The Big Clean-up in Malaysia

While the world is watching Malaysia, trying to explain the unexpected victory of Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) in last month’s elections, what is actually more important is the massive clean-up currently underway in the country.

By clean-up, I mean a near-total replacement of all key people in the civil services, judiciary, security services, and in universities, and all political appointees in government-linked companies.

The underlying assumption is that these people, numbering close to 400, were the main enablers of former prime minister Najib Razak’s administration. They not only allowed Najib and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the previous ruling party, to preside over the country without any checks and balances, but also, more importantly, they turned the entire Malaysian state into an entity similar to a branch of the UMNO political party.

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