Archive for category NEP

Subsidies for the poor or Umno-Putras, part 2

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
1 July 2014

In the first part of my article on subsidies for the poor or the rich such as Umno-Putras, I drew attention to the subsidy cut on gas that has come into effect and analysed its impact on poor- and middle-class households.

In this second part, I shall look at the area of subsidies for the cronies of the political elite which run the country – subsidies which are beneath the radar, unaccountable, undeserved and which have been partly responsible for the financial mess that the country is now facing.

What should be in front line of subsidy cuts

What should comprise the first, second or third rung of subsidy cuts to balance the national budget should be open to national debate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Malays need more crutches in business?

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
19 June 2014

Do Malays need more crutches or “tongkat” to succeed in business? During the past week we have had three different explanations provided by Malay leaders that have made the news.

Tun Daim Zainuddin’s explanation

The first is by Tun Daim Zainuddin, the former finance minister and close ally of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who argued that the lack of talented Malay entrepreneurs is due to the policies of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when the latter was the finance minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Attacking DAP, Dyana not heroism, Zaid tells UiTM, ‘defenders of Malay race’

The Malay Mail Online
June 6, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and those who fashion themselves “defenders of the Malay race” can be true heroes by working to end the country’s socio-economic ills and not in attacking the DAP or Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said.

The former de facto law minister took to his blog yesterday to defend the largely-Chinese party and its rising Malay star, observing the vitriol released by UiTM lecturers, administrators and other graduates during the 12-day campaigning for the May 31 May Teluk Intan polls that ended with the DAP’s loss to Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Perhaps they think this enhances their profiles and makes them suitable for promotion and contract extensions because they are ‘champions of the Malays’, but they are actually doing a disservice to academia generally,” wrote Zaid.

An alumnus of the university, the one-time de facto law minister noted the savagery of the attacks against Dyana, the DAP’s 26-year-old candidate in the Perak by-election and against her party, and said the display showed a marked departure from the original aim of UiTM’s promoters, which he said was to help the Bumiputera become world-class professionals.

The “racial indoctrination” at the Bumiputera-preferential university had gone overboard, he said, adding that the campaign of hate-painting the DAP as anti-Malay and Dyana as a “traitor” to her own race for aligning herself with a Chinese-majority party “made no sense” and was hurting UiTM’s reputation as an academic institution as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia is ready for Dyana

Aerie Rahman
The Malay Mail Online
MAY 29, 2014

MAY 29 — It seems that nothing can stop Dyana Sofya’s meteoric rise. The cynic could cast aspersions that she is merely a DAP token. After all, the DAP is a predominantly Chinese party which has been trying to shake off this description.

The DAP needs to widen its support base in order to hold real power and not rely on the atavistic PAS or the fractious PKR. Dyana is Malay, young and from the affirmative action university, UiTM. It all fits the bill for the cosmetic change that DAP appears to desire.

But look deeper and one can see that Dyana’s story is something that most post-NEP Malaysians can relate to and identify with. And that makes her worth more tokens than one can spend at Genting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Zaid: ‘Gutter politics’ in Teluk Intan puts Malaysia in Indonesia’s shade

The Malay Mail Online
MAY 21, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Umno’s personal attacks against DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud despite the party’s claims of upholding Islam exposes the violent political culture dominating Malaysia, said Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Comparing the tone in Teluk Intan with Indonesia’s recent presidential election, the former Cabinet minister noted that campaigning in the neighbouring country remained civil despite the much higher stakes.

In the minor Malaysian by-election, however, Zaid pointed out that Dyana Sofya has come in for all manner of personal attacks from rival Umno, who have labelled her a traitor to the party, a sell-out to her people, and a puppet of the DAP, among others.

“To put it simply, Indonesia has progressed in many ways in their quest to build a nation with values all Indonesians share as a people — but in Malaysia, the Malays seem to be going backwards.

“Perhaps the great success of the New Economic Policy (NEP) has somehow made Malays ‘different’,” Zaid wrote on his blog yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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GLC dominance disproves Dr M’s claim of non-Malay stranglehold, says DAP MP

by Joseph Sipalan
The Malay Mail Online
May 2, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 ― The economic dominance of government-linked corporations (GLCs) negates Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s assertion of a non-Malay monopoly over the country’s wealth, a DAP MP said yesterday.

