NEP, Key To Prosperous Malaysia
New Economic Policy(NEP) was introduced by Tun Razak-led Alliance Government, not long after the 13th May 1969 racial riot. Apart from its two-pronged objectives of ERADICATING POVERTY and RESTRUCTURING SOCIETY, NEP was one of the instruments to realize the SPECIAL POSITION OF MALAYS/BUMIPUTRAS as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
Since NEP, Malaysians had been living in peace and harmony, and together they built a PEACEFUL, STABLE and PROSPEROUS Malaysia. Up to the 11th GE of 2004, the ruling BN were returned to power with MASSIVE 90%MAJORITY. Malaysians, by and large, were happy with the economy, the country and the ruling Government. Malaysia was transformed into one of ECONOMIC TIGERS of Asia, and by mid-1990s, Malaysian map protruded higher than THE REST OF THE WORLD when our Petronas Twin Towers were proclaimed TALLEST BUILDING in the world. Several new buildings have since surpassed the height of the Twin Towers, but for a decade around the turn of the millenium, our capital KL was the ‘centre of the world’.
However, in the run-up to the 12th GE in 2008, certain DESPERATE politicians were using the SUCCESS OF NEP to stir up the feelings of Chinese and Indians, and even certain section of Malays, by alleging that the NEP only benefitted certain UMNO-linked individuals. The Chinese, despite their phenomenal success in business and overwhelming majority stake in the country’s wealth, were whipped up to believe that they are ‘discriminated’ by the Malays. And the Indians were driven to the streets with rumours that they were subject of ‘ethnic cleansing’ by the Malays too.
All the above were actually far from truth. Based on per capita income, the Chinese and Indians are well ahead of the Malays/bumiputras. No doubt, there were certain section of Chinese and Indians who are still in much to be desired state. Yet the fact that the RICHEST PERSON in Malaysia is Chinese, and the SECOND RICHEST is Indian, tell us a lot about the overall state of affairs.
Despite that, no one would deny the fact that the NEP have UPLIFTED the Malays/Bumiputras in 1001 ways. The quota system in Public Universities placements have allowed more QUALIFIED Malays/Bumiputra to enter tertiary education, with Government scholarship or study loans. Government’s establishments of over 20 Public Universities(IPTAs) and licencing of even bigger number of IPTS conducting twinning programmes with foreign universities have maximised tertiary education opportunities to all Malaysians. Under the NEP too,thousands of Malays/Bumiputras better-qualified students were sent to overseas universities to undertake studies in ‘critical’ courses, to help build the nation upon their return.
As a result of the UMNO-led BN Government efforts, most of Malays/Bumiputra household would have 2-3 of their sibblings studying in Universities, graduated and later filled up the TOP POSTS in both the public and private sectors. Their high salaries naturally flow back to their once poor parents and families. By this, majority of Malays/Bumiputras households were TRANSFORMED from poverty-stricken to LOWER MIDDLE CLASS and MIDDLE CLASS catagories.
Only the sick-hearted would ever suggest that the Malays who are keen on UPHOLDING the ‘spirit of NEP’ are against GLOBALISATION and COMPETITIVENESS . Malays are FOR globalisation and competitiveness, like their Chinese and indian counterparts. However, to the Malays/Bumiputras, what’s the point of GLOBALISATION, COMPETITIVENESS, and DEVELOPED STATUS, if they are pushed to the ‘fringe’ of the ECONOMIC ARENA, or as their proverb goes, ‘bagai melukut di tepi gantang’. The Malays/Bumiputras fully understand the VICIOUS CIRCLE of capitalistic economy, whereby THE RICH GETS RICHER and THE POOR GETS POORER, unless certain AFFIRMATIVE ACTIONS like the NEP is implemented, to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
The Malays/Bumiputras have clearly seen the ‘magics’ of the DEP, and how it had transformed them, their families and children. Indirectly, their transformation have TRANSFORMED the country too. They have also clearly seen that, DESPITE the NEP, Malaysia have positioned itself as one of TOP 20 TRADING NATIONS in the world, and lately, recognised as one of the TOP 10 MOST COMPETITIVE ECONOMIES on earth. What’s then the merit of argument by certain ill-hearted ‘experts’ that the NEP is a hindrance to globalisation and competitiveness.
Its nearer to truth to think of NEP as one of the KEY FACTORS to our countries SUCCESS STORIES. Infact, NEP has been KEY to PEACEFUL, STABLE and PROSPEROUS Malaysia. That being the case, NEP should be incorporated as ‘part and parcel’ of any New Economic Models(NEM) for the country, in order for it to succeed.