International -- Readers Report
CORRUPTION AND FAVORITISM IN MALAYSIA (int'l edition)
"Shakeout at Malaysia Inc." (Asian Business, Sept. 22) provides an accurate picture of the state of business affairs in Malaysia today. As a businessman, I have felt cheated every time certain companies got plum privatized projects, which are farmed out by the government every now and then.
We also have a situation in which government agencies at state or federal levels get involved in direct competition with legitimate private companies. With their "inside" connections and their freedom from the licensing rules that apply to others, they are able to compete unfairly in the market. Yet most of them are bleeding, and are thus draining precious public funds that could be used instead for development projects. While ordinary Malaysian businessmen work hard to make their living, the privileged few continue to receive project after project from their respective godfathers.
The ruling political leaders of Malaysia must be bold enough to stop the practice before it's too late. Although most of us are afraid to voice our opinion openly on this, I believe Malaysians in general know what is happening. I admire Mahathir Mohamad for what he has done for Malaysia (and he has done a lot), but unless he can control the government's situation, the discontent will continue to spread.