

The appointment of Isa as Chairman of SPAD is not only the most unpopular appointment of a GLC Chairman, opposed by all sectors of society, embracing the civil service, the civil society and UMNO and BN rank-and-file, but had even been criticised by the first and former SPAD Chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

The least Isa could do to end the charade of his appointment as SPAD Chairman is for him to decline the appointment as SPAD Chairman, pending inquiry into his stewardship of FELDA and FGV, which resulted in the loss of tens of billions of ringgit for the 100,000 Felda settlers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Idris Jala report on the FGV crisis should be “Tell All” and not cover-up for Najib’s ministerial failure for five years to ensure FELDA and FGV serve the 100,000 FELDA settlers and not UMNO cronies

That was fast.

Within a week, former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala had completed his assignment by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to look into the Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) crisis.

This was revealed by Najib yesterday who said the Idris’ report would be announced at an appropriate time and he had also requested Idris to look into several steps and measures to solve the crisis.

Is Idris a superman or wonder worker in government transformation who could pinpoint the complex causes and solutions of the RM13 billion FGV crisis within a week?

Or were all the facts and information about the FELDA/FGV crisis in the possession of the Prime Minister’s Department, as the Prime Minister was directly responsible for FELDA/FGV affairs, and the real issue is the Prime Minster’s failure of responsibility to save FELDA and FGV in the past five years? Read the rest of this entry »

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Key lesson of Bank Negara forex losses quarter of a century ago – failure of Ministers, top civil servants, MPs and the press to play their role to uphold the principles accountability and good governance

I am here in response to an invitation by the 1992/3 Bank Negara forex losses special task force for an interview “dengan pihak yang pernah terlibat atau mempunyai sebarang maklumat mengenai urus niaga mata wang asing yang dilakukan oleh BNM sekitar tahun 1990-an”.

I was never terlibat in the Bank Negara forward forex trading and what I knew about the Bank Negara forward forex trading in the early 1990s are public information in my speeches in Parliament on the subject in 1993 and 1994.

Let me state that I stand by my speech in Parliament in April 1994 calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the colossal Bank Negara forex losses, with the following tasks:

• to ascertain Bank Negara’s forex losses since 1992, and whether they could exceed RM30 billion;

• to ascertain whether there had been any financial malpractices and abuses; and

• to establish as to how the Bank Negara could incur such colossal losses.

The Cabinet set up the special task force set up to probe the foreign exchange losses incurred by Bank Negara more than two decades ago but is it really concerned about accountability and good governance principles? Read the rest of this entry »

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Election Commission must revamp its IT capabilities and facilities to introduce automatic registration of voters or at least ensure that voters who are registered one month before the elections can vote at the 14GE

Yesterday in Sandakan, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked a rhetorical question, that if Malaysia is a failed state, whether King Salman of Saudi Arabia would have come to Malaysia with a large aircraft with a huge entourage?

If Salman’s entourage is an indication of the success of the countries visited by the Saudi King, it would mean that Indonesia is more than twice successful than Malaysia as Salman came to Malaysia with an entourage of 600 while he visited Indonesia with an entourage more than twice that number, i.e. 1,500!

It is of course silly to use the size of the Salman’s entourage as a yardstick to measure the success of the countries visited by the Saudi King.

I have never said Malaysia is a failed state. But unless we pull up our socks, we are in the trajectory of hurtling towards a failed and rogue state. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO’s Federal Territory proposal for Penang is admission that UMNO/Barisan Nasional have no hope of winning back non-Malay support and face prospect of losing more Malay support and more UMNO seats in 14GE

We are celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Fire Rooster under the cloud of Malaysia regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

We hope that this is the only year national festivities in Malaysia are celebrated under a cloud of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy, as the 14th General Election should be held before the next Chinese New Year of the Dog on 16th February 2018.

For many months, Malaysians going overseas have been faced with the embarrassing situation when asked which country they come from.

Once Malaysians had no problem in proudly identifying themselves as coming from Malaysia, but now they hesitate whether to answer the question as they would be confronted with embarrassing questions about Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy, the infamous international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal involving the Prime Minister which have caused the closure of banks and imprisonment of bankers for money-laundering in other countries, MO1 and many other difficult questions.

