Posts Tagged ‘NEP’

DPM Muhyiddin on policies favoring bumiputras

September 5th, 2010
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I checked the meaning of racist at few sites:

Oxford:

noun: a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another
adjective: having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another (e.g.: we are investigating complaints about racist abuse at a newsagents)

S: (n) racist, racialist (a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others)

Adjective:

S: (adj) racist (based on racial intolerance) “racist remarks”

S: (adj) racist, antiblack, anti-Semite (discriminatory especially on the basis of race or religion)

Merriam-Webster:

This dictionary returned the definition for racism instead of racist:

Definition of RACISM

1. : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

— rac·ist noun or adjective

I don’t know. If you read the article below and look at the definitions above, looks like its racist policy because it discriminates or prejudices according to race.  However it doesn’t indicate that these policies are promoting superiority over other races (that’s another topic).  The implementation of such policy gave birth to various entities and schemes that favored only one race, and kind of gave carte blanche to devise methods, rules and guidelines that favor them. Maybe the policies were needed 30 years ago, but is it still needed now? Maybe need to “fine tune”.  I think people (non-Malays especially) feel the policy has deviated from the its initial purpose 30 years ago, so the support has been lost now. Talk to younger people. They see people of all races shopping and spending money like nobody’s business (Don’t believe? go to Midvalley and see the Raya shoppers there!). So, where’s the poor people? Are the poor people only from one race? Don’t forget, the word bumiputra has been used liberally, but can we say the folks in East Malaysia are well off now?  Look at the estate workers.What did 20++ years of NEP did for them? Did they get own land? Did they participate in land schemes? Were they given shares or units? Offered loans/scholarships?  Given entrepreneur grants? Taught new skills?

Just like Mahathir giving meritocracy a new definition, maybe this is an attempt to do likewise to the word racist?

Programmes to assist the poor which may be seen to favour bumiputras should not be misinterpreted as racist policies, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said such programmes implemented since the start of the New Economic Policy were meant to provide aid to groups most in need of them, regardless of their race or ethnicity.

Muhyiddin said the policy was a national policy aimed at all, ensuring equitable division of the country’s wealth to all races.

“There is no discriminatory or racist policy here.

“This is a national policy, a policy for the equitable distribution of wealth which we have known about since 1970 (the NEP),” he said after opening the Pahang hardcore poor and urban poverty eradication programme here yesterday.

He said certain quarters who had labelled the Government’s move of helping more poor bumiputras as racist were themselves behaving as racists.

“No quarter should label a policy to assist bumiputras, many of whom are still poor and weak in certain areas, as a racist policy because when the NEP was launched, it was accepted by all the races, including the non-Malays,” he said.

On educational assistance, Muhyiddin said it should also not be made an issue as that would only cause dissatisfaction and animosity between the races, as after 53 years of independence education remained the basis of stability in the country.

“Therefore, whatever the Government does should not be misinterpreted, as it is for the good of all, regardless of race.”

He said the Government was also upset with some Malays who questioned the policy.

He said these people did not understand that there were still many in the community who still needed the Government’s assistance.

“If there are Malays who sabotage their own community’s struggle, then others would take advantage of the situation and acknowledge the policy as a racist policy.”

PM Najib to remove NEP?

May 22nd, 2009
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While this may not make it to our shores among the MSM, I found one Malaysiakini article and one from Taipei Times. Nothing much on Singapore ST website from what I searched. PM Najib in a candid interview with Singapore Straits Times mentioned about removing the NEP:

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has pledged to roll back a decades-old affirmative action program for the ethnic Malay majority, insisting that the long-term benefits of doing so would outweigh the initial “pain,” a news report said yesterday.

Najib, who took office last month, told Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper that he could handle the backlash to his plan from the ruling political party, the United Malays National Organization.

Najib told the newspaper that he did not fear opposition from the “warlords” in the party because he believes most of them are loyal to him.

“Don’t forget, I’m the biggest warlord. They are chiefs but they’re smaller chiefs. I’m the big chief,” Najib said in the interview ahead of his two-day visit to the city-state starting yesterday.

The affirmative action program launched in 1970 remains one of the most divisive aspects of Malaysia’s multiethnic society. Various policies in the program require many companies to be partly Malay-owned and allowed Malays to buy homes at reduced prices and get into universities more easily.

The Chinese and Indian ethnic minorities say this amounts to racial discrimination, but many Malays bristle at the suggestion that the program should be scrapped. The ruling party has been reluctant to meddle with the program for fear of losing the support of Malays.

Najib said Malays increasingly “support the idea of having a more equitable and socially just society.” He said steps toward economic liberalization were necessary to prevent Malaysia from being “out of sync with what’s happening globally” and reduce its ability to compete economically.

He did not elaborate on specific plans, but said the traditional method of “imposing quotas, for example, and equity restrictions, seems to be hampering achievements and growth.”

Maybe its just politik-speak. Maybe its not. Only time will tell.

Let’s end this piece with something that political scientist James Chin, who researches affirmative action policies, told The Straits Times:

Najib will likely be very cautious when it comes to actually amending the NEP. The key is to keep the economy efficient without losing the core support of the Malays that keeps Umno afloat.

Najib may modify certain less sensitive aspects of the NEP, such as the awarding of scholarships, but no country which has started affirmative action policies has ever been able to remove them, noted Chin.

“Najib is in a no-win situation,” he said.

