Malaysia’s history of crisis of confidence


Salleh Said Keruak

Yesterday, the Financial Times said that anxiety regarding the 1MDB bailout has pushed down the Ringgit. The Malay Mail also carried that report and repeated that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should not deny that 1MDB had transferred RM2.6 billion into his personal account.

We must note two things about that report by both the UK-based newspaper as well as what can be considered a Malaysian-government-owned newspaper. First is that whatever is being done with 1MDB is being called a bailout. Secondly, Najib must confess that he stole RM2.6 billion of 1MDB’s money.

In other words, it is an open-and-shut case and no longer a matter that needs to be investigated. In that case why ask for an investigation to be done if the conclusion has already been decided?

The allegation is that foreign investors have lost confidence in Malaysia because of the many financial scandals. What foreign investors are more worried about is that there is no banking secrecy in Malaysia and all your financial details can be freely distributed and posted on the Internet.

That the investors find even more frightening.

There may be efforts to topple the Prime Minister but when this is done to the extent of sabotaging the reputation of the country then the damage done can never be repaired.