of the M’sian cartels | Daily Express Online
Simply put, without the complicity and collusion of dishonest law enforcement officers and officials aiding and abetting offenders, there would be no cartels in the first place.
Rogue or immoral executioners (high-ranking, middle-ranking and lower-ranking) are taken by thugs, thugs and crooks in exchange for protection and cover-up.
So it doesn’t matter organized crime or our own local version of the Mafia. Certainly we have our triads, regardless of ethnicity. But, again, unlike our nearest neighbor, Singapore – where the phenomenon has been all but eradicated in the space of twenty years – organized crime and gangsterism show no signs of slowing down or phasing out.
To repeat what is a truism, we still have among us active Mafiosi involved in activities ranging from loan sharking, prostitution, unlicensed gambling and betting (conventional, online) to drug manufacturing and trafficking (including including ecstasy pills for the nightclub scene) and financial fraud, etc.
Perhaps the most famous example to date of the link between organized crime and dishonest law enforcement would be the Macau scam involving the infamous Nicky Liow – as mastermind and leader. He is still on the run and – with the connivance of some members of the police force and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) – has robbed hapless victims of their savings to the tune of billions every year. The Sun Daily reported that in 2018 alone, losses from the Macau scam amounted to RM 2.8 billion.
Not only did Nicky Liow hold the title of Datuk Seri, he was pictured with some VVIP figures. Other lesser known scammers are like Tedy Teow who is involved in get-rich-quick schemes (Ponzi-type pyramid), investment scams and finally, money laundering (through cryptocurrencies and high-end real estate purchases). According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Teow is also known as “Jho Low 2” for currently evading authorities.
As it stands, cartel-type activities flourish because of their implicit or tacit approval from superiors.
This can only happen because, at first, the elite / political masters manipulate and exploit the state security apparatus and the government apparatus for their own personal interests masquerading as the agenda. of rakyat.
The abuse of power precedes the institutionalized corruption embodied in the cartel syndrome.
The political masters are thus setting a negative or debilitating example for the civil service and administration, including the security and law enforcement services, to follow.
Moral nervousness starts at the top, as we all say.
The culture of the cartel is embedded in the political culture of the nation.
Cartels could take root when, for example, the political elite use security personnel to detain a politician who has become persona non grata (that is, someone who has fallen out of favor and has become an outsider in the country. ‘establishment) on the basis of trumped-up accusations.
Another example would be when the political elite allows corruption to flourish as a means of gaining support (“carrot”) and at the same time a tool to ensure that subordinates stay within the line (“stick”).
So instead of nipping the problem in the bud, files of allied and subordinate transgressions would pile up – ready for use someday, if needed.
This is where lies the origin of the culture of the cartel which can be assimilated to the cause of a cancerous epidemic leading to the formation (metastasis) of a malignant tumor which, precisely, can be hidden until it is either too late (reached an advanced stage) or a heart attack that is, reduction or obstruction of the blood supply to an affected area due to a bacterial infection (sepsis) which ultimately results in gangrene (tissue death). In either case, the condition can be terminal (fatal).
The corrupt practices of administrators and line staff simply mimic the behavior of political masters in their own way. Not to mention also when religion is misused in the most cynical and disgusting way to justify the hypocrisy and double standards of political masters.
Society in the broad sense, that is to say considered as a whole, is subject to the “mental games” of the political elite. It simply means ideological and psychological manipulation and brainwashing, and this is especially true for the majority ethnic community. This explains why, despite Islamization over decades, corruption has not been eradicated.
In fact, the mindset has turned into an uncritical / senseless acceptance of corruption among some government officials, so that it is somehow institutionalized and widespread, as a laudable way of life and commendable.
The values are then reversed and perverted – from above.
Then, too, the state institutions charged with defending the sanctity of Islam are inhibited and prevented from fulfilling their sacred duty due to the reach of the cartel – the web of conspiracy involving the various government agencies in their interconnection of ‘illegal activities.
Many years ago there was a case in the northern region that involved a baby racket for sale. Fortunately, it was “short lived”. The Star reported that the union entangled desperate Indonesian women looking for money (paid between 2,500 and 4,500 RM), wandering doctors (public and private hospitals) and rogue agents from the National Registration Department ( NRD) to forge birth certificates. The racketeering even enjoyed the protection of rogue police and other government officials. Al-Jazeera even featured a documentary on this heinous phenomenon in “Malaysia: Babies for Sale | 101 East”.
Recently, the specter of the meat cartel returned when it was reported on June 24 that a shipment of nearly 30 tonnes of boneless buffalo meat worth RM427,000 from India had been seized. at the Port of Penang in Butterworth. According to Noriah Dahlan, director of Malaysia’s Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis), the halal certificate on the shipment did not match the packaging of the imported meat.
The latest highlight is, of course, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) (2021) which is reminiscent of the human trafficking cartel in Malaysia.
Ultimately, overcoming the cartel syndrome in our society requires more than political will. Even if there is a movement towards a new political order, our government simply cannot do it on its own.
There has to be what the Rasuah Busters movement means by character building (#NilaiMoralKarakterBangsa). That is to say the reform (reformasi) not only of the system and the institutions but also of the moral character.
We can no longer rely on our leaders alone to fight the scourge and threat of corruption – even as the cartel syndrome is too closely tied to the political and administrative system itself.
Overcoming the cartel syndrome would require a concerted approach and reforms that unite all Malaysians of all ethnic, religious and social backgrounds in a never-ending struggle. Certainly a struggle to support the government and its agencies – of which the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is the most important.
In practice, moral reform should start with ourselves first – the personal dimension.
And that goes for all political leaders, whoever they are, since they are meant to be examples. And, by extension and inclusion, administrators and law enforcement officers in all ranks as well.
By going outward, the public and private attitudes and norms of our society can then be symmetrical (harmonized) and subsequently reinforced and stabilized – the community dimension.
Attitudes must change from accepting and normalizing corruption as a way of life to total rejection and renunciation. Cognitive dissonance that is unhealthy or rooted in immoral personal interests must be delegitimized.
“Money is king” must be seen for what it is: not a necessary evil as a fact of life, but an evil which must necessarily be resisted and overcome.
With any luck then, we could see a gradual but steady “reshuffle” and “breakthrough” that is both unprecedented and lasting.
– Jason Loh Seong Wei is Head of Social, Legal and Human Rights at EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.