There is however a reprieve for Penangites, for they can proudly identify themselves as from Penang, which will win admiration and plaudits for restoration of Penang in the past eight years from “Garbage Dump of the Orient” back to “the Pearl of the Orient”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet on Wednesday should set up national consultative council on TN50 under chairmanship of Nazir Razak to ensure a shared national vision by 100% and not just 47% of the population

The Cabinet on Wednesday should set up a national consultative council on 2050 National Transformation Policy under the chairmanship of CIMB Group Chariman, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak to ensure a shared national vision by 100% and not just 47% of the population.

How can the first minority government in the country, which won only 47% support of the popular electorate in the last general election in 2013, undertake a national undertaking like the TN 50 concerning the vision of Malaysia for the next 33 years when it has the lost the locus standi even to claim to represent the majority of Malaysians?

The 53% of the popular electorate, who rejected the Barisan Nasional as the Federal government in Putrajaya, must be able to fully participate in the evolution and shaping of TN 50 if the objective is to create a shared national vision for 100% of Malaysians and not just 47% of the people.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is right when he said yesterday that Malaysians need to focus on efforts on instilling unity instead of giving attention to matters pertaining to disagreements and differences in opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two questions for Najib on his twin mega scandals – what were 1MDB’s total debts before “rationalization” and why no one charged court for 1MDB’s multi-billion ringgit losses?

I have resumed my tour of parliamentary constituencies as part of the “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” nation-wide campaign, following my suspension from Parliament for six months on Oct. 22, in pursuit of the question “Mana RM2.6 billion?”.

Kluang yesterday was the 56th and Pulai today the 57th Parliamentary constituency I am visiting in the new year of 2016, and both visits have shown that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak could not be more wrong when he claimed in his New Year message that his RM2.6 billion donation and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals have been resolved and are no more issues in the country.

In fact, the opposite is the case, as both scandals remain foremost issues among Malaysians, especially as they had been responsible for the most shameful episode in the 58-year history of the nation – Malaysia’s third placing in the world’s “worst corruption scandal in 2015”!

Although it will not be possible for me to visit all the 222 Parliamentary constituencies in the country during the period of my 180-day six-month suspension from Parliament, I will try to visit more than 150 Parliamentary constituencies in the country by the time I am allowed to return to Parliament – with a strong and unmistakable mandate from Malaysians from all over the country, embracing all races, religions and regions in the country, to demand that Najib must fully account for his twin mega scandals.

Najib had tried to bury “once and for all” his twin mega scandals in his New Year message, but his effort could not survive 24 hours.

He claimed that he had honoured his promise in June last year to resolve the 1MDB problem, alleging that with the latest agreement announced on 31st December for the sale of 60 per cent equity in Bandar Malaysia to a joint local and international consortium – composed of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings at 60 per cent and China Railway Engineering Corporation at 40 per cent – 1MDB will see its debts reduced by approximately RM40.4 billion, which represents the overwhelming majority of 1MDB’s debt.

Leaving aside for the moment the details of the 1MDB “rationalization programme” to reduce 1MDB debts, as they are indirect bailouts by the Federal Government, there are two questions which Najib needs to answer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Acknowledgement by IGP Khalid that “no confidence” move against Najib is neither criminal nor police concern will allow a proper and less inhibited discussion of alternatives to the present Najib administration

The country is sick and in crisis.

Today sees the rout of the Malaysian ringgit which fell to a record 17-year low of 4.26 to a US dollar and another record low of 3.08 against the Singapore dollar.

Malaysia’s foreign exchange reserves fell 19% since the start of the year, dipping below the US$100 billion for the first time last month since 2010, fueling speculation that Bank Negara is digging into the reserves to shore up the currency.

It has fallen to US$94.5 billion on August 14 from US$96.7 billion on July 31.

The lower a country’s forex reserves, the less it is able to do to shore up a sinking currency.

Meanwhile, capital outflows from the country are accelerating, to three times the size of capital investments in the country in Q1.

