Withdrawal of Maybank 50% bumi rule – first Ijok effect but tactical retreat or strategic decision?

I am not surprised by the Cabinet decision yesterday directing Maybank to withdraw its discriminatory ruling that law firms must have a bumiputra partner with at least 50% stake before they could qualify to be on its legal panel as this is the outcome of the first “Ijok effect”.

Although the Barisan Nasional (BN) had won the recent Ijok by-election in Selangor with BN trumpeting it as a great victory, BN leaders know that it is a pyrrhic victory won at too great a cost in money, manpower and machinery and which is not sustainable in a general election.

This is why the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had asked MCA and Gerakan to explain the reason for the swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok, although he and other top Umno leaders have equal reason to worry about Umno failure to make a significant dent in the Malay ground despite humongous expenditures of money, manpower and machinery which made a total mockery of laws to prevent money politics in elections and Abdullah’s pledge to uphold integrity and fight corruption.

However, many questions await answer, including:

1. If the Maybank rule is clearly a “misinterpretation” by certain quarters of the government policy that government-linked companies (GLCs), such as Maybank, should give work to both bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras — which is the explanation of the Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak in Boston – who are the errant Maybank officers responsible for such “misinterpretation” 37 years after the New Economic Policy (NEP), and what disciplinary action Maybank would take against them for causing such grave damage to national unity and international confidence on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary of the country?

2. Why did the MCA Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr. Ng Yen Yen state on Tuesday that neither the Finance Ministry nor the Bank Negara can intervene over Maybank’s “misinterpretation” of government policy — proof of the failure of the MCA Deputy Finance Minister to stand up against NEP injustices and discriminatory measures.

3. Would MCA Ministers have raised the issue and the Cabinet intervened if not for (i) the Ijok by-election result; and (ii) DAP’s staunch opposition to the Maybank ruling and all forms of NEP injustices and discriminatory measures;

4. Will MCA Ministers as well as the MCA Deputy Finance Minister make amends by:

(i) exposing all other discriminatory measures by Maybank, other banks and all GLCs which violate government policy akin to the 50% bumiputra ruling for legal firms to qualify to be appointed to the Maybank panel which has been struck down by the Cabinet;

(ii) asking the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to honour their undertaking given six months ago to make public the Economic Planning Unit (EPU)’s methodology and data on ethnic breakdowns of NEP equity ownership; and

(iii) urging the Cabinet to dismantle the NEP structures and institutions as they were meant to last for 20 years from 1970-1990.

5. Is the Cabinet decision on the Maybank 50% bumi ruling a tactical retreat, awaiting for a new mandate in the next general election to make further unjust NEP extensions, or a policy and strategic decision to halt all unjust NEP extensions?

  1. #1 by Libra2 on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 9:49 am

    Now the Banks will withdraw the 50% Bumi-rule but they can still enforced similar “unwritten” rules by choosing their legal panels based on the firms’ Bumi quotas.
    In fact even today there are many unwritten rules that impede non-Bumi participation in many areas.

  2. #2 by kcc on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 9:49 am

    “Is the Cabinet decision on the Maybank 50% bumi ruling a tactical retreat, awaiting for a new mandate in the next general election to make further unjust NEP extensions, or a policy and strategic decision?”

    Kit, you are absolutely right to ask this question. Many people believe that this “policy” is widely practised in GLC but seldom written down. Have we only managed to force Maybank to retreat back into the unwritten practice of this unfair unjust requirements?

    We need a way to monitor if Maybank (and AmBank too) practise what they say. Bar council should get feedback from their members on what actual happen on the ground.

    While we are at it, how about asking all GLC to state in public their stand on this issue. The silent ones will then get more scrutiny.

  3. #3 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 9:50 am

    “Is the Cabinet decision on the Maybank 50% bumi ruling a tactical retreat, awaiting for a new mandate in the next general election to make further unjust NEP extensions, or a policy and strategic decision to halt all unjust NEP extensions?”

    A tactical retreat? It could be a strategic blunder.

  4. #4 by DiaperHead on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 9:53 am

    There will be a backlash.

  5. #5 by Godamn Singh on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:02 am

    Bad news for those used to have their palms greased! This announcement means a lowering of the ‘asking price’ for their cooperation.

    Market forces of supply and demand will take over.

    What is the long term effect of this ‘new’ ruling? Will there be short run adjustments to be made?

