Home English News “Whose agenda 51 percent equity: Bumiputra or elite?” – Ramasamy

“Whose agenda 51 percent equity: Bumiputra or elite?” – Ramasamy

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COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

Kedah Bersatu is another racist party that derives its political nourishment from racial and religious extremism. It is no different from Umno or PAS or any other racist party in the country. The only difference is that it wants outsmart Umno or PAS in the racial game.

In fact, I am not surprised at all that it’s information chief took offence that the DAP came out to oppose the new measure by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) together with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) that freight forwarding companies of non-Bumiputra formed after 1990 must allocate an equity of 51 percent to Bumiputra.

There has been a hue and cry over this unjust move especially from the non-Bumiputra community.

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I understand that due to public outcry and appeals from the freight forwarders association representing about 1500 companies, the government has decided to postpone the implementation.

The DAP has been one of the vocal parties that strongly opposed the move.
It was argued that the move to dilute the share of non-Bumiputra freight companies was not only unconstitutional but a grave injustice to non-Bumiputra Malaysians who have worked hard to built up their businesses from scratch.

The government cannot by a stroke of pen dilute the equity of non-Bumiputra companies by turning over 51 percent to Bumiputra companies.

I have described this move as the most unkindest act like “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. The move to reduce the equity of the non-Bumiputra freight companies is by definition illegal and grossly unfair to those Malaysian who have built up their businesses from scratch.

But unfortunately, you have racists in the country especially from the Bersatu who think that the measure to assist Bumiputra in the freight forwarding companies is a sound one, in other words, in keeping with the Bumiputra agenda.

Whether turning over the 51 percent equity is in keeping with the requirements of the New Economic Policy (NEP) is debatable one. I don’t think that the government has moved away from the 30 percent in the last few decades.

The argument has been that even the target of 30 percent equity is yet to be achieved for the Bumiputra.

Of course, Bersatu politicians such as the overzealous information chief does not talk about the achievement of this target or how it was hijacked by the political and bureaucratic elite.

Even if the NEP target of 30 percent has not been achieved, then why introduce a measure that far exceeds the NEP target.

Why all of a sudden the goal post has been shifted to 51 percent?

Is such a move going to be the forerunner of other similar moves in other economic sectors?

Or is there thinking in the Bumiputra establishments, that it is better to set a higher target so that the fall might not be too drastic.

No sane human being would want justify or defend a move where the government wants to forcibly take away the majority equity of the non-Bumiputra companies and hand them over to the Bumiputra companies on a silver platter.

Such a move is a grave injustice to non-Bumiputra companies who had to slog for years under condition of racial and religious discretion. As if the existing discrimination is not enough, there comes a new ruling to deprive the non-Bumiputra further.

Maybe there will come a time that non-Bumiputra might not even be allowed to own companies to do businesses. While it it blatantly and grossly unfair to deprive the non-Bumiputra companies of their rightful and hard earned share, such a move might not be in the long term interest of the development of the Bumiputra community.

By not setting a timeframe for the NEP, the government has engendered a feeling of entitlement to the Bumiputra community. In other words, this sense of entitlement has meant that its members really don’t have to work hard or the need to compete with others.

While the NEP gives the Bumiputra a sense of entitlement over the others, the policy itself has been great disservice to the community.

While ordinary Malays are suffering under conditions of poverty, the beneficiaries are non-other than a small segment of the Malay political and bureaucratic elite.

If the 51 equity is introduced, the beneficiaries are pretty obvious; it might not have anything to do with assisting the Bumiputra in general.

Bersatu leaders can beat their chests all they want that the Bumiputra agenda is being opposed, but is the equity reflective of the larger Bumiputra agenda, or the nefarious agenda of the Bumiputra elite.