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I refer to malaysiakini 's report " Maybank faces boycott over bumi quity policy ".

I would say Maybank asked for it. Not only DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) members will close their accounts with Maybank but this may spread to the wider boycott in protests.

Initially Maybank justified its new ruling on grounds that Malaysia was working towards improving the quality of service industries, including the legal profession, to face the challenges of globalization.

It was a fatuous argument.

The quality of legal service to face the challenges of globalization depends on law firms whose lawyers are knowledgeable in banking law, have sufficient practical and breath of experience in both legal principles and commercial imperatives to know how to balance them to the bank's best interest without sacrifice of its legal protection.

These firms must also have the size or network with legal firms in other countries to exchange in-put and collaborate in cross border lending/security transactions and more importantly a service ethos of excellence above all considerations - the criteria of which are all merit and not race based.

There is simply no rational nexus between the new equity policy and its professed justification.

Maybank's subsequent clarification to diffuse the controversy as reported in The Sun on May 7 was at best prevaricating and unclear if it was retracting such ill-advised policy.

In saying that it was not its intention to call for existing solicitors in its panel to restructure their equity ownership is but a minor concession and back pedalling, leaving wide open the continued application of the ruling on all future applications by new lawyers seeking emplacement in its panel.

In saying that efficiency and performances of the lawyers are considered as well and that bumi equity ownership has never been the sole and overriding determinant for placement on its panel of solicitors is to imply that although the equity criterion is not "the sole and overriding determinant", it could still remain one of the material determinants, which is, in sharp contrast, from saying that quality of service in terms of efficiency and performance is the sole determinant.

The 50 percent bumi equity is even higher than the normal 30 ppercent of FIC and listing requirements.

What people are aggrieved about is the extension of the NEP precept beyond corporates to even service providers of corporates, from lawyers to accountants/auditors and then maybe later valuers and florists and so on , indicating a deepening institutionalizing of race based quota in every facet of Malaysian life.

Look at the bigger picture : Maybank is a household name, an icon backing the economic progress of this country whose own success over the years is also attributable to the support of Malaysians of all races.

What signal is Maybank giving to Malaysians?

We are about to commemorate our 50th Merdeka anniversary in 2007 and the first prerequisite for the celebration to have any meaning is unity and harmony where all communities should be reminded of what common interest and shared norms unite them than quotas that divide them.

And there is already one too many divisive quotas without Maybank, which holds claims to be a socially responsible corporate citizen, to add one more quota to deepen the alienation of those excluded.