  6. #6 by ilovepenang on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:23 am

    Personally i felt disgusted when i come to know about this announcement from Maybank. It shows how bold and arrogant they have become. Though the spineless Cabinet had instructed the bank to withdraw this policy, the message intended to be sent out is clear – “we want more”. That’s how i read it because 50% was mentioned instead of the infamous 30% stake.

    The hungry mouths in UMNO has grown out of proportion now. Those already rich greed for more while the new comers strive to squeeze their way up. All at the expense of other peoples’ hard work & efforts.

  7. #7 by sotong on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:36 am

    This is only the tip of the iceberg of many grossly discriminatory and damaging policies of the country.

    This could only be caused by decades of bad leadership and gross mismanagement for the policies to explioted to this extreme by the politicians who is in position of trust and influence.

  8. #8 by Jimm on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:41 am

    UMNO have too many to feed now. Those ‘old horses’ still very active and passionate about their ‘wealthy’ lifestyle overseas. The ‘ageing’ horses are trying hard to out do each other to race to the top, in terms of wealth status and those ‘young’ ones are doing the equal catching up with the two batches. You can expect more of the changes to come. The more common statement that will ‘frighten’ us later from them will be ” Ini Malaysia, KITA punya negara, Ini kita punya law , You tak suka , you boleh tinggal (pergi dari sini). You punya suka.

  9. #9 by DarkHorse on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:51 am

    Maybank should be asked for a full disclosure of who gets what in the last 6 if not 12 months. We need to hear from Maybank directly and not some politician claiming to speak for them.

    We need to get it from the horse’s mouth – and get it now!

  10. #10 by Jimm on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:58 am

    What morre can we do ? They have planned the whole thing since 50 years ago. Our forefathers than, did not have the Wawasan 2020. Even, TDM also don’t really understand what is the actual ‘price’ to pay for signing on the dotted line. Only thing he know is that his next of kins is getting the ‘premium’ and incentives that will last for generations to come. The rest of the groups are making use of all opportunities left to from the package.

  11. #11 by madmix on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 11:06 am

    Now that the Maybank thing is resolved let us turn our attention to the other bank: AM Bank. They must now clarify if they indeed have a 50% bumi policy in place. If they remain silent, then we must assume that there is such a policy. We should then initiate boycott action and let all foreign funds know that they have a raciallly discriminatory policy in place and that it goes against the grain of their non-discrimination laws in their home country.

  12. #12 by kurangajah on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 11:08 am

    Even with the reversal of this stupid and devisive decision, it is too late. Too much damage has been done. I will make sure I will not have anything to do with Maybank, unless inevitable.

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 11:20 am

    We fought a just cause; opposed an unjust rule; procured its retraction: let us be magnanimous in victory and not go on a witch-hunt.

  14. #14 by Jimm on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:04 pm

    We all involved in this blog can make a difference to every steps that BN are applying. We may not come out as winner, however, we have accomplished the truth to live our life to the fullest. We have have concerned and troubled thoughts about our own safety and even our loved ones. Yet, we knew that it’s just something we have to lashed out rather to keeping ‘quiet’

  15. #15 by blastmeister on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:05 pm

    this is a disgrace to have such GLC made such racist remarks. No wonder our FDI is not doing well comparing our neighbour countries.

    Good job Maybank. You have just kill yourself. You even left a few more stab to the national ecomony. Well done PM. Is this your vision? Ooo..it is done by your konco konco.

    We are still what we are in the 1950’s. Hey the 1950’s still better with P Ramlee and Saloma.

  16. #16 by blastmeister on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:07 pm

    well, we are going to see more of such actions if more banks are merged and place under some “racist” orang melayu, maybe konco konco UMNO.

    I don’t mean all but lots of them are.

  17. #17 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:08 pm

    Maybank (or any other party) can still quietly implement their rule without anyone’s knowledge. Who is to know? What can you do?

    Applicants can be given a variety of reasons for rejection e.g panel is full, not enough work to go round, other more qualified lawyers etc etc. Or they can place you on their panel but you don’t get much work.

  18. #18 by Loh on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:09 pm

    ///the Maybank rule is clearly a “misinterpretation” by certain quarters of the government policy that government-linked companies (GLCs), such as Maybank, should give work to both bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras ///

    Now that the DPM realises that a GLC does not know how to interpret government policy, he should tell all GLCs that they have no business doing anything to implement NEP. He should also announce the suspension of NEP until the EPU is able to prove that ASLI’s data about Malay equity are wrong. DPM is asked to do this because AAB either does not understand the issue, and has no balls to do it even if he knows.

