Monday 29 August 2011

The Politics of Business in Malaysia.

Like the many marriages of UMNO leaders who takes two or even more wives, the marriage of UMNO and business has always been for reasons other then love. More often then not these marriages are driven by lust on the part of the men while their ‘trophy wives’ pursue their aged and senile quarry yearning for the spoils that would come their way after doing the horizontal mambo with these aging Lotharios!

The marriage of UMNO and business is also without love. It is a self serving marriage of convenience that involves the selling of the executive decision –making process at all levels of government to the highest bidder. Money and politics is the root of all political evil. It is corruption at its very worst.

And nothing accentuates this abuse then the lack of accountability in the private and corporate funding of UMNO and its BN components.

In most countries there are legislation and policies in place  to ensure that corporate and private funding of political parties are regulated through disclosures to ensure that there is no link to corrupt transactions that can be used by the political parties to increase their personal and party’s income. The public is able to monitor the disclosed funding and with this knowledge the public is empowered into active advocacy and monitoring of the political process.

In Malaysia State and Federal power are used to direct resources to support UMNO’s and its coalition partners in the pursuit of winning elections. This undermines the basis of the democratic process that our country professed to practice. It was during the time of Mahathir that this practice started in earnest, was perfected and even encouraged to prosper by no lesser person then the Prime Minister himself.

What is different today is this:  There is now the ability of the public and the alternative media (as opposed to the government media) to interrogate UMNO and its BN component on these matters – as I am now doing!

The growth of corporate power has also created opportunity for these same corporate entity to align themselves with emerging political alternatives to the Barisan Nasional which not only takes away said funding from BN but over time will be exploited by these emerging forces to cause the demise of UMNO and it’s Barisan Nasional component party

No sensible Malay would argue against the need of the NEP or Ketuanan Melayu. It was clear that legislation was needed to ensure its success because persuasion alone will not make it a reality. Ownership of business alone is not the ends of this Ketuanan Melayu – it includes management control, employment equity, skills development, enterprise  and corporate development – as it should. And so government and businesses are obligated by legislation to award tenders, contracts and business opportunities to Bumiputras individuals and entities.

Against this background has grown the plurality of government and business that is now being recklessly abused by UMNO. Also evident is the spectacle of Politicians pursuing wealth – great wealth!  It has also led to the common charge of cronyism, influence peddling and the creation of an UMNO aristocracy while the majority of Malays and other Malaysian bear the brunt of these abuses of political power.

These abuses are now institutionalised within UMNO’s and the government. These abuses has been promoted by polices that are protected and even encouraged to flourish by state and federal policies, state and federal protection and preferences and now operates extensively through the UMNO and Barsian Nasiona networks. 

Ketuanan Melayu has been misapplied for political or personal gain.

But that is not to say that this same Ketuanan Melayu policies have not benefited many Malays – it has! But the same policy is also open to abuse by the same politician that seeks to advance it.

But as we the public clamour for accountability, UMNO and its component parties stubbornly demanded for the status quo to remain as they have so much to hide.

Is transparency in political finance a Utopian dream in Malaysia?

The ketuanan Melayu issues has already been perverted by government officials, BN politicians and party officials wanting to make fast money on party connections and via sources that are potentially corrupting.

We know that the relationship between money and politics have been at the heart of every major scandal in Malaysia…and it involves the Prime Minister down.  Will the narrow mindedness of UMNO to focus simply on the acquisition of personal wealth and political power prove eventually to be self destructive to UMNO?

IN Malaysia money buys influence  politicians  and trophy wives – and not necessarily in that order. A culture of transparency and disclosure must start to take roots now within BN and Paktan Rakyat if our country is to survive .

Talking about transparency and good governance without legislation that can be implemented and enforceable seems to be the way to go for this Najib’s administration. What would it take for him to see that we the public has had enough of politicians making biased decision to advance the commercial interest of those to whom they are beholden? Let Pakatan Rakyat also be cognizance of this demand by the people from whom they will expect much of in the 13th general election if they are to govern. Not to do so would be political suicide for Barsian Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat!    


  1. Pak HH,

    Happy Hari Raya to you and your family, may you have a merry day on this first of Shawal, god bless you all.

  2. Salam Pak Hussein,
    Wishing you and family Selamt Hari Raya
    from Brasil

  3. Sir, reforms to political financing are long overdue. The close nexus between politics and business in Malaysia helps feed this further. TI Malaysia researched this area and published a book (Reforming Political Financing in Malaysia) last year. Its candid responses from both past and present politicians makes for interesting, and untimately relevant reading.

  4. Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to you and family. Keep up the good work, Sir

  5. Salam Hari Raya bro,may God be with us all.....

  6. Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to you and family.

  7. Sir,

    Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir & Batin

  8. Can people wake up before they are made paupers by thieving tyrants? The evidence from USA, Egypt and elswhere does not give us much hope.

  9. Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to you and your family Hussein. Keep up your good work and stay healthy.