Swatting aside Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s claims of Chinese dominion over the country’s wealth and Indian command of its professions to justify pro-Bumiputera affirmative action, Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong argued that GLCs masked the community’s true control on the economy.

“Look at most of the private hospitals, any of the big ones you can name. Take Subang Jaya Medical Centre, that is owned by Sime Darby,” he said, referring to the now renamed Sime Darby Medical Centre.

“Prince Court, which is the country’s most expensive hospital, is owned by Petronas. Pantai hospital and Gleneagles are owned by Kazanah through its subsidiaries.

Sime Darby and Petronas are both state-owned corporations while Khazanah Nasional is state asset manager; these and other GLC’s come under the control of the government headed by Malay nationalist party Umno.

A steadily growing force since the Mahathir administration, GLCs such as Khazanah Nasional, Sime Darby and DRB-Hicom have amassed overflowing war chests and built networks that far surpass that which smaller firms and start-ups can muster.

Putrajaya estimates that firms linked to it employ around 5 per cent of the national workforce, and hold 36 per cent market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia and 54 per cent of the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) respectively. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chronic rent-seeking due to corrupted NEP, says Ku Li

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
4 April 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — “Haywire” implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was the cause of the rampant cronyism and rent-seeking now ailing Malaysia, said veteran lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The former finance minister said the practice of patronage in implementing the policy had undermined the “just and noble” philosophy that underpinned the social engineering programme that was mooted in the aftermath of the May 13, 1969 racial riots.

“The entrenchment of rent-seeking and patronage system into the fabric of Malaysian life begs the question: How did this come to pass?” he said in his keynote address at the launch of the book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” last night.

“Much as this sounds like a blame game and much as this is distasteful to swallow, the answer lies in the New Economic Policy; or rather, the NEP that had gone wrong in its implementation,” he added.

Tengku Razaleigh, or Ku Li as he is popularly known, said the country has fallen victim to the machinations of politicians habitually lining their own pockets and colluding with businessmen who were uncompetitive without preferential treatment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Wrong to Blame Malaysians

by Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News
Jan 14, 2014

Prime Minister Najib Razak is wrong to blame Malaysians for the country’s standing in comparison to Japan and South Korea. He says Malaysia is not as developed and economically advanced as those two countries are because Malaysians lack strong will and fighting spirit.

This is bullshit.

He should instead blame his own party, Umno, and its partners in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. If it were not for the New Economic Policy (NEP) and its continued existence to this day, almost a quarter-century past its original termination date of 1990, we would not be in the state we’re in now.

The NEP made us economically less competitive. Investors were reluctant to put money into ventures for which they had to yield 30 per cent share to partners who brought hardly anything to the table.

The NEP triggered a massive brain drain that is now recognised as one of the factors weakening our hopes of becoming an advanced nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia: High Income Nation, but Low Income Rakyat

By Anas Alam Faizli
Oct. 22, 2013

Malaysia’s current socio economic structure can be summed up in four words, “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians.” Malaysia is blessed with abundant natural resources with petroleum being the most precious. Add the land, other commodity resources, large youthful population and the country has all the essential ingredients to flourish. How then did this small nation of 30 million manage to end up with the unsolicited title of among the region’s most unequal nation between the rich and poor. What happened? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s got talent, but they’re being driven away, mostly to Singapore – world economic report

The Malaysian Insider
October 10, 2013

The huge presence of foreign workers in Malaysia has led to static wages, according to the WEF report. – The Malaysian Insider pic, 10 October, 2013.The huge presence of foreign workers in Malaysia has led to static wages, according to the WEF report. – The Malaysian Insider pic, 10 October, 2013.Affirmative action policies and an overreliance on cheap foreign labour have led to Malaysia’s best and brightest leaving to find greener pastures, particularly in Singapore, according to a new report released by the World Economic Forum.

The Geneva-based body’s Human Capital Index evaluates such things as quality of healthcare, infrastructure and education, in order to gauge a country’s ability to develop a skilled workforce.

