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I refer to the malaysiakini report EU envoy summoned to explain NEP criticism .

The NEP has not only been in existence for 37 years but has been entrenched and fused into all facets of Malaysia from government, business, education, religion, employment and housing to day-to-day living by the last prime minister during his 22-year reign.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad's unscrupulous implementation of the NEP reached its pinnacle with the declaration of Malaysia as an Islamic state. The current government under Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, while changing some of what was inherited from Mahathir, is unabated in continuing the last prime minister's NEP legacy.

The world at large appears to have been oblivious to the ills brought about by the ruthless manner in which the NEP has been implemented all these years to the detriment of not only non-Malays but also a large number of Malays in the lower segment of Malaysian society.

The European Commission has suddenly seen the 'evil' of the NEP, and ambassador Thierry Rommel criticised the NEP. Where has the EC been all these years? Were they blind, deaf or illiterate and hence could not see, hear or read about the NEP all these years?

The sudden awareness is perhaps due to the fact that the NEP is thwarting EC's commercial interests in Malaysia, as revealed in the ambassador's statement: 'In a dominant part of the domestic economy, there is no level playing field for foreign companies.'

As in the case of VW's bid for Proton, the NEP is an obstacle in EC corporations' strategic plans to exploit Malaysia, hence the criticism against the NEP. Let us not be deceived that the recent European objection to the NEP is borne out civic consciousness and concerns about human rights, democracy and ethics in Malaysia.