The 1Malaysia campaign has been around for at least two years now but it was not until recently that I fully realized how extensive the campaign is. Passing through the expressway that connects the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city, the term 1Malaysia assaulted me eyes endlessly. The billboards were full of it. I felt as if I was in a totalitarian country where the government controls information and the government wants to brainwash me. Believe in 1Malaysia, believe in 1Malaysia, believe in 1…

Except that, the country is not a totalitarian state and except that it was not the government that was directly promoting the term 1Malaysia on those billboards along the expressway. Not most of advertisement on the billboards anyway. Most of the billboards with 1Malaysia written on it were hired by entities with business concerns.

Politics is not really a realm these companies should typically be in. And so, something is going on.

I tried to rationalize why do these companies meddle in politics.

Are these companies government-linked?

Not so. At least not most of them. If most of them were, then it would be easy to understand why. It could have been a directive from the companies’ shareholder, which is the government.

Most of them seem to be private companies.

I was thinking, maybe these companies truly believe in the 1Malaysia campaign introduced by the Prime Minister, Najib Razak. Maybe there is some kind of altruism at work.

I do not believe in altruism. I do not believe that it exists. I consider the altruist case as improbable.

What is likely going on is that these companies in many ways are depended on the goodwill of the government of the day. Either their businesses are extensively connected to the government, or that the leadership of the companies are politically connected to those in power.

To put it more bluntly, there is corporate suck-up.

Corporate suck-up does not have to exist if the market is largely free from government meddling. In many ways, like has been written, government intervention in the market is so wide that these businesses are dependent on the goodwill of the government. To gain favor of the government that controls so many aspects of business, these businesses have to ingratiate itself to the government of the day.

Nobody ingratiates to the weak but the government is not weak. The size of the government is big.

5 Responses to “[2302] Of 1Malaysia and corporate suck-up”

  1. on 19 Jan 2011 at 10:25 fingertalking

    hi u. no comment bout the corporate suck up, and m sick of the 1Malaysia tags and billboards too. just sad about the altruism thing. sounds like a bitter, hopeless view of people, the world. or maybe just being realistic? no doubt there are so much bads, everywhere. but when we kinda resign to it, accept it, that’s when its even scarier no? but still, i think at least if we are conciously not accepting it, means we still have hope, and dream of it being otherwise – atleast for ourselves. wouldnt that be a more beautiful, meaningful life to live? sometimes meself even think its the only way to continue living. maybe some of us just live in dreams, even with the eyes open. but i tell u its not so bad in here, try droppingby stm :)

  2. on 19 Jan 2011 at 14:17 Bobby

    There you go, Hafiz.
    Another bombshell.
    No such thing as altruism?
    I just went to the wake of another altruistic person.
    He spent his whole life helping people around the world. Kathmandu etc.
    I believe that deep down inside, almost every human being is altruistic, just a matter of when they feel that way.
    Some people, like my friend, feel that way every single day of their lives.
    Since you’re in Malaysia, you, as your character defines you in this blog, intrigue me terribly.
    Perhaps we could have a cuppa tea/coffee/whatever’s your poison.
    I’m buying, as I would love to hear your views on certain socio-economic matters.
    Perhaps I could learn a thing or 2 from you, and perhaps I can convince you of a better place to be than pessimism about certain matters.
    Corporate suckup has been around since Uncle M’s time.
    It’s stupid money being thrown around by stupid corporate figures who think by subscribing to the government’s theme of the day, it’ll increase their corporate profile.
    Not a matter worth discussing.

  3. on 19 Jan 2011 at 23:14 Hafiz Noor Shams

    If you’d like to buy my poison in exchange for food, I’m only willing to oblige. =)

  4. on 20 Jan 2011 at 09:23 Bobby

    Deal!
    If you’re around KL, drop me a comment at my blog or here at yours, and we’ll exchange contact info.

  5. on 21 Jan 2011 at 02:44 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Okay. I’ve sent you an email. Please check it.