Its 2013 report ranks Malaysia at the 22nd spot in a list of 122 countries. Topping the list is Switzerland, followed by Finland, Singapore, the Netherlands and Sweden. Asean countries in the list include Thailand which is placed at number 44, Indonesia (53) and the Philippines (66).

The report notes that Putrajaya’s affirmative action policies as well as cheap migrant labour have kept Malaysia from achieving a skilled workforce to compete with its smaller and richer neighbour, Singapore. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alternative messages to the Malay heartland: Will they be heard?

Dr Lim Teck Ghee
CPI
27th September 2013

In the last few weeks, with the chorus of chest-beating messages on the need for greater entrenchment of Malay rights and privileges growing stronger ahead of the coming Umno general assembly, there have emerged two Malay leaders who are willing to go against the chauvinistic tide to provide a different analysis of what is wrong with Umno and its political ideology and how to correct the Malay dilemma of poverty or stagnation for its masses amidst unprecedented wealth, power and privilege for its elite.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah are no ordinary dissidents. They also cannot in any way be seen as traitors or disloyal to the Malay cause. They have been long-time staunch members of Umno with proven track records of dedicated public service and reputations of higher standards in integrity and honesty than most of their colleagues among our elite.

Their messages to the Malay heartland are sombre and brutal. They will certainly be seen as unwelcome and cruel. But in seeking to drive home the many uncomfortable truths that the contestants jostling for high positions pretend to not see or know about, they are doing the party and its followers much greater service than may be apparent.

Their views and the alternatives offered are important not only for Umno members and other Malays to appraise and debate; they are also important for all Malaysians to reflect upon as we search for the right road to ensure a fair and just future for all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Beep beep here comes the roadrunner!

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
September 24, 2013

Najib has launched the Bumiputera economic empowerment Plan. BEEP. It has come to this now. Twittering, face booking, blogging, whats-apping and now beep-ing the country. Najib will be beep-ing the Malays so that they can take their rightful place in our country. After NEPing the country, Malay equity stands around 23%? Does ownership of this 23% mean anything to the ordinary Malays who have the face the daily grind of life?

Many of us know exactly what the BEEP means. It means a license to pillage and plunder in the name of king, religion and country. The Malay elite salivate at the prospects of carving out wealth earning resources.

23% is owned by GLCs, the Malay elite, the privileged and the Malay monied class. This BEEP is going to turn into another excuse to justify the rape and plunder. After raping the girl repeatedly, the rapist presents her with a bunch of flowers. This is exactly what the BEEP announced by Najib represents, the presentation of a bunch of flowers after the raping the Malay lady over and over again.

If you can’t dazzle people with your brilliance, confound them with your bullshit.

There are almost 10 million Malays living with a monthly income of RM1500. Why these people aren’t directly aided? Why do we arrogate ourselves the authority and omniscience to even claim we know what is best for the Malays? The ordinary Malay knows he wants to get out of poverty and destitution if only he has the means to. So why don’t we give them the means to? The problems of the present lot of 10 million people must be tackled immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

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First day back, Kit Siang targets new Bumi agenda, says only for Umnoputras

by Jennifer Gomez
The Malaysian Insider
September 23, 2013

DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang fired the first salvo when Parliament’s new session began today, saying that the government transformation programmes had failed and that the new Bumiputera agenda went against the grain of the New Economic Model which hinged on merit and not based on race.

He said this after Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim responded to a question from Lenggong Member of Parliament Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah to state the achievements of the transformation programmes.

Lim pointed out that the new Bumiputera agenda only benefitted a select few “Umnoputras” when there were many other Bumiputeras and non-Bumis who lived below the poverty line and needed government assistance.

“Isn’t this evidence that the government programmes have failed?” Lim, the Gelang Patah MP, asked.

He questioned whether Umno leaders were willing to pledge that they were Malaysian first and Malay second. Read the rest of this entry »

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10 ways to really help bumis

P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
Sep 20, 2013

QUESTION TIME The recent RM30 billion package (although I am not sure how it works out to that) for bumiputera economic empowerment is certainly not something that will help or have any kind of impact on the vast majority of bumiputeras who form 67 percent of the population.