The reserves slid four times as fast as Indonesia, whose rupiah is the second worst-performing currency in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political funding and transparency: an Islamic perspective

– Maszlee Malik and Musa Mohd Nordin
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2015

It is widely accepted that the practice of good governance leads to higher investment and growth, hence development. And political accountability has been highly regarded as one of the sine qua non elements in the governance equation.

Transparency in party financing as well as asset disclosure are amongst the crucial characteristics of political accountability in many developed nations.

A myriad of researches and reports have shown that the lack of openness in money and politics has often contributed to the corruption of political finance.

Thus, policymakers aspiring for sustainable national development must seriously address the transparency of money in politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political leaders can meet and discuss Mahathir’s interesting proposition to see how far it could advance the cause of “Save Malaysia”

(Scroll down for English text)

Pemimpin-pemimpin politik boleh bertemu dan membincangkan cadangan menarik Mahathir untuk melihat sejauh mana ia boleh membawa kepada matlamat “Menyelamatkan Malaysia”

Pada Mac tahun ini, saya telah menyarankan agar rakyat Malaysia mengumpul keberanian untuk memikirkan perkara-perkara yang tidak terfikirkan, termasuk membayangkan kemunculan seorang Perdana Menteri baru dan gabungan kerajaan baru sebelum Pilihanraya Umum ke-14 dalam tempoh tiga tahun ini bagi “Menyelamatkan Malaysia”, mempertahankan Perlembagaan Malaysia, kedaulatan undang-undang dan membentuk urus tadbir yang baik.

Menerusi beberapa kenyataan media dan ucapan sepanjang Mac dan April, saya telah membincangkan kemungkinan wujudnya satu pakatan besar “Menyelamatkan Malaysia” pasca-BN dan pasca-PR.

Saya juga telah menyatakan dengan jelas bahawa jika pakatan besar “Menyelamatkan Malaysia” pasca-BN dan pasca-PR itu dibentuk, ia mestilah tidak terhad kepada hanya kaum atau agama tertentu tetapi meliputi semua kaum, agama, dan daerah, atau dalam ungkapan lain, sebuah kerajaan gabungan yang jamak-kaum, jamak-agama dan jamak-daerah, meliputi Muslim dan bukan-Muslim, Melayu dan bukan-Melayu, serta warga Malaysia dari Semenanjung Malaysia, Sarawak dan Sabah.

Gabungan itu juga mesti melampaui pakatan dan parti politik sedia ada, merangkumi Ahli-Ahli Parlimen dari kedua-dua kubu politik dan juga kedua-dua sisi Laut Cina Selatan, iaitu meliputi Sabah, Sarawak dan Semenanjung Malaysia, bagi mempertahankan perlembagaan dan kedaulatan undang-undang dengan seorang Perdana Menteri baru dan sebuah kerajaan Malaysia yang baru. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sustaining strong institutions for clean gov’t

By Group of 25
Malaysiakini
Aug 19, 2015

COMMENT The success of the transformation and development of the Malaysian economy and its financial system has been primarily due to an empowering legal framework and sound institutions that operate on structured processes and with strong accountabilities, underpinned by a good governance framework.

Malaysia is indebted to visionary leaders whose dedicated focus and emphasis on building strong institutions have provided the foundation to support the development of the Malaysian economy.

These institutions continue to be led by strong leaders with a vision, a culture of integrity and competence which is imbued with values and virtues of hard work and prudence. This institutional framework has been the most important aspect of the growth and resilience of the economy today.

The ‘invisible hand’ does not work, by itself: it requires help from the rules of the game which govern how the market and its participants interact with each other. Institutional quality not only has a significantly positive impact upon income per capita, but it is also positively auto-correlated with the level of economic integration and trade (Rodrik & Subramanian 2003).

An improvement in institutional quality raises GDP directly, as well as promotes closer integration into the global economy, hence, enabling the economy to benefit from international trade and foreign investment flows. The auto-correlation also implies that higher national income and exposure to developed markets tend to lead to demand for improved institutions, thus enforcing a benign cycle. Read the rest of this entry »

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