Monday, April 20, 2015

The balance that Najib is trying to achieve


“He reduced places for bumis in the government universities even though in the numerous private universities and twinned colleges, bumis make up less than 10 per cent. Bumiputera contractors and small business no longer had government favour. 
Most had to stop their businesses. Without saying so in so many words, he had adopted the Malaysian Malaysia slogan of the opposition, only calling it One Malaysia instead.”

That was what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his Blog today. And he added, “Despite all these the Chinese refused to support Najib. They flocked to the opposition and he performed worse than Abdullah in the 13th General Election.”

First of all, Dr Mahathir did not offer any statistics or specifically mention which government universities he was referring to. For example, UiTM is still very much a Bumiputera-dominated institution since 1956.

As for the other government-funded universities and institutions of higher learning, we need to see the statistics and not just make sweeping statements that give the impression the Bumiputeras are being left behind.

Dr Mahathir said that in spite of favouring the Chinese, they still refused to vote Barisan Nasional and instead voted opposition. That is an unfair statement because social reengineering must not be seen just in terms of vote buying but also in terms of social justice.

The New Economic Policy that was launched in 1970 had two objectives: serampang dua mata. It was supposed to elevate the economic position of the Malays plus reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Therefore, while in some aspects the NEP is supposed to help the Bumiputeras, at the same time it is also supposed to be colour-blind and to assist the needy non-Bumiputeras.

It is not correct to say that in spite of what the Prime Minister is trying to do for the non-Bumiputeras they still do not support the government. It is actually the other way around. Because the non-Bumiputeras are upset that the government is too pro-Bumiputera and does not consider the feelings and interest of the non-Bumiputeras is the reason why they have abandoned the government.

We cannot just talk about the Malays. There are about one million Malaysians who have left the country because they feel the NEP is discriminating to the non-Bumiputeras. They study overseas and then refuse to come home to Malaysia. That is a serious brain drain that needs to be addressed. And the only way this can be addressed is to show the non-Bumiputeras that they are not second-class citizens in Malaysia.

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