Just think of that figure for a moment. Nearly seven out of ten people in the country are bumiputeras. Help everyone in the country who needs it and you help the bumiputera community the most. More on that later.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s plans to economically empower bumiputeras will not help the ordinary bumiputera because he is not the one who owns shares, or will become a major entrepreneur, or live off government contracts. That affects only the rich bumiputeras.

Realistically, the economic empowerment programme is a thinly disguised ruse to help those who continue to live off the government through patronage and corruption. And in this case this is the Umno elite and many of them are likely to be among the 150,000 delegates who will vote in Umno’s forthcoming general assembly.

It’s another form of vote buying.

So what will help ALL bumiputeras and especially those who are in the poor and middle classes and thereby help bridge the income gap between bumiputeras on the one side and Chinese and Indians on the other?

For that, you simply go back to the basics. Here are are 10 things we can identify immediately. If the government had been doing this without respite and full sincerity for the last 56 years from independence we would long ago have become a developed a country, even far surpassing that of our southern neighbour Singapore which has no natural resources to speak of.

1. Raise school education levels

In the haste to increase Malay usage and hire more Malay teachers into the education system after 1970, educational quality dropped in national schools. Until today this is a major problem because of poor quality of teachers (entry standards were foolishly dropped) and lowering examination standards to favour bumiputera students. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Has Set Us Back 40 Years

By Kee Thuan Chye
msn.com
16 Sept 2013

Najib Razak shows once again that his actions are often driven by his own paramount desire to stay in power. He’s about to be challenged for the position of Umno party president soon or returned unopposed, a situation that will also determine whether he retains the position of prime minister. Most likely, from the look of things, he won’t be challenged, but he still needs to consolidate the reason he should stay on as president. So last Saturday, he abandoned his 1Malaysia slogan to announce a Bumiputera economic empowerment plan that is obviously designed to win him support from the ethnic community that patronises his party. He exposed his own contradiction and reaffirmed what we have come to see as his real belief – that he doesn’t care what means he uses as long as he achieves his end.

By his action, Najib also shows yet again that he is a flip-flopper. He has apparently forsaken his New Economic Model, which was introduced in 2010 to phase out the outdated New Economic Policy (NEP) in favour of affirmative action based on needs rather than race, and make Malaysia more competitive and investor-friendly. But now with the new Bumiputera economic empowerment plan – to which he is dedicating a whopping RM31 billion, to be dished out in the form of loans, contracts and programmes – it looks like he is reinforcing rent-seeking, which will retard sustainable growth.

By his action, Najib has set us back 40 years – to 1971, when the NEP was introduced. He has fortified the idea that there are two classes of citizens in Malaysia – Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras – thereby totally subverting his 1Malaysia stance. But whereas one of the stated objectives of the NEP was to eradicate poverty, Najib’s Bumiputera economic empowerment plan is not aimed at helping the needy. It seems to be providing crutches even for those who don’t need them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s New NEP: Step Forwards or Backwards

by Koon Yew Yin

42 years after the New Economic Policy (NEP) was launched by his father, Tun Abduk Razak, Prime Minister Najib Razak has now followed in his father’s footsteps with a new national policy specially aimed at enhancing Malay participation and control of the economy and which is expected to run into the year 2020.

There are many reasons to fear the worst from this new national policy. Firstly unlike the NEP which was initiated following the racial riots of May 1969, this policy is clearly linked to Najib’s fear of losing his position as president of UMNO in the coming UMNO general assembly elections. Najib has also made references to the fact that the new policy is to reward the Malay voters who supported UMNO during the last elections but this appears less strong a reason than his own survival as UMNO leader.

Secondly, unlike the NEP which was at least endorsed by a larger multi-racial grouping in the form of the National Operations Council, the main catalyst for the so-called Bumiputra empowerment policy has come from Malay pressure groups such as the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM), Perkasa, right wing Malay media and bloggers and their god father, Dr. Mahathir. In fact the MTEM has claimed the credit for the new policy. Completely side-lined even though the nation is not under emergency rule has been the cabinet as well as Parliament.

