Malaysiakini News

Outline scope of needs, not race-based policies, minister told

Published:  |  Modified:

An MCA Youth leader questioned if the Pakatan Harapan government's proposal that economic policies should be needs-based and not race-based would extend to a "partial or absolute abolition" of the bumiputera quota system.

In a statement, MCA Youth Young Professionals and Varsity Affairs Bureau chairperson Eric Choo Wei Sern said the proposal by Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali for the New Economic Policy (NEP) to be reviewed was a step in the "right direction" and crucial for the country’s progress.

"The alleviation of poverty and the strengthening of the social protection network are some of the objectives that can be achieved through need-based financial measures.

"By doing so, fair and competitive economic policies beyond skin colour and ethnicity will be able to accelerate economic development of the country," Choo said.

However, he called on the minister to further elaborate and explain if the "so-called fair treatment" of all ethnic groups would encompass the "absolute or partial abolition of the bumiputera quota system, in particular for housing, the shareholding of listed companies and issuance of business licences, if any".

On the matter of key appointments to government-linked companies (GLCs), Choo asked if the needs-based policy would extend to consideration for merit-based appointments.

MCA willing to cooperate

Choo added: "This is a bold move. Although MCA and Harapan have different political views, we are willing to cooperate with the Harapan government for the common interests of the people and the development of the nation so that it will benefit all Malaysians."

Azmin had on Tuesday stated that the government must review the NEP to ensure it benefits all Malaysians and is implemented based on need and not race.

He said the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) was tasked with looking into the review.

However, Azmin stressed that despite the review, the needs and rights of the bumiputeras would not be neglected.

The NEP was announced after the May 13, 1969, racial riots to create national unity by narrowing the economic, social, cultural and other disparities among the different races.

However, the NEP faced allegations of racial discrimination as affirmative action outlined within the plan was geared towards the Malay and bumiputera community.

The New Economic Model was introduced by former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2010 to double the per capita income in Malaysia by the year 2020.

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