I know very little about Malaysian politics but this article in the Financial Times–Malaysian bank chief calls for reform–seemed a bit disingenuous. Here’s the opening paragraph:
Malaysia must combat corruption and pursue more market-oriented reforms if its economy is to make the leap to higher-income status, Nazir Razak, head of one of country’s biggest banks and youngest brother of its prime minister, has told the Financial Times.
The CEO of CIMB, Nazir Razak, is the son of the second PM of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak, and the brother of the current PM, Najib Razak. They must make him deeply intertwined with the UMNO regime that has ruled Malaysia for the past 40 odd years. So it seems no surprise, then, that the CIMB chief has called for an amnesty on past corruption.
Nazir Razak has said in the past that Malaysia could look to Hong Kong and other countries where an amnesty has helped to stamp out the issues.
“You could argue that when you do that, you will get a lot less resistance from the vested interests, which is always the problem; then say, the past is the past and we all start from scratch. I still believe that’s what is needed.”
Indeed, a quick glance at his brother’s wikipedia page–here–indicates that he has been accused of corruption in relation to the procurement of defence equipment. As Rajib Razak indicates (the banker), these are the kind of deals that need to be done to secure relatively smooth transitions. And his statements signal financial industry endorsement for this. Given his position (i.e. assuming his bank is a vested interest), one could presumably also interpret this as a threat. But I don’t know anywhere near enough about Malaysian politics to know whether that is a fair assessment (the family could consist of factions, I guess). It seems odd, then, that the FT is presenting him as a neutral figure in this article.