Kleptocracy is the hallmark of Malaysia – Malaysia boleh!

kelptocracy. Photo Credit Malaysiakini

Outrageous corruption has been practised by Malaysian politicians from the UMNO led ruling coalition of UMNO, MCA, MIC etc. for generations.

I remember, as a member of the University of Malaya Students’ Union Council and student activist, participating in a demonstration 51 years ago in 1965 against Abdul Rahman Talib, the then Education Minister.

Talib was accused in Parliament by D R Seenivasagam (an opposition member of Parliament) of corrupt practice for receiving money and favours from a company known as Malay Natural Fertilisers Co Ltd when Talib was Minister of Health.

Talib sued Seenivasagam for defamation when Seenivasagam accepted Talib’s challenge to make the accusation at a public meeting.

Talib’s law suit was dismissed by Justice Hepworth J on grounds of justification.

Instead of being investigated for prosecution, Talib, who resigned as Minister, was made Malaysia’s ambassador to Egypt.  This was because Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, took the view that Talib was innocent of corruption to protect Talib from investigation and prosecution in spite of Talib having lost his law suit.

Through his action over the Talib case, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia set the tone for his UMNO led coalition government and successive Prime Ministers – corrupt politicians from the UMNO led coalition would be immune from and above the law.

Mahathir’s watch

Initially corruption was practised in a covert, subtle, “soft” manner under successive UMNO led ruling coalition governments.

There was no accountability in awarding huge government contracts and privatisation of public services to political cronies and families of senior politicians.  No accountability when mega public and government projects overran budgets by huge amounts.

Over time corrupt practices became more blatant.  It was under Mahathir’s watch (Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003) that kleptocracy became the hallmark of Malaysia.

Foreign exposé

It is more than a national disgrace that it was left to foreign (US) law enforcement authorities and foreign publication (Sarawak Report), to investigate and expose the depth of kleptocracy surrounding the 1MDB corruption.

It was under Mahathir’s watch that the Malaysian law enforcement institutions and agencies, including a significant part of the judiciary, police and anti-corruption agencies, have been compromised and rendered totally ineffective.

These institutions and law enforcement agencies are now incapable of dealing with any corruption involving politicians from the UMNO led coalition let alone the 1MDB corruption.


Should Najib be forced to resign as Prime Minister, he will be replaced by another UMNO supremo from whichever faction within UMNO.

Mahathir’s and other UMNO politicians’ fight against Najib is merely a dog fight – who should be in the prime seat of government.

Do not expect any radical change for the better as they are all from the same stable fighting over who should get the biggest spoils.

It is impossible for (and we should not expect or trust) the UMNO led coalition to reform itself to be a people-serving government.

Parties that are members of the UMNO led ruling coalition, in particular MCA, MIC and the dominant parties in Sarawak and Sabah, have shown themselves for the umpteenth time to be sheer unprincipled self-serving opportunists, partners in crime and poodles of UMNO by their deafening silence over the 1MDB corruption.

Our duty

Malaysians must continue to fight, expose corrupt practices and hold those in authority to account until Malaysia has a truly viable, people-serving opposition that is eventually able to govern Malaysia.

Malaysians must also be vigilant against politicians from the UMNO led ruling coalition abandoning their sinking ships and sneaking their way into opposition parties to attempt to find another platform to continue with their parasitic existence.

(The views expressed are strictly the writer’s opinion.)

Stephen Chang

Rebuilding Malaysia

1 Comment

  • Raymond says:

    How to report a person who is poppa turn millionaire in 5 to 8 yrs, NO job , NO business, only recently made his way through as a special officer in the melaka state

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