Conversations with a Crime Boss: Doing Asian Criminal Business

45 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2010

See all articles by Nafis Hanif

Nafis Hanif

The University of Sydney Law School

Mark Findlay

Singapore Management University - School of Law; Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance

Date Written: January 4, 2010

Abstract

Media piracy, in Malaysia, is organised through illicit negotiations between a dominant crime syndicate and consumers, street-corner gang leaders, the Malaysian police, custom officers and directors of the Malaysian Film Censorship Board. These key social actors who crossover class, race, religion, gang membership, and bridge porous legitimate and illegitimate commercial and political sectors of society establish a mutually collaborative relationship by negotiating their asymmetrical social capital, according to a conventional cost-benefit analysis. Contextual analyses of these illicit interactions identify criminal enterprise opportunities and plot the interactive progress of enterprise as it unfolds, against models of organisational and functional inter-connection. The dominant crime syndicate leader, whose perspective pervades this paper, strategically negotiates a cooperative relationship with corrupt regulators (1) to ensure the marketability of pirated films among consumers is unrivaled by legitimate suppliers, (2) to operate a profitable criminal enterprise that is uninterrupted by social control agents, and (3) to dominate the role of primary supplier of pirated DVDs and enforce order among other criminal groups within the illegitimate sector of society. In arguing the salience and specific business location of enterprise theory to appreciate organised crime and debunk normative theoretical frameworks of race, class, gender, this paper argues differing methodological frameworks to be a primary cause of the discordance. The ‘two-napkins’ methodology employed in this paper is shown to be more advantages over those of preceding studies where enterprise is the research concern. Interactive variant analysis enables rather than confuse as it has in the past, understanding Asian organized crime as business.

Keywords: media piracy, enterprise theory, porosity between legitimate and illegitimate sectors, 'two-napkins' methodology

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

Suggested Citation

Hanif, Nafis and Findlay, Mark James, Conversations with a Crime Boss: Doing Asian Criminal Business (January 4, 2010). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1531380

Nafis Hanif (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Mark James Findlay

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore
Singapore

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