Monday, March 8, 2010

MPM wants New Economic Model to protect Malay interests

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The Malay Consultative Council (MPM) has declared that the New Economic Model (NEM) proposed by the Najib administration must protect Malay interests as prescribed by Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

MPM spokesman Datuk Ibrahim Ali (picture) explained today that the NEM must be in line with Article 153 which has 10 parts, with the first part making it incumbent for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.

“I hope the Prime Minister will not rush in announcing the New Economic Model, and postpone it so that it would not create any controversy especially regarding the interests of the Malay race and Bumiputeras,” the Perkasa chief said after a roundtable discussion organised by the MPM.

“The decision reached was that in the new economic model must be in the framework of Article 153 of the Constitution. The policies that do not practise affirmative action will only bring hardship to the majority, and that is the Malay race and Bumiputeras.

“This is because in a democratic system, the majority is the national agenda. It is not only the agenda of the Malay race and Bumiputeras but in a country the majority has a problem that needs to be solved then it becomes the national agenda,” he added.

Ibrahim said the government must make development of the Malay economy as one of the National Key Results Areas (NKRA).

“The government can formulate any policies in terms of competitiveness and globalisation but we must be in the framework in the constitution. We stray away from this is crime. The policy of affirmative action to protect the Malay community must be continued in the New Economic Model so the wealth is distributed equitably,” said the independent Pasir Mas MP.

Ibrahim added that equitable distribution of wealth was important for social harmony.

“The New Economic Model must concentrate on wealth distribution because if there is no wealth distribution then the country is not safe from political stability in the future. The government has the right to perform social intervention to ensure that there is national unity and economic equitability. This is important so that the country’s economy is free from monopoly and exploitation which may cause a fracture between the different races,” he said.

He said the NEP will not stall the country’s economy but instead spur its growth.

“We are against the notion that ethnic-based policies hinder foreign direct investment. This is not true because our economic growth sustained when NEP was in place. Not only did we have sustained economic growth but we also had a high foreign direct investment during that time. We reject this school of thought. We are of the opinion that there is less foreign direct investment now because of the dip in the international market and the perception of corruption in the country,” he added.

The MPM, an umbrella organisation for nearly 80 Malay groups, also slammed Tan Sri Francis Yeoh’s proposal for a brutal economy.

“They talk about brutal competition but many of them receive subsidy and monopoly from the government,” he said.

The YTL Group managing director had said that there is a need for a brutal economy for the country’s business environment to prosper and Malaysia could no longer have a “little brother” mentality where businesses are protected by the government.


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