    DPM should also instruct OKT of MCA that housing prices should be the same for all races. The additional 7% that non-Bumi are charged represent excess profit, over the fair price that bumi purchasers are required to pay. This unequal treatment is neither provided under article 153, nor covered under the objective of NEP which concerns providing level playing field to all races in occupations and businesses.

    The different prices for different community only confirms that Malaysians are not equal, as opposed to what AAB claimed that Malaysians are equal. It shows that the government allows unfair practices so long as it benefit Malays.

    When we mark the Merdeka day in this year (nothing to celebrate), we will be reminded that after 50 years of independence, the different communities are more polarised than when the nation started, and that the government is for the majority and is willing to suppress the minority to stay in power.

  19. #19 by ahkok1982 on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:12 pm

    like i said earlier in a post, most prob bn ppl will come out screaming bout this discriminatory policy n then take e credit for being e gov of all races. i spit on their ploy but i will crap on those who fall for this ploy. 50 years of being cheated using e same tactic n still they continue to get cheated. as stupid as anyone can b.

  20. #20 by burn on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:57 pm

    say jimm…
    “What morre can we do ? They have planned the whole thing since 50 years ago.”
    correction, since 40years after TAR retire… i think so!
    started when TDM took over. im ok to help others gain, but when over do it… then, it is getting too much! other younger generations too, need help, not only for one they call… ketuanan!

    anyway, retract what maybank did. it will not make much of a different. they can always do it… the back door. tutup satu mata.

  21. #21 by kelangman88 on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:59 pm

    Actually this is wayang kulit to get Chinese voters. Behind the scene, who knows….

  22. #22 by ihavesomethingtosay on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 1:08 pm

    “they can still enforced similar “unwritten” rules” – Libra

    had to agree with Libra there, nothing the government does is trustworthy nowadays, GLC iis just a reflection on how the government treats or views non-Malays.

    just trying to please non bumi voters, nothing new, out comes the keris in the next instance.

  23. #23 by raven77 on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 1:08 pm

    Yes…Ijok is beginning to show its effects….so the opposition may have done something right….just keep at it….

  24. #24 by Cinapek on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 1:28 pm

    Jeffrey says:

    “We fought a just cause; opposed an unjust rule; procured its retraction: let us be magnanimous in victory and not go on a witch-hunt.” I disagree.

    This is only the symtom, not the cause. It is the underlying racism behind this directive that must be removed. The very people who made this decision are still sitting pretty in their positions in th bank and, as many have pointed out in this blog, this group of racist will continue to covertly weave their destructive actions in their appointments of the actual lawyers from the panel doing Maybank’s work. All they have to do is to make sure none of the jobs are actually given to the law firms that has not “met” their criteria. And having been slapped down in public for their arrogance in issuing this directive, they will be even more vindictive in seeking revenge for having their racist actions thwarted.

    Also read the DPM’s reply in New York? He is indirectly justifying the bank’s actions. Instead of saying outright that the bank is right in thir action, he has engaged in “double speak” by saying that it is the Govt’s policy to help both bumi and non bumi meaning that it is ok for the bank to do what they did as long as the non bumi has a share.

    The non bumis should not be fooled by this one single “victory”. It is simply a temporary retreat becuase of the GE. The endemic cancer in the system has to be exorcised and as long as the GLCs maintain their present management structure based on race and not merit, this discrimination will persist. It is the end yet.

  25. #25 by Cinapek on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 1:29 pm

    Last sentence should read,”It is not the end yet”

  26. #26 by paix on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 2:21 pm

    pressure can only build up to a certain point. it is not a matter of if but when the ticking time bomb will go off. now is the time to park your money and investments in the foreign banks. remember if you continue with business as usual you are giving tacit approval to all these racist policies that are being rammed down your throat.

  27. #27 by akarmalaysian on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 2:29 pm

    any fool can see and differentiate wat is black and wat is white.a lie is always a lie.but thr are exceptional idiots that are so good in twisting and covering these topics behind their racism schemes.50% accountability for bumiputras in these type of business wont do any good for maybank.for me…i will stop using maybank fr today onwards.i hope these racists will stop making a fool out of themselves.

