Malaysia’s Ethnic Reality Under Scrutiny

Malaysia is suddenly confronting the unsettling possibility that at least a thin crust of its ethnic majority population might be a lot better off than everybody thinks.  A report published by a prestigious think tank challenges official affirmative action programs by saying that Malay ownership of public corporate equity is far higher than previously believed. …

A Banking Star’s Inconvenient Singaporean Truth

Investment banks have always been the most outrageous of all the many alley cats in the financial services industry. Nothing must get in the way of profit, least of all telling their investor clients the honest truth about companies and countries.  Text of email attributed to Andy Xie: I participated in the panels on Commodity…

Malaysia’s political money trail

In Malaysia’s squabble for primacy between Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, money politics is playing an increasingly crucial role. The extent to which one well-heeled political faction can weather the other's onslaught until the next leadership election in the United Malays National Organisation, will weigh heavily on ready access to…

Malaysia’s Royal Police Defy Their Boss

The Royal Malaysian Police have brought a blue-ribbon police commission  to a standstill over allegations of corruption, custodial death, excessive force against peaceful demonstrators and a generally trigger-happy culture.  Among other things it was the police that were held responsible for the vicious beating of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim when he was in custody in 1998.…