The Case of Malaysia – Essay – Eurasia Review


In my previous essays, I have offered ways of looking at society, drawing attention to the impermanence of truth as a construction of philosophical knowledge. I presented an example such as the similarity of examining the situation of Ukraine as to how the mystery of the still missing Malaysian airline MH370 is an example of how the truth is constructed , contained or even interpreted, and ultimately consumed by the Public. The idea of ​​the media as a truth mediation enterprise is also discussed from a neo-Marxist perspective. We need a trifocal lens developed from complexity/chaos theory, critical theory and constructivist principles of vision.

In what follows, I discuss how we can use these three lenses of seeing and knowing to understand a phenomenon.

The envy of the post-millennial spirit

These three lenses as a perspective are what we need, especially for young people – those unfamiliar with history, philosophy, politics and anthropology to study phenomena. It is useful for those in the universities who have been fed a mixture of propaganda and official knowledge and a tinge of critical sensibility.

We need to help young people to ‘read’ Malaysia (or any nation) as a text and a sub-text and a context that is written with a complex system of meaning and historicization. Advanced digital communication technologies, a landscape of ideas from a military ala’ blitzkrieg-stylized process of creation, the blurring and muzzling of fact and fiction in how elements of the nation’s memories are woven and presented to this post-millennial Malaysian generation, the role of political amnesia in shaping today’s politics, the increasing interaction between the global and the local, and the impact of successive waves of globalization on this “nation-state” called Malaysia, these are all ideological forces and artefacts that make Malaysia difficult to read. Let’s look at some examples of the applicability of 3-C lenses, as a theoretical mirror.

Malaysian cases in focus

Here are some examples of cases requiring:

1) The massive and well-known case of massive 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Board) corruption of global proportions and the Grand Illusion of Najibology as it comes up against the last gasp of the Mahathirist spirit, and the complex ENRON-style scandal , Barrings, AIG (and even bigger and more confusing and mysterious) that still afflicts Malaysia and helped it rise to runner-up status in the world’s most corrupt country – this case requires a complex analysis at using 3-C lenses. Even today, in March 2022, cases related to the failure of government investment are still presented in court, such as the one implicating the head of Goldman Sach, Tim Leissner, accomplice of the gang of crooks in the world-famous Malaysian corruption case. He is heard in a New York court.

2) The complexities embedded in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement once proposed by the Obama administration as the US corporate power agenda; complexities that the regime of Najib Razak is unable to see for lack of analytical skills to analyze complex systems and the application of at least the perspective of critical theory in reading the excesses of the post world economy -(Milton) Friedmannian. It is the dimension of international political economy that had to be considered from the multitudinal angles of the post-imperialist, post-Reagan-Thatcher era of American foreign policy shaping the whole world.

3) The continuous ebb and flow of death threats (formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Malaysia and Southeast Asia in general, requiring the researcher’s expertise in cybernetic systems of networking cross-cultural flow and how social media is being used to recruit Malaysian fighters and what will be the next steps for the militant-millinearist global movement that was once a creation of the US empire itself. Perhaps the genesis of ISIS, as an offshoot of Al-Qaeda born out of the womb of the Bush-Iraq-invasion-post-9/11 era, is one of the most complex areas of strategic studies. international markets requiring these special lenses.

4) The long-term socio-political, economic and cultural implications of the arrival of millions of foreign workers, in particular Bangladeshi (in addition to the 5 million current workers already there, with or without papers) in a country of more than 33 million inhabitants people. We will never know if these immigrants will be used as voters in general elections to help the regime stay in power and become more totalitarian – we now live in an Orwellian, albeit comically Malaysian, world. This is a matter of concern that compels Malaysians to use the 3-C glasses not only to understand the issue of international labor flow but also its impact on the sovereignty of nations.

