The Malay Economic Council (MTEM) today called for the Bumiputera Economic Agenda to be retained as a national agenda and urged the Pakatan Harapan government to address abuses.
MTEM chief executive officer Ahmad Yazid Othman said the bumiputera agenda is to address ethnic inequality, which is apparent in terms of household income, wealth, controls of small and medium enterprises and equity ownership.
"However, MTEM does admit that there are certain quarters who have taken advantage of the bumiputera agenda for personal gain.
"This can be seen in the education sector, where bumiputera from high-income households manage to secure scholarships that are meant for low-income bumiputera households.
"This is regrettable as the economic development of the bumiputera as a whole will be far slower that it should be.
Bumiputera who come from rural and or disadvantaged backgrounds deserve a leg-up to compete against well-off urbanites and the bumiputera, which will then allow them to climb the social ladder and change their lives for the better," Yazid said in a press statement.
Selling permits, contracts for easy profit
He noted that there were also those in the private sector who abuse their bumiputera privileges by selling permits or contracts to third parties for easy profit.
"The practitioners of the Ali Baba business model should rightly be considered as not only criminal but traitors as well.
"The actions of such corrupt bumiputera will not generate value-added businesses owned by bumiputera entrepreneurs who will stand the test of time," he said.
As such, Yazid called for a restructuring of bumiputera policies to ensure effective implementation.
"MTEM proposes for the creation of a law to ensure that the grand policies of the nation are achieved, especially for matters that are closely linked to the development of the bumiputera economy.
"Anyone who intentionally sabotages those grand policies must be punished severely to act as a reminder to not go down the same path.
"The socio-economic development of the nation must have a foundation based on an equitable sharing of the economy between rural and urban people and among the ethnicities.
"Only then can we achieve a shared prosperity in the spirit of the New Malaysia," Yazid added.