Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/30262
Title: Absolute Power, Absolute Venality: The Politics of Corruption and Anti-corruption in Malaysia
Contributor(s): Siddiquee, Noore Alam (author); Zafarullah, Habib  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022
Early Online Version: 2020-10-19
DOI: 10.1080/10999922.2020.1830541
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/30262
Abstract: Although corruption in Malaysia is nothing new, it has exacerbated in recent years as reflected in the deteriorating corruption perceptions index and a series of large-scale corruption scandals that have made headlines around the world. Lately, corruption has become so endemic and widespread that Malaysia has earned the dubious distinction of a kleptocracy, notwithstanding ongoing anti-corruption campaigns. This paper examines and analyses Malaysia’s anti-corruption experience and the factors that explain it. Drawing on data from both primary and secondary sources it argues that anti-corruption drives have remained narrowly-focused, ignoring some critical aspects of Malaysia’s political economy including the politics-business nexus, patronage networks and money politics which are at the heart of grand corruption. It further argues that much of the high-level corruption has its roots in politics and that the powerful political figures have remained largely untouched by anti-corruption drives. Finally, it reveals that despite institutional revamp, key institutions continue to suffer from a lack of independence and effective power. Such constraints, reinforced further by political manipulation and selective application of laws, have undermined the effectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives. The Malaysian experience offers lessons and insights that have wider relevance.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Public Integrity, 24(1), p. 1-17
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1558-0989
1099-9922
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 169903 Studies of Asian Society
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 449901 Studies of Asian society
440807 Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 130304 Social ethics
230299 Government and politics not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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