NEP Never Failed
Nazir Razak, the younger brother of our Prime Minister DS Najib Tun Razak was reported to have criticized the NEP (New Economic Policy), saying that the policy is unfair to the majority of Malays and that the government should protect the interest of the majority of Malays and not just the selected ones.
Had the reports been correct, Naziz Razak must be OUT OF TOUCH with the Malay masses. Many would question why he highlighted only certain comments by a single MALAY he met in London, but not thousands of Malays in KL and elsewhere in the country.
Nazir Razak has to understand the ‘sensitivity’ of his position, being the brother of our the PM, who is also the President of UMNO. The way he carried himself so far, I believe he would do Najib more service by concentrating on what he is BEST AT, business and banking activities, and not to make statements like politicians, lest he may put Najib in difficult situations.
First and foremost, Nazir should NOT dwell too much into the IMPLEMENTATION technicalities of NEP. He should see the LARGER PICTURE, the END RESULTS of NEP. Has NEP benefitted the Malays as a whole. Let us just take a small example. Based on latest statistics, the number of Malay/Bumiputra professionals have increased tremendously since the NEP. At the start of NEP, Malay Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors, Lawyers and other key professions were barely 10-20% of the total number of members of their respective professions. Today, the Malays make up MORE than 50% of Architects, Engineers and Surveyors in the country.
The MAIN TARGET of NEP was MALAY EQUITY, not MALAY EQUALITY…. In order to increase Malay equity, the Government had to produce MALAY BUSINESS LEADERS, the likes of Tan Sri Wan Azmi, Tan Sri Halim Saad, Tan Sri Shamsudin, Late Tan Sri Nasimuddin and many others. Yes, they may have been given more opportunities than others, but are we going to deny the HUGE IMPACT people like them have on other Malays/Bumiputras?
Take the case of Tan Sri Halim Saad , who led UEM, the Bumiputra company which constructed the Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan(PLUS). During their heydays, UEM and its subsidiaries and associated companies employed not less than 20,000 engineers, technocrats, managers etc, of which over 95% are Malays/Bumiputras. I doubt whether there is any Chinese-owned PLC who would employ more than 20% of their employees from among Malay/bumiputras.
And, the QUOTA SYSTEM for scholarships and places of TERTIARY EDUCATION has been responsible for MASSIVE TRANSFORMATION of Malays/Bumiputras in the field of Education. Nowadays, most Malay households would have at least one or two of their siblings studying in IPTA/IPTS, and then finding good jobs either with the Government or the private sector in KL. This transformed their families from being poor rural kampong folks, to that of HIGHER INCOME bracket.
Nazir should not be misled to think that UNITY was the ONLY OBJECTIVE of NEP. The stated objectives of NEP was:
1. To eradicate poverty.
2. To re-structure the Malaysian society.
It was believed that, by eradicating poverty, and re-structuring society, there would NOT be any more HUGE DISPARITY among the RACES, not among individuals. HUGE DISPARITY among races was identified as the most likely RACIAL FLASHPOINT, which would one day destroy all that the nation has built.
Since NEP, Malays/Bumiputra equity has increased from mere 2.5% of National Wealth in 1970 to 18% in 1990. NEP targetted Malay/Bumiputra equity to increase to 30% by the year 1990.
NEP may have not fully achieved the TARGET. But, that does NOT mean it was not successful. The 30% equity target , within a span of 20 years, could have been set TOO HIGH for Malays/Bumiputras to achieve, taking into consideration that we are operating in CAPITALISTIC ECONOMY where the norm is THE RICH GETS RICHER, THE POOR GETS POORER.
However, NEP has moderated the extremes of CAPITALISTIC ECONOMY. Under NEP, THE RICH GETS EVEN RICHER, THE POOR BECOMES RICHER’. As wisemen put it, ‘IF YOU TARGET THE SKY, IF YOU FAIL, AT LEAST YOU REACH THE CLOUDS’.