Once in a while, we do see a Towering Malaysian and we are definitely seeing one in the person of Dr Lim Teck Ghee. Umno can 'kill' the person, but they cannot kill the message. We hear you, Dr Lim.
The NEP (New Economic Policy) in its altruistic form - ie eradication of poverty irrespective of race, identification of race with occupation and creation of a Bangsa Malaysia - are laudable goals which I and every Malaysian support. The Asli study confirms what everyone knows that the bumiputeras have achieved the 30% traget. It is common knowledge that the NEP has been hijacked by Umnoputras to perpetuate the continued 'piratisation' of the economy at the expense of and marginalisation of fellow Malaysians, including the kampung Malays.
Even the blind can see that out of 10 anchor banks, only two are now Chinese-owned. One Maybank alone is worth more than the thousands of businesses along Petaling Street. One Petronas with RM70 billion of profit is worth more than all the YTLs, Gentings, Maxis-es and AirAsias put together.
Government-linked companies (GLCs) such as Pernas and Bank Bumiputra are for all intent and purpose created to build a BICC (bumiputera industrial and commercial community). It is the 'mother of all lies' to say that GLC companies are not bumiputera companies when almost the whole board of directors, its management, rank and file employees, its suppliers and contractors, scholarship holders are bumiputeras. If not, why did the government come out to bail these companies?
Asli's report also highlighted the income disparity between the rich and poor Malays which is much higher than that of non-Malays which Umno conveniently forgets to address. Wouldn't Pak Lah be concerned and interested to find out why the Pak Tani who toils in his kebun in Ulu Kelantan does not get his share while a Kelantan senator has a regular supply of APs to import cars?
The NEP has now become a Never Ending Policy. To end this charade, the government through the Securities Commission should now legislate that the 30% shares allocated to bumiputeras in a public issues of shares should be classified as 'B' shares. These shares should be restricted and can only be sold to bumiputeras only. This is something akin to the Malay Reservation land where only Malays can buy and sell. In this way, it would put and end to leakages of shares to non-bumiputeras.
In line with Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's call for transparency, the BN government should now make public how the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) arrived at its figure of an 18.9% bumiputera equity share. If EPU is adamant that its calculation of corporate equity is correct, ie using the par value of shares, I would like to sacrifice myself and do my part for national duty. I would exchange my 30,000 Paracorp shares of RM1 each (quoted at 5 sen) for only 300 shares in TNB (quoted at RM9.75) with any bumiputera shareholder. Presto! The bumi shares will now be 100 times more. Any takers?