The Star; July 21, 2005; Nation
Bring back NEP, says Youth wing
UMNO Youth wants the New Economic Policy revived as part of the national development policy to protect the interest of the Malays. Movement chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the “growth by distribution” strategy, as outlined by the NEP should be pursued to ensure the 30% bumiputra stake of corporate ownership was maintained. “The NEP definition itself should be reapplied as part of the national development policy, so that the Malays would be empowered and not sidelined from now till the year 2020,” he said in his keynote address at the Umno Youth general assembly. Hishammuddin said the movement was raising the issue again as the same proposal at the last general assembly had not made any headway. Besides the 30% equity, he said there must be an assurance for the Malays to be allowed to dominate selected property sectors. The movement also called for the following:
- EXTRA effort by the Entrepreneur Development Ministry to produce quality bumiputra entrepreneurs;
- FRESH approaches in the funding and planning of projects in rural areas;
- MAKING sure the key performance index of Government-linked companies or privatised companies safeguard the “Malay agenda”;
- ENSURING authorities responsible for awarding tenders are committed and responsible towards the Malay agenda; and
- CREATING a monitoring system to ensure a more efficient delivery system for the Malay agenda.
Meanwhile, the movement's deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin was cheered by the delegates as he praised Hishammuddin and pledged his unwavering support for him to continue to lead. He received thunderous applause when he sought permission for the floor to call for the reintroduction of the NEP.
Khairy, who was booed at last year’s assembly, thanked the delegates this year for not mandikan (ragging) him. He said Umno Youth was calling for a return of the NEP and this was no longer a hidden agenda or something only in spirit and soul. He said this should be the basis for the country's economic planning in the coming Ninth Malaysia Plan with no shame or excuses. “No need to hide. This is the Malay agenda. We want 30% equity for the bumiputras so that they will be on par with the other races.”
"If you do not know where you're going, any route will lead you to a destination"
- Alice in the Wonderland
I woke up early today, hoping to read some interesting topics in the news published. Grabbing hold of the Star I read the heading: RAFIDAH UNDER FIRE. I thought; they are singing the same old song - boring and bland. The I pick up my New Straits Times and saw the heading: REVIVE THE NEP & REVIEW SUBSIDIES!
My first reaction: WHAT? Revive NEP? First and foremost, when was the NEP scrapped of which no Malaysians were informed? So, if the NEP is still there and alive, how to revive? If ever, it should be REVIEW.
Next to cross my mind is: DO THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT?
Economics and control of economic asset is not the same. 30% of $10 and 30% of $10 billion is not the same. When the NEP was first mooted three decades ago, the Malaysian GDP is hovering around RM60 billion. So, a 30% stake is about RM18 billion. Tracing the statistics, we should be happy that we had in fact achieved the 30% Bumi participation as planned. But todays GDP is RM260 billion. If you are asking to have 30%, then we are looking at RM78 billion per annum. To understand GDP, we have to take into consideration that foreign investments contributed more than 80% of the GDP figures. We invited foreigners to invest in Malaysia and to make Malaysia their second home. So, they bring in their monies, built factories, set up banks and financial centers, invest in the stock market, and trade in our currencies. At such, they indirectly contributed to the huge GDP figures. So, what does UMNO Youth wants? If you want 30% of what foreigners invested, then we either had to buy over the foreign businesses and get them out of the country or to snatch or steal from them.
In order for Malaysia to grow in prosperity and become a developed nation, we need foreign investors to grow our economy. At the same time, we can't say, we want to control and owned the economy. You cannot have the cake and at the same time eat it!
So, what are we talking about? Khairy is an economic graduate from Oxbridge; doesn't he understand economic theory and the philosophy of economics? Or, they are playing rhetorics in front of their own people, to win votes using smokescreen tactics?
Look at China's economic position. In the 70s, they own close to 100% of the economic activities. Since opening up their economic door, foreigners, particularly Americans and Europeans are creeping in, investing trillions in their economy; building factories, buying over state-owned corporations and financing the Chinese economic activities. As a ball-park figure, foreigners have owned more than 60% of the Chinese economic activities. And the percentages will continue to increase in the coming years.
So, why did China give up control of their state-own corporations to the foreigners? Isn't China not concern about the dwindling economy ownership? Far from it. In fact, with the investments from foreigners, China are bringing in wealth from the global world and building prosperity for their people.
So, what's UMNO shouting about? We want foreign investments but UMNO Youth wants control of others' investments?
On one hand, Pak Lah said: we want to built towering Malays. Najib said we want Malays to be Glocal. On the other hand, we hear that UMNO Youth is directing Government-linked Companies (GLC) to ensure that Bumiputeras dominate in the bio-technology, farming, aero-space, defence, information technology, halal food manufacturing, petroleum and gas, finance, automotive, services and tourism sectors; that Government-linked companies are to ensure efficient and effective business management and at the same time ensure total contribution towards the Malay agenda; and civil servants are directed to fully understand the importance of the Malay agenda when awarding contracts or tenders.
So, what do they want? Towering Malays or Candu? Still hybernating?
I weep for all my Malay friends!