15 possible record-breaking feats in post-kleptocracy Malaysia

2
904

In the aftermath of the 1MDB scandal, the nation now finds itself defying many of the usual norms of a parliamentary democracy. Anil Netto writes.

We are living in bizarre times.

The news that Elliott Broidy, a former prominent Republican fundraiser, has been charged with involvement in an illicit campaign to get the Trump-administration to drop its probe into 1MDB, has prompted me to to look at the aftermath of the Age of Kleptocracy in Malaysia.

This kleptocracy for much of the last decade has unhinged Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy, which has now gone haywire.

The country is fast turning into a case study of what happens when a nation suffers from acute post-traumatic kleptocratitis (OK, I made up that term!), ie the political trauma and turmoil in a post-kleptocratic landscape.

Malaysia now finds itself defying or stretching many of the usual norms in a parliamentary democracy beyond recognition. Some of these symptoms might even merit entry into any book of regional or world records. Consider these ‘worthy’ contenders:

1. Most number of kataks (‘frogs’ or political defectors)
with breathtaking skills, able to leap tall buildings (and jump across yawning political divides) at a single bound. Just look at the number of MPs and state assembly members who have crossed the floor in the last couple of years, toppling the federal government and a string of state governments

2. Most number of double kataks with multiple leapfrogging skills, hopping back and forth – first jumping from Pakatan Harapan (which won the 2018 general election) to Perikatan Nasional – and now hopping back to Anwar Ibrahim? Or how about those Sabah state assembly members crossing over to Sabah PH after the 2018 election and then jumping back?

3. Most number of political coalitions per capita – Barisan Nasional, Perikatan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan, Gagasan Rakyat Sabah, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Muafakat Nasional, Warisan Plus, Pakatan Harapan Plus, Gagasan Sejahtera, United Sabah Alliance… say no more

4. Most number of overlapping coalitions – Marvel at this labyrinth which one brave soul has compiled:

READ MORE:  Parliament week one: High and low points

5. Most number of race-based (and religious-based) parties per capita – Umno, MCA, MIC, Bersatu, Pejuang, Pas, Amanah, PBB….

6. Most bloated cabinet – 70, ie 32 ministers, 38 deputy ministers – plus three special envoys with ministerial status so that posts could be given to the kataks

7. Most number of MPs appointed as chief executives or heads of government-linked companies and statutory bodies and agencies. Many of these were kataks duly rewarded. Check out this list, which may not even be complete

Cartoon by Zunar

8. Possibly three prime ministers in a single calendar year – Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the rotan-threatening Muhyiddin Yassin…. and now Anwar Ibrahim?

9. World’s longest PM-in-waiting – Anwar, who was first appointed as Deputy PM in 1993. The broken unwritten understanding that he would take over as PM after the 2018 general election led to a calamitous chain of events and the plague of frogs

10. Oldest (ex-)PM seeking to become a third-time PM at 95-plus – after already serving 22 years and 22 months as head honcho

11. Most number of corruption charges slapped on a single politician – Zahid Hamidi, facing 87 corruption charges

12. Widest global corruption and money-laundering scandal covering I-lost-track-of-how-many-countries-and-continents – 1MDB

13. World’s most notorious fugitive, still missing in action– Jho Low

14. World’s biggest corruption scandal with no one in jail (yet) – 1MDB

15. Shortest sittings of Parliament? – For the third session (2020) of the 14th Parliament, the House of Representatives could sit for just 52 days from March 2020 to December 2020

If Malaysia is to recover from this Age of Kleptocracy, overcome the pandemic and economic challenges, and return to some semblance of normalcy, we desperately need to find people of integrity to lead the country.

READ MORE:  Motion to replace a speaker

And we must reform the institutions of governance and put respected independent heads in place to provide checks and balances, so that never again will we sink into the abyss.

Otherwise, this kleptocracy could rapidly degenerate into a kakistocracy (government by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state).

Sign Aliran's 'Save our Democracy" petition
Sign Aliran's petition calling for a review of the decision to grant Riza Aziz a DNAA
Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Hakimi Abdul Jabar
16 Oct 2020 12.49pm

Malaysia’s Constitution and its method of administering the country is based on the British Westminster model.
In Malaysia :
The Agong does not, and cannot, under the Federal Constitution of Malaysia participate in, or decide for, the people. The citizenry of Malaysia rule themselves by the laws of democracy.
Voters elect members of Parliament. The MPs in turn elect the Prime Minister.
So, who’d dare stop any motion of no-confidence? Malaysia is a DEMOCRACY – not a dictatorship nor plutocracy nor oligarchy or absolutist nation.

ambigapathi samarasan
ambigapathi samarasan
10 Oct 2020 9.38am

Lack of good education has caused this and the majority of the people do not understand what is democracy. we now have so many political
parties with the old saying too many cooks spoil the soup or too many parties spoil the country