The apparent failure of the ruling BN coalition of parties to even be minimally consulted on the new policy speaks volumes of how much respect Najib has for his non-UMNO BN colleagues and for the principles of parliamentary democracy. It also shows that Najib – despite all the rhetoric of 1Malaysia and the inclusive scope of the New Economic Model – is prepared to sacrifice the interest of the non-Bumiputra component of the country’s population to secure his own and UMNO’s Malay interest. Read the rest of this entry »

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Regime crisis, not just a ‘race riot’

— Clive Kessler
The Malay Mail Online
September 3, 2013

SEPT 3 — A regime crisis, a complete implosion of the then existing national ruling formula and framework: that, and not a “race riot”, was what occurred in May 1969.

And that fact, that distinction, needs to be emphasised and repeated.

Even now.

Especially now.

Now that Tanda Putra is being widely screened, amidst heated and acrimonious controversy.

A regime crisis, not just a “race riot”: that is a truth that has long been denied and is still routinely resisted.

But is it an essential truth that cannot forever be evaded.

Why? Read the rest of this entry »

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How Umno has successfully duped the Malay rakyat

by Tota
Aliran
1 June 2013

The rural people who lack information due to poor internet and social media penetration are victims of Umno’s religious and political propaganda, observes Tota.

Immediately after winning a slim majority to form a minority government, Najib claimed that the voters in the urban and semi-urban areas had been duped good and proper by the Opposition. Just imagine, the intelligent, the better-educated and better informed being duped wholesale!

On the other hand, the rural people who lack information owing to poor internet and social media penetration and who are victims of Umno’s religious and political propaganda are the ones said to be choosing wisely by voting for the BN. Some have said that Umno has indeed become a “parti kampung”.

In 1999, when a large member of Malays deserted Umno, a deranged ex-PM said that the rural people voted with their heads while the urbanists voted with their hearts, meaning guided by their emotions. History has repeated itself.

Below I provide concrete evidence of how Umno has successfully duped the poor Malay rakyat in the last 56 years from Dr M Bakri Musa’s book “Liberating the Malay mind”. Here are a few excerpts:
Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia edges toward change but comes up short

Peter Drysdale
Bangkok Post
10 May 2013

On Sunday, after a hotly contested general election, a record electoral turnout and over half a century of essentially one-party rule, the Malaysian people edged toward change _ but chose not to make the leap.

The campaign saw the ruling Barisan National (BN or National Front) emphasise stability, continuity and economic growth, and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR or People’s Alliance) urge the end of corruption, the institution of minority rights and dealing with issues over the cost of living. In a contest that always seemed too close to call, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has held on to power, taking the prize from the indefatigable Anwar Ibrahim and his PR.

The election confronted Malaysia with big choices. While the Najib government led a tactical retreat on some elements of the old order, Mr Anwar called for its sweeping rejection.

Malaysia struggles with breaking through the “middle-income trap”. Wages have climbed to the point where the country can no longer compete internationally in labour-intensive manufacturing yet skills and systems haven’t improved so that Malaysia can compete effectively in the same product lines as more advanced countries.

Without further reforms, it is difficult to see how Malaysia can escape from this middle-income trap. Much of the struggle to find a way through has to do with escaping the legacy from the old order _ a “New Economic Policy” framed over 40 years ago that entrenched discrimination against minorities (including the significant entrepreneurial classes) and affirmative action through government-linked corporations (and systemic entrenchment of political patronage and corruption). Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian government-linked corporations crowd out private investment

by Jayant Menon, ADB and ANU, and Thiam Hee Ng, ADB
East Asia Forum
April 25th, 2013

Private investment in Malaysia never fully recovered from the impact of the Asian financial crisis.

Foreigners have continued to shun Malaysia, but it now seems that even domestic investors are fleeing, with Malaysia becoming a net exporter of capital since 2005. One explanation for the sluggish performance of domestic private investment relates to the crowding-out effect of the growing dominance of government-linked corporations (GLCs) in many sectors. The influence of GLCs, however measured, is both widespread and pervasive.

The GLC share of operating revenue is approximately one-third in the aggregate, and they control more than half the industry share in utilities, transportation, warehousing, agriculture, banking, information communications and retail trade. GLCs employ around 5 per cent of the national workforce and account for approximately 36 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively, of the market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia and the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index. Read the rest of this entry »

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