31 March, 2010
DEFINITE ROADMAP TO ABOLISH EXTREME RACE BASED AFFIRMATIVE ACTION & REPLACE WITH POLICIES THAT BENEFITS ALL MALAYSIANS
I refer to the New Economic Model (NEM) which was announced by our Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak.
It was disappointing to see that there was no announcement of clear cut road map to address the issue of our country’s race-based affirmative action policy.
The previous New Economic Policy (NEP) and New Development Policy (NDP) had been acknowledged to have failed to achieve its aim to ensure equal distribution of the wealth and development of our country among Malays and natives. Even it was recently disclosed that out of the RM52 billion of shares allocated to Bumiputras since the induction of the affirmative action policy, only RM2 billion of these shared remains in the hand of the Bumiputras.
The continuance of such previous extreme race-based affirmative action policy not only fails to achieve its principal aims to assist Bumiputras, but non-Bumiputras too have to also suffer for the shortcoming of the race-based affirmative action policy.
Instead of letting all Malaysians to continue suffer at the expense of the race-based affirmative action policy, the New Economic Model (NEM) must have a clear cut road map and time frame (such as by year 2020) to abolish the extreme race-based affirmative action policy and replace with a policy that will benefit all Malaysians.
No doubt, Article 153 of our Federal Constitution provides for reservation of quotas in respect of services, permits, business opportunities, scholarship, university entrance, etc to Malays and natives, but there is no specific mention of the percentage to be allocated under the quotas.
I believe the provision in Article 153 was meant to assist Malays and natives that in need of assistance of the government and to ensure all Bumiputras get to enjoy equal distribution of our country’s wealth and development. Our government should ensure that only those Bumiputras who are in need of the assistance get the quotas. It should not be used to enrich any particular Bumiputras at the expense of other Bumiputras and non-Bumiputras.
Thus, without a clear cut road map and time frame by year 2020 to abolish the current extreme race-based affirmative action policy and replace with a policy that will benefit all Malaysians, the New Economic Model would continue just to be a rebranding of the old extreme race-based affirmative action policy.