The State, Governance and Corruption in Malaysia
Edmund Terence Gomez
Faculty of Economics & Administration
University of Malaya
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In East Asia, one key issue that emerged out of active state intervention in the economy to generate growth was extensive corruption. The mainstream view of the political economy of development is that corruption is an integral part of the political process, since the close links between state and capital were central to achieving rapid economic growth. Politicians in power provided business with a pro-growth regulatory regime and cheap capital. In return, business supplied politicians with monetary resources to preserve their grip on power. This barter of state-generated economic rents for funds created a tight alliance between ruling parties and business that transformed these nations into newly industrialised countries (NICs). Since much of the flow of money between business and politicians was either illegal or skirted the letter of the law, corruption was seen as a structural problem, that is an inevitable aspect of the developmental state.