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Whos right - Finance Ministry or EPU?
Published:  Nov 15, 2006 7:14 AM
Updated: Jan 29, 2008 10:21 AM

Is the government divided on this issue? Is the Finance Ministry mistaken? Somebody should take responsibility, says a reader.

On Bumi equity: Gov't retracts 36.6% figure

Meng: Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek should resign if he has any courage and principle. After all, in the eyes of the government, he had made an erroneous statement that the bumiputera equity had in fact reached 36%.

This was refuted by the EPU. So who is right? Is the government divided on this issue? Is the Finance Ministry mistaken? Somebody should take responsibility.

If it's not the deputy finance minister, then the finance minister should take responsibility for the statement that had led many to believe the NEP target was achieved.

On NEP to stay until national unity is achieved

Sadirah K: So long as we look at the New Economic Policy along ethnic cleavages, we will have emotional outbursts, unfair criticisms and unwarranted claims. Everybody wants to preserve their turfs for power in this country is ultimately defined on ethnic lines.

It is all very good for Ahmed Shabery Cheek to talk in terms of the unequal distribution of wealth between races. While I can understand this, he should also ensure that there is equity in the distribution of wealth within the Malays and within the other ethnic communities. Without addressing this reality achieving unity which is the avowed goal of the NEP will remain a 'pie in the sky'.

So long as poverty remains and the rich poor gap widens, we cannot talk in terms of unity. Today's problems cannot be solved at the level of thinking that existed in the 1970s. We have moved forward and without a macro view, we will be unfair to all ethnic groups.

If we develop a policy that is fair and right by all Malaysian as enunciated under the National Development Policy with Vision 2020 as our goal, then we can move away from the polarised views that today stifle discussions relating to the NEP. The government will be well advised to move along such lines.

Race is not a choice I make, and history is defined before I was born. It is a given that I have the privilege to refashion in the context of unity based on justice. If we are fair to all Malaysians then we will also be right by every ethnic need and challenge. This calls for a dimension beyond the intellect - the need for care, sensitivity and compassion for all human beings.

By reducing everything to an ethnic level, we damage our own sense of humanity. The cake is big enough for all. To sustain this growing cake, we have all to exert ourselves. We have to have the interest of all Malaysians at heart. This will only come across through the sacrifice by all of us for the larger good and this would mean an emphasis for special groups. No one will begrudge this but if exploitation, injustice and waste are the order of the day then this needs to be addressed.

On Hisham warns against racial politics

Ng Tze Yeng: It's scary how symbols of violence are hailed as a symbol of supremacy. Sword, keris, kalashnikovs, spears - all represent the destruction and not cultivation of humanity. I would think a more appropriate symbol would be the pen, or books or art that represents richness in culture and cultivation of the human spirit.

Race is a socially constructed to unify 'us' against 'them' - we are all human beings first and foremost. Whichever way equity is counted, as long as there is poverty as a result of unequal distribution of wealth, policies and implementation has to be re-looked regardless of "race".

YSM: To cheers from 798 delegates, Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein said "opportunist politicians" should not try to create a rift in Malaysia's multi-racial society. "We know who they are. We know where they are and what they are saying. Umno Youth is ready to face these opportunist politicians."

Is Hishammuddin referring to his deputy, Khairy? That would be great, and I think Umno Youth should censure Khairy for making racial statements.

On Perak mufti ticked off over SMS rumours

Adha: Just because the mufti's name is implicated in the so-called SMS rumour on apostasy, this does not mean that he is responsible for spreading it. I find it strange why Sisters in Islam (SIS) (already a misguided group) and a group of Catholic lawyers are putting the blame on the mufti.

After the explanation given by the mufti recently, I felt that he did refer this matter - prior to the SMS rumour - to the Mufti Council to get its views. However, this information leaked and the rest is history. And now, we have "groups" having a field day blaming the mufti.

I am also perplexed to hear Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdullah Mohd Zin's statement recently that he didn't know the exact figure of apostasy, however, he further exerted that it was not alarming. How come he is not alarmed, when in reality he doesn't know the

actual figures?

However, I fully agree with the Catholic lawyers that ISA should not be used on the culprits as we have sufficient laws and act to deal with it accordingly. If however, this draconian law is used, then it opens up another misfortune on the part of the authority.

On PM's warning triggers fears of crackdown

Ah Chong: If there is a crackdown, he has to go after his main critic, Tun Dr Mahathir. No one else has been as critical as TDM. Many are impatient, frustrated, fed up but no one has the kind of channel and publicity as TDM, so if there is any arrest, crackdown, or ISA, it has to start with TDM.

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