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16/05/2018 11:50 pm  

Malaysia is making Singapore look very bad

GST abolished, separating the powers of the Attorney General, release political prisoners, opening accountability of national reserves, entrusting media freedom and swift arrest of the corrupted.

Malaysia's new ruling government is charting new milestones everyday after the former dictatorship of Najib Razak was removed. Lee Hsien Loong's dictatorship is watching closely the developments in Malaysia, and rightfully concerned given the similarities between Najib Razak and Lee Hsien Loong's administration.

From June onward, Malaysia will abolish the GST and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the government has enough money to manage without the tax revenue. Over in Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong just announced a GST increase from 7 to 9%, and complained about short of tax funding for development. Like Singapore, Malaysia have an ageing population as well but unlike Lee Hsien Loong, Mahathir Mohamad is showing how to manage infrastructure development without raising the cost of living. Interestingly, it is Malaysia that has proven to be a better fund manager and a more responsible custodian as compared to Lee Hsien Loong's self-praised "technocrats".

In Malaysia, the former Attorney General was arrested and the role of being the government's adviser and public prosecutor is being dissected. The new Malaysian government reasoned that the public prosecutor role should be taken up by a non-partisan lawyer, so nobody would be wrongly incriminated from political persecution.

Over in Singapore, political persecution is still a common practice. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's friend and former personal lawyer, Lucien Wong who is the current Attorney General, has launched a number of public prosecution lawsuits against government critics and the opposition in recent years, including a recent one over "contempt of court" directed at Lee Hsien Loong's self-exiled nephew Li Shengwu.

Malaysia's judiciary released jailed Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, yesterday. The Malaysian court also ordered state media TV3 to pay him RM1.1 million in defamation charges.

The accounts of the national reserves, more notably the 1MDB, has also been openly published for public scrutiny. This contrasts with Temasek Holdings and GIC - managed by Ho Ching and Lee Hsien Loong - which are reluctant to even let the President know about the amount of reserves and CPF funds left.

The Malaysian government is also now considering writing in it's Constitution to prevent state-owned media companies from being politically influenced. Singapore on the other side, just scored a bottom-scrapping 151st-ranking for press freedom. Singapore's leading news media Straits Times, was just called out for publishing fake news on Malaysia just on Monday earlier this week.

Lee Hsien Loong is especially watching the fate of Najib Razak, who has since been arrested and currently under investigation for corruption. If Lee Hsien Loong's ruling party lose it's power, Lee Hsien Loong would similarly be investigated over CPF funds and the national reserves. The dictator appeared to be shaken by the idea of an election loss, and softened his tone yesterday saying the opposition has it's place in Singapore - the first time ever.

Alex Tan
STR Editor


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