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Election Watch

Time not on our side as we stride forward to Vision 2020

Source: The Star
Date: 31 May 2012

DATUK Mukriz Mahathir’s “Making it just for all” (The Star, May 30), challenges us all to think through his serious concerns on the economy.

The Member of Parliament for Jerlun states that “the basic tenet of our nation is split according to a 70:30 ratio, with 30% being affirmative action under the NEP.

This is, with due respect, a sad misconception of the NEP as I recall from its original intentions. The 30% refers to the second prong of the NEP – which is to do with restructuring equity ownership in the economy and not poverty on the basis of race.

Furthermore, it is not correct that “70% of the economy is not affected by the NEP type policies”.

In fact the 30% equity ownership requirement has permeated right through the economy for the last 40 years and still continues in various forms.

This is one reason foreign and domestic investments have been declining in our country. We need to rectify this problem as postulated in the New Economic Model.

The NEM will be undermined if we stick to outdated ways in our thinking and implementation.

It will be useful to know what Mukriz means when he says that it “pains him to see structural discrimination being practiced by those in the private sector”.

The private sector, unlike the government sector, has to compete to survive and to make profits for its shareholders or perish. It cannot be expected to do charity when merit and results are required to survive and to sustain itself.

Mukriz says that there is a commitment to “tackling issues one by one, and that the results may be slow”.

But I appeal to him to please appreciate that time is certainly not on our side. We need to deal with our many weaknesses across the board and not tally too long.

If we do not, we will not realise the goals of the NEM, 1Malaysia and Vision 2020 on time.

That can be “unjust to all Malaysians”.


TAN SRI RAMON NAVARATNAM
Chairman
Center of Public Policy Studies

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