Serious trust deficit in Malaysia’s laws and institutions

We are talking about a huge amount of money reportedly transferred into these accounts just before the last general election. The implications are tremendous.

Prime Minister Najib Razak himself has not made an outright denial that these accounts were in his name, instead coyly stating that he has not used 1MDB money for his personal use. All of this is wholly unsatisfactory. So the question remains, what happens now?

There seems to be a huge buzz of activity, with investigations from all sorts of agencies and talk of defamation suits.

But all said and done, will all this sound and thunder satisfy the people or will it signify nothing?

The Barisan-led government has over the years made all our supposedly independent institutions get into bed with the executive.

past that for an ordered society, we must have institutions that we can trust. The Barisan-led government has over the years made all our supposedly independent institutions get into bed with the executive. And thus we have a serious trust deficit in these bodies. This being the case, I fear any findings made by them will be met with scepticism.

It is ironic that now, in order to clear his name, the Prime Minister needs the laws and institutions of this country to be neutral and trustworthy.

Unfortunately they are no longer deemed to be so. His vindication depends on bodies which people don't trust and that means any vindication will be pointless.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe