We can be the ‘new’ Bumiputera, says Azmin

Azmin Ali welcomes Anwar Ibrahim to give his speech at the Bumiputera congress today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali has declared the birth of the “new Bumiputera” — those who hold true to high moral values, ethics, integrity and are progressive-minded.

In his closing address at the Congress on the Future of the Bumiputeras and Nation 2018, Azmin spoke on those who opposed the congress organised by his ministry.

“We are not meeting today to take away anyone’s rights. We believe, through the creation of new wealth and a sustainable economic development, the country can prosper,” he said, adding this was the theme of today’s meeting.

Azmin said this was the first time issues related to moral values, ethics and integrity were discussed in the congress, the third of its kind.

He cited the example of the “radical” views presented by former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamad, who spoke on putting an end to the “lobbyist industry and the Ali Baba practice”, as well as introducing a law to stop such economic sabotage of the Bumiputera agenda.

“If he had spoken before like this, he would have ‘disappeared’.

“But this is a new government that gives space to MACC to destroy the lobbyist industry, Ali Baba practices and to introduce a law against economic sabotage.”

“Ali Baba” refers to the practice of subcontracting government jobs awarded to Malay businessmen to the ethnic Chinese.

Azmin said 71% of the bottom-40 (B40) were Bumiputeras and that the average salary of B40 Bumiputeras was RM900 less than B40 non-Bumiputeras.

“What is wrong with giving them a platform so they can enter the M40 and uplift their economic status? Is this a sin?”

He hoped the congress will bring about Bumiputeras of integrity who are also progressive.

“Don’t adopt the old ways. We aren’t corrupt Malays, Ali Baba Malays.”

Azmin said if the Bumiputeras continued to condone corruption, Ali Baba practices or using support letters to get projects done, their problems would never get resolved.

Meanwhile, Azmin heaped praise on PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim, who gave the closing speech.

“Anwar is a national icon. When he was in the government, his resolve to build an economy for all was proven.

“I have served him for a long time. I know him and have confidence in him. That’s why I’ve been loyal to him till today,” he said before embracing Anwar on stage.