Racist Perkasa slams NEM's neglect of Malays

The one-day Bumiputera Economic Congress became the arena for NEM-bashing as experts slammed the New Economic Model for sidelining of Malay interests.

The congress is organised by the Malay Consultative Council, which include Malay NGOs such as the controversial Perkasa.

National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) secretary Normah Mansur started the ball rolling when she conceded the lack of bumiputera or Malay-specific policies in the proposed economic model soon to be finalised by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Delivering the keynote address, Normah (left) said that NEAC wanted to hear from the congress about the need for a Malay and bumiputera agenda as it has not formulated any in the NEM.

She also stressed that the proposed NEM is not a government document but only a proposal from the economic advisory body, which effectively opened the floodgates of criticisms as panel speakers, one after another, let loose their disagreements.

Academician Kamaruddin Kachar, who chaired the panel, told the panel speakers not to be shy to tear down the NEM because the congress was about defending the “natural rights of the Malays”.
"This is our country, pioneered by our ancestors 2,000 years ago, and defended with their blood in countless battles against invaders. Why should we be afraid? The sultans are our protectors. The Royal Malay Regiment is for the Malays.

"Should we be afraid of Samy Vellu's son? Don't let Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh belittle us. The Malays are not weak," he said.

'Special rights ignored'

To the applause and cheers of the crowd, the four-member discussion panel comprising senator Akbar Ali, former Economic Planning Unit director Hanipah Esa, economic scholar Rajini Ramlan and history professor Ramlah Adam, picked apart the policy which they argued neglected to consider the special rights of the Malays and bumiputera.
Akbar's (left) grouses were more on the technical facets questioning what he said are the flawed basis of the NEM.

In particular, he criticised the economic policy's over-dependence on the free market approach and the use of the single indicator of the gross domestic income, instead of a basket of indicators like household income and human development which he says would be more reflective.
He also mounted a vehement defence of the New Economic Policy and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whom he said is being disparaged by the apparent attack on the economic policy which the former Umno chief had presided over.
"The attack on NEP is actually an attack on Mahathir. He was the one who implemented it for near 20 years. These people are from the World Bank. The World Bank has always had a beef with Mahathir," he said.

Hanipah recounted the still-fragile state of the Malays, in particular those who still need to be given protection from the other races, who are more well-versed and able in business and economic fields.
"Without clear mechanisms and action plans, the hope (to strengthen the bumiputera) will not see fruition," she opined.

Rajini said that while the NEM may help Malaysia prosper, it will incapacitate the Malays economically.
"I am positive that the NEM is a long-term plan that will develop the economy, but I am pessimist about its ability to uplift the Malays."
'Prosperous Malaysia won't uplift Malays'
Meanwhile, Ramlah took a more historic route, slamming the proposed economic model as breaking the promises made in the agreements signed before Merdeka.
"This is an attempt to destabilise the Malay economic and political establishment," she added, speaking of what she claimed are attempts to question the special economic rights guaranteed to the Malays.

She said that the special rights of the Malays is guaranteed in return for granting citizenship to the non-Malays.
The one-day congress is the culmination of a series of workshops, talks, roundtable discussions and seminars by the Malay Consultative Council to scrutinise the NEM.

A memorandum will be submitted to Najib once the congress concludes later tonight. Najib is expected to close the event later tonigh.
The memorandum will contain resolutions and recommendations passed by the congress to be included in the NEM.

Among notables at the congress were Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali, Dewan Negara president and Malay Consultative Council co-founder Abu Zahar Ujang alongside academicians, NGO representatives and veteran Malays.

Conspicuously absent however were bumiputera representatives from government-linked companies and the corporate world.
30/05/10

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