DS Najib: Affirmative Action Stays

This what was reported in The Edge Daily, sourced from BERNAMA:

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not do away with its affirmative action policy but it will be carried out in a fairer and more transparent manner to improve the lives of Malaysians in the bottom 40% of the population, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said last night.

The prime minister said the implementation of the policy would be more market-friendly, more merit-based and also more on a needs basis.

“For example, I say if you want to eradicate poverty, if you want to address the lower 40% population with income below RM1,500 a month, you must also take care of the non-Malays or non-bumiputeras as well.

“When you talk about bumiputeras, it is not synonymous with Malays. What about the Ibans, Kadazans, Bidayuhs and the likes? They are also bumiputeras and they have the same rights,” he said in an exclusive interview aired by Bernama TV last night in conjunction with his first year in office.

The special interview on “Setahun di Aras 5: Temubual Khas Bersama Perdana Menteri” (One Year on Level 5: Special Interview with the Prime Minister) was helmed by Bernama’s deputy editor-in-chief Zulkefli Salleh and economic service editor Mikhail Raj Abdullah.

“Let us not be too corrupt with a certain way of looking at things but let us look at ways that really create the sense of belonging that we are together as one nation and one people.”

Najib was responding to a question on Perkasa, the Malay non-governmental organisation, which said that 67% of the country’s wealth should belong to the community.    

Najib said the government’s goal to raise per capita income from US$7,000 to US$15,000 (RM48,750) in 10 years, as outlined in the New Economic Model (NEM), referred to average income.

“Obviously, not everyone will be earning US$15,000. This we have to understand. It is the same in any country. There will be rich people and there will be poor people. But what we want is that the poor should not be overly poor to the point of being destitute,” he said.

The prime minister also called on employers to improve the working environment and set higher salaries to entice Malaysians to take on jobs considered dirty and dangerous that were currently dominated by cheap foreign labour.

“I believe employers should do this and not make it too easy for them to have foreign workers. And if we can increase the levy on foreign workers to be commensurate with the number that they want to hire, then there comes a point where it makes more business and economic sense to engage Malaysians, not foreigners,” he added.

Najib also spoke of a paradigm shift to move Malaysia out of being a low-cost producer to an innovative economy in order to draw talents, including Malaysians who were working abroad.

The way forward was to raise wages to a much higher level for the people to enjoy better income and quality of life, and as well as to attract global talents, he said.

The salaries of the 1.2 million civil servants too would be adjusted if their productivity increased, he added. — Bernama

Finally, DS Najib said something on affrimative action after the announcement made on NEM. I supposed this should ease some tense caused by non-explaination or elegance silence on affirmative action, especially on economic effort to be undertaken by government.

PERKASA and DPMM have voiced their concerns since NEM idea was brought up. Thinking of times and times both of this two NGOs (besides other NGOs) asking for clarification, I think DS Najib and the government should address it in a good way.

Whatever it is, it was a good explaination by DS Najib on why affirmative action needs to stay for a while. The next question is HOW affirmative action is to be taken as this has been an issue from non-bumi. Issue raised not because of they (the non-bumis) cannot be successful in economic activities, but in terms of someone has been misused the affirmative action that made the sharing of wealth is not fair. In simple words, affirmative action on economic activites has been linked to corruption in sharing the “wealth cake”.

So now… HOW, DS Najib and NEAC?

Hopes on the street: A clearer plan for the people on the street on how NEM will improve the Malaysians’ pocket, please? Not all Malaysians understand economic jargons. Keep it simple and clear, will you?


2 thoughts on “DS Najib: Affirmative Action Stays

  1. Those kinds of explanations are good and help the Malays understand. More of such, please. Bernama or some government agency should have a website dedicated to explaining, assuring and reassuring the Malays about the NEM. The Malays are the majority in this country. Their interests cannot be taken or looked at lightly. Already there are many comments no favourable to the 200 page document said to have been released.

    I wonder why such statements were not incorporated in the draft NEM. Surely the aim is to gain acceptance and there is no issue of ramming the NEM down anybody’s throat as I have read somewhere.

    Of course, the most important thing is the explanation and assurances on how the Equal Opportunities Commission would not mean open competition on an uneven playing field. And how equal opportunities would not contradict or undermine Article 153 on the Special Position of the Malays and other Bumiputeras. Connected with these is the matter of up-to-date data on Malay-Chinese current economic and educational position. We must have them to see whether the EOC is justifiable or not. Until we see them, I agree with the view that the idea of the EOM should be shot down.

    ODS: Thank you for your comment, Maju. 🙂

  2. Salam ODS,

    A good article and follow up comment by Maju.

    Kurangkan bunga, cakap je terus nak buat macamana, nak buat apa…. jadi senang rakyat nak beri komen.

    ODS: Salam Din,

    Terima kasih atas komen anda. 🙂

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