  28. #28 by Orangutan on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 3:28 pm

    The practise of this unspoken rule has already crept into many private sector and even public listed companies controlled by bumi interests. One major developer based in D’sara Pudana (sorry no prize for the right guess) also practises certain quotas when it comes to appointment of consultants.

    And on bumi’s property discount, I still don’t understand the rationale of giving 7% discount to a bumi who can afford a RM2 mil. bungalow. If he can fork out RM2 mil. for his house, does he belong to the group of ppl who needs govt. subsidy??

    Make them pay the full purchase price and channel these discounts to help the real poor and needy. Rich bumis must be made to help the poor bumis too, and not put these resposibilities solely on the shoulders of the non-bumis, rich or poor.

  29. #29 by JohnTheMenace on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 3:30 pm

    This is the formula for discimination / marginalisation:
    Provoke – Protest – Pull Back
    But if no protest, then it will be:
    Provoke – Prolong – Policy

    The Maybank episode, if anyone think MCA (MIC, i doubt) did a good job, he is either an idiot or morron.
    The pull-back is because of GE.

  30. #30 by Bobster on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 4:21 pm

    Quoted from The Star today: ‘Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen, who is Deputy Finance Minister, expressed regret with Maybank, saying the condition had no legal basis and was certainly not in line with the spirit of the Federal Constitution.’

    Referring to Item 2 of the above article:- Why did the MCA Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr. Ng Yen Yen state on Tuesday that neither the Finance Ministry nor the Bank Negara can intervene over Maybank’s “misinterpretation” of government policy.

    Seems that our honorable Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen whatever just gave a slap on her own face. People said bend it like Beckham. I said NYY bends like coconut tree. Bravo!

  31. #31 by Godamn Singh on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 5:27 pm

    “Why did the MCA Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr. Ng Yen Yen state on Tuesday that neither the Finance Ministry nor the Bank Negara can intervene over Maybank’s “misinterpretation” of government policy.”

    This clearly demonstrates the role of the MCA within BN. When UMNO says it is white when it is black, then for MCA it is white. Then when UMNO feels the need to be color blind and says it like what it is, MCA is left exposed with its pants down for all to see.


  32. #32 by JohnTheMenace on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 5:58 pm

    Dear Bobster,
    Our honourable NYY was in a big dilemma. What is she going to say before UMNO (representing Cabinet) decided the next move. I believe she must has consulted her MCA taikoh, but regretably no answer was given, and she was under pressure to give some comment.
    Anyway, give first then overrule later.
    After all you don’t have to resign for what you said or done. Malaysia culture.
    Don’t place too high hope for MCA.
    For what they have done, they only lead the non-bumi into slow self strangling.

  33. #33 by hermes on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:10 pm

    What do you expect when maybank is like a government department. Alll the real decision makers are bumis and, therefore, like the UMNO government their natural instincts are racially motivated.

    Like the UMNO government almost all the civil servants are bumi. Result — racist and racially motivated decisions.

    I cannot believe that the policy decision of maybank was made with the approval of the top decision makers.

    The new decision by maybank is no more than a mask . Maybank will continue with their stated policy of marginalising the non bumis by de facto actions, yet , denying that they are racially motivated at the same time.

    There should be a law against racial discimination. We will never have it because the greatest practitioner of racial discrimination is the government. Therefore, the answer is the turf the UMNO government out or at least put the UMNO on notice that racial discrimation in a NO GO.

    The non bumis deserve the government they get. They whine and scream but do not register nor vote for their rights. They even allow malay privileges to be elevated to be malay rights. There is a diffference between the two. Damm the non bumis. All they keep saying is “what can we do. Nothing will change” This is because they are not prepared to do anything to change things.

  34. #34 by gerald on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:24 pm

    All GLCs please take note. If you want to do, do it quietly, if this is not what you are already doing all this while. No need to put in black and white one. You know I know enough lah.

  35. #35 by Jonny on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:24 pm

    MCA is killing their own slowly.

  36. #36 by Fort on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:29 pm

    Dear John,

    I agree, don’t place too high a hope on MCA!

    I had given up hope on them long ago! They are not going to defence us!

  37. #37 by Fort on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:36 pm

    Sorry, “defend” instead of “defence”, spelling mistake.

  38. #38 by ccjett on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 9:00 pm

    Re: Feedback – A RACIST
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    Thank you for your e-mail. We appreciate your feedback and would like to inform you that the bank has revised the guideline for appointment to its panel of solicitors. We would like to emphasize that selection of solicitor firms will continue to be based primarily on performance, efficiency and merit.