5) The unsolved case of the murder of the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu at the time of former Prime Minister Najib Razak (now awaiting a prison sentence for the 1MDB fiasco) in the process of acquiring the sub- French sailor Scorpène and the world players involved and as the puzzle and mystery of it become one and more fascinating than a Hollywood or Bollywood plot or a Truman Capote novel In cold blood, or in the horror of murder, the author of a horror story that Stephen King would not dare to dramatize – these are the elements of complexity we need to help young people understand. The epic story of Malaysia’s most corrupt prime minister requires a set of analytical tools to extract the inner ‘truth’ and help the younger generation understand how the ideological apparatuses of the state are used in harsh and Machiavellian ways. sweet to even get away with. the most hideous politically motivated murder.

6) The ongoing drama of the Malay/Malaysian monarchy flexing its muscles in this complex game of assertion of power that eroded in the early 90s and how the pattern of alignment, realignment and detachment with the current regime continues to take shape, the play of perception and the fabrication of the illusion of “the greatness of a bangsa (race maser) which never existed as bangsa,“the unforgettable fire of brutality and happy and arrogant display of the royal brutality of the monarchy in its dealings with its subjects, the love for the exhibition of material wealth and the fruits of the labor of royal conspicuous consumption , the use and abuse of religion by granting this or that law governing the conduct of the rulers and the ruled, as in the still unresolved idea of ​​whether the hudud (methods of punishment derived from sharia) also applies to traditional muslim rulers around the world or if they could do what they wanted like how their grandfathers and ancestors understood the function of law, ethics and morality in statecraft – these and many more are the areas of analysis requiring the 3-C glasses.

Pardon my Joycean notes above, as an expression of how we should “read” this country plagued by the excesses of hyper-modernity – a country now entering an uncertain future, if there will be any kind of unity emerging with the use of brute force against those who oppose the government, as in the case of Najib Razak’s regime, if there will be another creation of post-May 13, 1969- MAGERAN massacres of the years 70 (the NOC-National Operations Council) when the going gets tough and the armies and the cheerleaders and supporters of the Mahathir-led coalition of the groups of political desperadoes and with their own agenda get more rowdy – we’ll have to see . Again, a set of special lenses must be put on.

The lenses we need

But for the most part, we still need a 3-C lens so we don’t get drowned in that blue ocean of sharks, piranhas swimming in the depths, and up there by the beach where the Bahtera Merdeka (metaphorically, the great ship of Malaysian independence) is sinking, we see old and new robber-baron politicians still squabbling over old and new spoils.

Through the theory of the lens of complexity, we examine the historical, cultural and semiotic nature of phenomena and in addition to these, we bring out the idea of ​​the interdependence of events, people and institutions when they interact with each other across space and time. Today, the prevalence of informational networks that have contributed to the advancement of the networked society and the corollaries of the impact of Internet of Things artifacts have made the study of complex and “organized-chaotic” systems necessary even for those who are in the social. and human sciences.

Through the prism of critical theory, one can look at the historical-materialist perspective of an idea and how it takes root in society, discerning its cross-cultural flow. Ideas such as the birth and growth of radical Islamism as a threat to liberal and progressive societies, or the unbridled assault on free enterprise and liberal democracy that has evolved into a free-for-all and freefall of capitalism – these could be studied from a critical-trasculturalist perspective.

And finally, through the prism of constructivist principles of things, we analyze phenomena and see their kaleidoscopic nature. It means looking at how the form and substance of things take shape and how concepts develop in the process of globalization. It is a Platonic and Vygotskian vision of the development of knowledge and then of the understanding of the birth, growth, decay and death of social phenomena.


In conclusion, I briefly discussed how young minds especially need to be cultivated with how to see things through the three lenses, namely drawn from the perspectives of theories or principles of complexity, critical and constructivist. The world has always been complex, and its evolution produces events that require increasingly sophisticated analytical tools to make our understanding of phenomena scientific and intellectually satisfying – until we hunger and thirst for new ways of seeing when our understanding of the world and our lived experience undergoes yet another Kuhnian shift or when more questions are left unresolved and worldviews collide and eventually crumble.

When paradigms change.

In a world where the only permanent thing is change.


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