Accountability

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Limbo low now, how low can we go – before things get better? (By the way, where is Jho Low now?) Everywhere you go, you hear gloom about the state of the economy – and this public sentiment is not without basis.

The following graphs speak volumes about the state of affairs of the country:

Malaysia’s external debt stood at a staggering RM745bn in the fourth quarter of 2014. And that would exclude contingent liabilities and off-budget/off-balance sheet items. This is the graph for the last five years:


Source: tradingeconomics.com

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Now might be a useful time to recall what happened to high-riding Enron and its auditors Anderson. It goes to show that we cannot always trust the auditors, even if they happen to be big reputable ones.

After all, who pays their fees? The client. So are the external auditors really independent? You tell me.

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Many of these questions raised by the Edge have been asked before, but it is neat to have them all here, summarised in a few pages.

In some ways, the 1MDB saga was inevitable. A little snowball – a culture of lack of transparency and accountability to the public – was set in motion about three or four decades ago. Over the years, it gathered momentum, picking up scandals along the way, pummelling whistleblowers, sucking in the nation’s financial resources until finally bursting into the monster avalanche that is 1MDB today.

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