Tuesday, June 07, 2011


My late mum had a lot of cronies, with whom she saw teochew operas, played mahjung or chee-key, and p'ah-kok (kongsamkok).

‘Crony’ means a close friend, chum, buddy, pal, and wakakaka, matey.

But alas, from ‘crony’ comes the more nefarious term ‘cronyism’.

What is cronyism?

According to the dictionary, it’s the practice of appointing friends to high-level posts regardless of their suitability.

In the Malaysian case, cronyism is more about commercial awards with outrageous terms, usually at the expense of the rakyat.

Look at legal gambling organizations, highway tolls, construction, software, arms, etc contracts in Malaysia.

The latest accusation of ‘cronyism’ has the rakyat railing and ranting against the increase in electricity tariffs and the inexplicable and unmitigated government’s protection of the IPP, even to the extent of hiding the contractual terms declaring these are classified.

Malaysiakini reported in
Subsidy scandal: 'EPU blunders, rakyat suffers' that:

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin said the government has no power to make the power purchase agreements public as these are contracts signed with private entities.

As well-known UMNO blogger Sakmongkol AK47 said (words to effect), if there is anyone who can declassify secrets, it’s the government.

Indeed so, let alone a mere commercial contract.

Needless to say, the rakyat wants to know who are these ruling party’s cronies, and in the case of the IPP, what is the gvernment attempting to hide?

But I think the first question, who are these ruling party’s cronies, may be the wrong question to ask. While it’s interesting to know who they are (and quite frankly, we already know many of them), the far more important questions to ask should be:

How did they become ‘cronies’, or what’s the quid pro quo to become a crony?


  1. How did they become ‘cronies’, or what’s the quid pro quo to become a crony?

    That's a no-brainer my dear KT, or as Sherlock Holmes would have put it - Elementary, my dear Watson ;) such that even a pasar borong vegetable-seller can easily expound on it.

    A simple textbook example: a businessman comes to know that the government plans to start a project. The businessman approaches the minister in charge and tells the minister that according to his projections he can undertake and complete the project and expect to make a profit of ten million dollars. And he proposes to the minister that if he is awarded the project, then 20 percent of the profit will be deposited in a secret offshore bank account in the minister's name. Duh ... deal done!!

    Of course, you, KT, being a highly educated and intelligent man, your question is really a rhetorical one. Right?

    Simple Simon

  2. Dear Kaytee,The cronies are Chinamen Lim,Yeoh and families.The Muslim crony is ME Syed Mohktar and soon to be mamak Ananda.All four legged pets of Dr.M.The government is trying to hide the identity of politicians involved in receiving kickbacks.Those in power and not(retired).

  3. Dear Kaytee,When is an agreement between companies, one a GLC and the others companies held by cronies of politicians so classified as if they were under OSA.These agreements are about prices agreed by two consenting parties.These are not about arms deals or anything to do about national security.

    So why can't the government released the agreement papers.What are they hiding.Nothing concerning national security.So we must assume that there is some hanky panky going on.Surely they must be protecting some powerful people.We just want to know how come the prices are so high.To us this only small thing only.But to them it is a very big deal.Some things must be very wrong,a few pieces of paper meant life or death to them.

  4. Cronyism is good for GDP la