Home  >  Opinion

What if our laws are unenforceable?

  • We can rightly claim that the 1MDB scandal set a starting point for the steady decline of rule of law and morality in this country.

Sin Chew Daily

The rule of law spirit is in serious want in this country. As a result, the moral level of our Malaysian society has been steadily sliding, making this a major crisis of the country.

Talking about money game, after JJPTR's founder claimed that the company's computers had been hacked, causing it to lose nearly RM500 million, we have seen many other absurd things happening around us, all pointing to the fact that law enforcement is lax in the country.

Even as the people in charge of these money game schemes have been bragging on social media about their lucrative investment plans in a bid to conceal the reality of their imminent collapse, our enforcement authorities seem to have done practically nothing, until these schemes have been widely reported in the media and the victims begin to lodge police reports.

Then we see that the police take the suspects to different lockouts at various locations, and now more than half a month after their release, we have seen no follow-up actions from the police.

Well aware of the government's sluggish attitude, another money game chieftain hosted a press conference and lashed out at the MP while sendng lawyer letters to the media.

As a matter of fact, we have a number of laws that can be used by the government to tackle these people. For example, they can use the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 on them for illegally raising funds from the public. Under this act, the violator can be fined up to RM10 million or ten years of imprisonment or both upon conviction. As for illegal foreign exchange dealings, the Financial Services Act 2013 is applicable. If a developer sells unbuilt property units to the buyers, they can be charged for cheating consumers.

There are a host of other laws that can be used to tackle various criminal acts, including the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, and the Direct Sales and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act 1993

Unfortunately, we often see that our laws are hardly used on these people such that we allow the chaos to rule supreme in our society. A law violator can offer generous donations to independent and national-type Chinese high schools in the guise of a philanthropist, while another get-rich-quick company built a shopping mall to conduct transactions using the virtual currency and point system.

Another company issuing a virtual currency invited thousands of investors to visit its large-scale housing project site. "Zhang Jian Jewelry" hosted the "Return of the King" dinners at different locations nationwide, in which the participants had their heads shaved or their hair dyed yellow besides showing off stacks of banknotes on social media sites. A retired senior police officer was hired by the company as the honorary chairman of its US unit, much to the disbelief of the Malaysian public.

According to a news report by The Edge, part of the money raised by some of these get-rich-quick companies may have already made its way into the local stock market, showing that illegally raised money may have been "bleached". The intertwining relationship between money game and the real economy has made the problem all the more challenging.

Following the footsteps of Thailand, Indonesia also arrested the "world's future richest man" Zhang Jian, who was subsequently taken back to China to face legal actions.

Even with Chinese nationals coming here to lodge police reports as well as reporting against Malaysian money game companies in China, we still don't see any "big fish" netted so far.

The domestic trade minister recently warned to take actions against businesses working with get-rich-quick schemes, including those allowing their members to collect discount points at their outlets.

Freezing the violators' bank accounts will only have limited effects, as the big bosses are still at large and will continue to cheat.

In addition to money game companies openly challenging the country's laws, the authorities have largely condoned acts of lax enforcement. For example, to reduce the burden of the people during the festive season, the police have been instructed to stop collecting fines from the holders of more than 1.4 million traffic offense tickets.

MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad even emphasized that the anti-graft agency would only take actions against politicians after general elections.

Law enforcement should be something ongoing throughout the year. A temporary relief in law enforcement will send a wrong message to the public that the government does not take law compliance very seriously

The suspension of Felda Global Ventures (FGV) president cum CEO Zakaria Arshad, in the meantime, has raised the question of GLCs being inadequately monitored and blatantly belittling legal procedures.

Zakaria claimed that he was against many of FGV's investment plans but the board of directors pressed ahead with them, while company chairman Isa Samad accused Zakaria of being involved in extending inappropriate credit facility by a subsidiary to Afghan company Safitex.

It doesn't matter who tells the truth, in the end both have grossly abused their powers. The market is now observing whether the government will handle this matter justly and according to the law.

We can rightly claim that the 1MDB scandal set a starting point for the steady decline of rule of law and morality in this country. It will only go lower if we continue to adopt the tidak apa attitude towards law compliance..



Copyright © 2019 MCIL Multimedia Sdn Bhd (515740-D).
All rights reserved. Contact us : [email protected]