ADUN SPEAKS | It’s quite common to see a comparison being made about wealth between races in Malaysia. However, none of the comparisons have really been meaningful.
Some perceive that the Chinese are wealthy and the Malays are poor. But the fact is, the majority of the Chinese are working class.
According to the 2016 data from the Statistics Department, the proportion of working class amongst the Chinese and Malays are largely similar (Chinese 70 percent and Malays 72 percent).
Disparity and uneven distribution of wealth are issues that happen across races. Hence, it is inaccurate to conclude that any race is wealthier than another.
Pakatan Harapan won big in GE14 and brought about two-party system in Malaysia for the first time, and it was largely attributable to various economic issues that were hurting Malaysia.
Deteriorating purchasing power, increasing cost of living, non-corresponding income level are issues still faced by all Malaysians.
Hence, we should draft and implement our economic policies not based on race, but based on who needs them.
The policymakers are supposed to understand the economic challenges faced by each class and segment of society, and make policies that can help the whole class or segment, without discriminating and divide them by race.
Need-based economic policies would ensure the most vulnerable group gets help from the government and benefit from our policies.
By channeling help to the needy, we can elevate the vulnerable and poor to where we want them to be.
A fair, need-based economy policy is what Malaysia needs right now.
KERK CHEE YEE is state assemblyperson for Ayer Keroh and Malacca exco for communication, multimedia, youth development and sports.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.