For once, a tiny Third World nation’s sovereign fund has exposed the extent of corrupt, compromised and shoddy deals and practices in the Western world, writes JD Lovernciear.
While the 1MDB saga continues to make headlines and breaking news across the globe, Malaysians are also doing electoral battle on their home ground.
What 1MDB has unknowingly punctured on a mega geopolitical stage is indeed unprecedented. For once, a tiny Third World nation’s sovereign fund has exposed the extent of corrupt, compromised and shoddy deals and practices in the Western financial and political world.
For this China, which has long earned the label of “corrupt regime” from the West, may have good reason to smile now.
Bankers, financial advisors and government regulators across several nations have been duped, compromised, hoodwinked or perhaps even enticed to play along with the questionable and now highly suspicious money trails, purchases and seeming ‘investments’.
Even Hollywood fell. Great stars and famous personalities have had their personal habits and pleasures exposed. The United Kingdom, the United States and even ‘spotless’ Switzerland have been dealt a bitter blow from the now world infamous tentacles of 1MDB.
Today as the DoJ, with the FBI trailing along, continue to investigate and confiscate, it is clear that the West is doing damage control of its soiled reputation.
Mind you, an unfamiliar Third World nation and a non-financial wizard prime minister have, by their known and perhaps unproven association with 1MDB dealings, exposed how equally if not more corrupt the capitalist West is.
How will the West redeem its integrity?
Even leaders of powerful countries who courted the 1MDB entourage may have to think through their past and future stands.
And as the days and weeks roll by, the Malaysian government does not have that much time to do damage control given a fast-approaching general election.
Analysts claim 1MDB will not have much impact on the Malaysian electorate given that a large number of voters are in rural areas.
But the West cannot remain immune to the 1MDB revelations. It has to nurse its wounds and provide answers to its own citizens.
Now the question is, to what extent can the current prime minister of Malaysia stem the avalanche. And even if there is truth in the local speculation in some circles that he might relinquish his hold on the country before he calls for election, would that be enough of a balm to sooth and heal the wounds inflicted on the reputation of a certain compromised Western nations?
JD Lovrenciear, an Aliran member, is a Kuala Lumpur-based former professional who actively follows current affairs.