Tan Sri Ramon on NEP deviation

January 21st, 2009
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Confirming what many Malaysians already know, one of the persons involved in the drafting of NEP, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam says this in Malaysiakini article:

The New Economic Policy (NEP) has deviated from its original aim of eradicating poverty in the country and thus, it is imperative that the policy is studied again in detail, not by politicians but by professionals.

MCPX

At the launch of a new book entitled “Malaya’s First Year At The United Nations” at the Royal Lake Club this afternoon, Ramon Navaratnam (right in picture) said, “I have some knowledge of it, as I was one of those who drafted the NEP. I agree with Tunku Abdul Rahman when he said there’s nothing wrong with the NEP per se, but (there are problems with) the way it is implemented.

“At that time, neither Tun Dr Ismail nor any of us thought of APs (approved permits) and special privileges for the rich. We thought of poverty eradication regardless of race and the removal of the association of occupation with race.

“But it has had different turns and twists, and I think it is well worth a study of where it deviates from the ideals and wisdom of people like the late Tun Dr Ismail,” added Navaratnam, who is also director of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute.

Shut down NEP says Chua Jui Meng

September 29th, 2008
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No doubt its a party election campaign strategy. Just like UMNO leaders who touched on hot issues to gain votes, MCA is also doing the same. Chua Jui Meng who is going for broke is proposing that the NEP is replaced with a new policy. This is surely going to be made into a controversy, as the politicians make use of certain statements by Chua and start a war of words. We might even see him arrested under ISA either for his own protection or to investigate his statements.

Before we proceed, let’s look at his proposal. Chua says NEP is a bone of discontent for the Chinese and Indians. He suggests that it is replaced with National Economic Consultative Council III. He believed the NECC III would bring back the support of the Chinese and Indian voters to Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

“I believe that a fair and open economic policy will bring in greater foreign direct investment, stimulate domestic investments for a repeat of the strong economic performance in the 1990s and restore the confidence of the rakyat.”

According to Chua, when National Development Policy (result of NECC 1) was in place between 1990 and 2000,:

“The NDP was fair and liberal to all races, resulting in plentiful economic and educational opportunities for all.

“As a result, the non-Bumiputera communities gave overwhelming support to the BN, giving it decisive electoral victories in 1995 and 1999.”

Chua said the introduction of the National Vision Policy in 1999, when the NECC II was established, saw an extraordinary election victory in 2004.

“If we don’t close the NEP before the next general election, I can tell that the BN has to forget about the Chinese and Indian votes because the opposition has agreed that the NEP must be scrapped.”

Thus he stresses that its time to replace NEP. Only the poverty eradication aspect should be retained (in other words – wealth distribution via discrimination is rejected).
The Star reported that Chua reasoned after 38 years since the NEP was introduced, the Malay middle class was now large and securely established.

“The need for the NEP therefore no longer exists, and the Constitutional rights of all Malaysians should be restored,” he said during his manifesto launch here today.

What do you think? Chua Jui Meng for MCA president or ISA?

Bye bye to NEP? Or just do cosmetic changes to it to please the public? Or maintain it?

Race Relations Act?

September 18th, 2008
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What is Race Relations Act? I found a similar named Act in UK, the 1976 version which was updated in 2000:

The Race Relations Act 1976 was established by the British Parliament to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race.

Items that are covered include discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin in the fields of employment, the provision of goods and services, education and public functions.

The Act also established the Commission for Racial Equality with a view to review the legislation.

The Act incorporates the earlier Race Relations Act 1965 and Race Relations Act 1968 and was later amended by the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, notably including a statutory duty on public bodies to promote race equality, and to demonstrate that procedures to prevent race discrimination are effective.

In 2003 additional regulations made certain forms of discrimination due to religious belief illegal also.

The Act (2000) is found here.

Back in Malaysia, MCA Youth proposed the setting up of the Act on 14th September, following the arrest of Sin Che journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, but the letting off of Ahmad Ismail:

The MCA has proposed to the government to draft a race relations act to strenghten relations among multi-ethnic Malaysians.

Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said such an act was relevant and necessary, in view of racial issues resurfacing and plaguing the nation, of late.

He said the proposed act could also reinforce efforts taken by the unity, culture, arts and heritage ministry to promote unity and solidarity among the people.

“We will propose to the ministry. Such act is needed to look into race relations, (and) how to engage a multi-racial community into postive relations and avoid discrimination.

“Some countries have in place, such an act, where you can’t discriminate or belittle other races,” he told reporters after opening The Federation of Malaysian Clans and Guild Youth Association’s annual meeting here today.

Barely 5 days after that, this is the response from Home Minister Syed Hamid (NST):

The Cabinet has agreed to enact an Act on race relations to prevent possible racial conflicts.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia still had to cope with sensitive issues relating to racial problems and relationships despite having achieved its independence 51 years ago.

Syed Hamid said his ministry would be working closely with the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry in formulating the Act.

He was also quoted on Malaysiakini:

Responding to queries, the home minister said Shafie Apdal’s ministry will be drafting the law after consultations with various groups.

The Home Ministry is tasked with giving feedback on the penalties if the law is infringed.

On the need for the act, Syed Hamid said: “Even in the European nations, a law governing race relations is now important as they too are becoming ‘rainbow’ nations. What more for us?

“But the law is still in the early stages of drafting and it will be take some time before it is ready to be looked at.”

The minister also said that the cabinet will look at other countries’ race relation laws before deciding on Malaysia’s.

Basically, such Acts are to avoid discrimination in services, employment, public functions etc. But in Malaysia, it may also incorporate clauses to ban questions special rights of Malays, nationality of citizens, economic allocations etc.