30% figure under NEP flawed, needs review, says Malay group

Malay Economic Action Council CEO Ahmad Yazid Othman. (YouTube pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) today called for a review of the 30% equity for Bumiputeras set under the New Economic Policy (NEP), saying it is flawed and needs to be re-looked to meet present needs.

MTEM CEO Ahmad Yazid Othman said the figure of 30% did not represent the actual situation on the ground.

“Why was it set at 30%? Wealth cannot be measured just by equity. It should be looked at based on household income, wealth measurement, employability and the number of professionals,” he told reporters at a press conference here.

The press conference was held to facilitate further discussions on the government’s recent announcement of a congress on the future of Bumiputeras and the nation.

According to Yazid, the present equity of Malays in the country stands at 23%.

The 30% target was formed after the events of May 13, 1969 due to the economic disparity between the races.

Under the NEP, the government aims to raise Bumiputera equity ownership to 30% as part of its efforts to increase Bumiputera participation in the economy.

Bumiputeras currently account for some 64% of the population.

Yazid also said MTEM agreed to recommendations for an Economic Sabotage Act to stop Bumiputera companies from selling their projects to non-Bumiputeras for quick gain.

Because of this, he claimed, there had been no value or skills creation within the Bumiputera community.

He added that the act was crucial as there was still a large economic gap between the Malays and other races.

He said although the government had allocated RM674 billion to Bumiputera small and medium-sized enterprises, they only contributed 9% of gross domestic product due to the failure to eliminate acts of economic sabotage.

He suggested that a special commission be set up to investigate possible acts of that nature.

Last month, Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said a congress on the future of Bumiputeras and the nation would be held in line with the government’s agenda to empower the Bumiputera community.

He said the congress would gather economic experts from various sectors to discuss steps to strengthen the Bumiputera economy.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad meanwhile said the previous government had not done enough to help Bumiputera entrepreneurs, otherwise they would now be independent and able to compete with other races without needing government assistance.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad also warned that the government would cancel the contracts and licences of Bumiputeras who did not deliver or who sold them to non-Bumiputeras.