    Moving forward and with immediate effect from 9 May 2007, all solicitor firms, whether with Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera equity ownership, are eligible for consideration. All other revised criteria for emplacement of solicitor firms pursuant to our annual review remain unchanged.

    We wish to reaffirm our commitment to serving all segments of the community and in building valued relationships with customers, shareholders, employees and the public.

    Once again, we thank you for your feedback and continuous support of Maybank.


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  39. #39 by lakshy on Friday, 11 May 2007 - 9:25 am

    The practise will remain the same. But it will not be officially admitted. The only mistake maybank made was to make it public. Now it will be done quietly.

    I guess you can be listed on Maybanks panel, but then you may not be given any jobs if they dont want to.

  40. #40 by Jimm on Friday, 11 May 2007 - 9:39 am

    We are all been taken a ride far too long now. Everyone is tired and bored with things happening around too frequently and no surprise to them.

  41. #41 by ilovepenang on Friday, 11 May 2007 - 10:47 am

    Unless they did it for some tactical reasons, otherwise I do not understand why there are still Chinese votes went to BN in the last few by-elections. They do not need to look very far, just look at the local Chinese schools. The students are so pathetically cramped in classes. OKT’s famous quote is ” We are doing something about it, though it is not being reported or publicized, we’re surely doing something”

  42. #42 by bumiborn on Friday, 11 May 2007 - 3:13 pm

    Damage done. I believe Maybank still privately practice this discriminatory practice, unless they disclose statistic that proved otherwise.

    Any suggestion of banks, foreign or local that practice on merit? I am ready to close all my dealings with Maybank. This is the best way to send the message. BOYCOTT!!

  43. #43 by ktteokt on Friday, 11 May 2007 - 7:38 pm

    There must be an end to all these “spoon feeding”. We have proclaimed our independence for half a century but these group of “parasites” still carry on to be spoon-fed. So how can we expect to achieve the arbitrary “wawasan 2020”. we have spent 50 years building up this nation but we have less than 13 years to the great wawasan. So does the government think that 13 years is sufficient to catch up on all that is necessary to make our nation an “advanced” one?

  44. #44 by jlingp10 on Friday, 11 May 2007 - 10:22 pm

    (I had some encounter)
    1- Supplier for TM also must Bumi
    2-Lumut Naval base non-bumi cannot be contractor
    3-Hospital -supplier must be somebody
    Can somebody add to these list?
    zjia gau liow-eat everything

  45. #45 by Wang on Sunday, 13 May 2007 - 4:42 am

    I heard that ANZ group holds a quarter of Maybank’s equity. Uncle Lim should expose this to the Australian media that ANZ group is involved in racially disciminatory policy!

  46. #46 by Orangutan on Sunday, 13 May 2007 - 10:26 am

    I agree with Wang. If it is true that ANZ group is a substantial shareholder of Maybank, expose this news to the international media. Let Maybank feel the pressures from all fronts as the domestic pressure alone may not make much of a difference.

    Remember, the South African regime was forced to abandon the racist apartheid system partly due to the boycott, sanctions and condemnations by the international communities, including Malaysia ironically.

  47. #47 by accountability on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 11:31 pm

    only in malaysia do you find such blatant discriminatory policies attempted, and the perpetrators getting away with it without even as much as a slap on the wrist…

    no wonder new foreign investments are going to vietnam while johor idr is totally ignored

    …malaysia bodoh!
    even more bodoh are the people who keep voting BN back into power

  48. #48 by VoiceOfMalaysian on Saturday, 26 May 2007 - 9:09 pm

    They had never tried to learn from ‘PROTON’ failure.. It is the BEST product of NEP so far.

    Then how about applying the same formula in Sports as well. Every team representing Malaysia must consist of 50% Malay. Then can we have Malaysian as World No. 1 in Squash and All England Champion this year?

  49. #49 by leawitt on Saturday, 16 February 2008 - 5:58 pm

    Don worry and be happy. Plenty of bank waiting for us. Honestly, I prefer Maybank to continue with the Bumi quota for the legal matter. So that their business will run always. Why should we so stupid to fight for this. Just leave it and let them suffer themselves latter. But don’t forget to tell your friend that Maybank not welcoming Non Bumi for business. That all

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