Gerakan president Dominic Lau has accused the Pakatan Harapan government of perpetuating a race-based economic policy and backtracking on its Malaysian agenda.
He was responding to Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Mohd Yusof who said the new policy, which would be formulated to address the current challenges faced by the Malays, would be a realignment of the previous New Economic Policy launched in 1971.
Lau said while Gerakan does not dispute the existence of poor Malays, there is also a huge number of non-Malays struggling to make ends meet.
"Poverty is colour blind. A colour-blind policy is needed to address social woes and help the rakyat,” he added in a statement.
He also quoted a finding by DM Analytic in 2018, which showed that half of the Malaysian Chinese were earning less than RM2,350 per month, which is just above the B40 group.
"Khazanah Research also concurred last year that the income gap has actually doubled, which puts more Malaysians in relative poverty. The nation needs a good economic policy to put our economy back on track as a whole. The Harapan government should not sidestep or deny their own failure.
“We hope this announcement by the Harapan government is not a mitigating action to the twin by-election losses (in Cameron Highlands and Semenyih) and being used as a counterweight to the Umno-PAS union to draw more Malay support for Harapan," he added.
Lau reminded Harapan that it must be a government for all Malaysians, and its policies should be needs-based instead of race-based.
Since the last two by-elections, Harapan has been under pressure with regard to retaining Malay-Muslim support, especially with PAS and Umno forming an alliance.
The two opposition parties have been accusing Harapan of failing to safeguard the interests of the Malays and Islam.