PETALING JAYA: One of the country’s largest Malay economic bodies has slammed Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) over its plans to close Mara Corporation (Mara Corp), describing it as a betrayal of the Bumiputera agenda.
In a statement, Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu (MTEM) chief executive Ahmad Yazid Othman criticised Mara for not consulting organisations involved in the socio-economic development of the Malays and said the plan should be rejected.
Previously, the Malaysian Malay Chamber of Commerce had also urged Mara not to close Mara Corp and sell off its assets.
Yazid said the Mara Act states that the institution had the responsibility and power to carry out activities to support the economic development of Bumiputeras and increase their socioeconomic status.
Mara, he said, should not take the “easy way out” and sell off its assets but generate its own revenue.
“This can be seen from Mara Corp’s announcement that they managed to overturn losses of RM74 million and are now expected to generate profits in the future.”
Yazid voiced concern over the fate of employees working in companies and agencies under Mara Corp at a time when the country’s economy is not well.
If Mara were to focus on education alone, Yazid said it may not help Bumiputeras control the supply chain of strategic industries, agro-entrepreneurship and those involved in agriculture, as well as Bumiputeras in new technology sectors.
“Is this move (the plan to close Mara Corp) an admission by the Mara Council that they have failed to remedy their own company and fulfil the mandate given to them by the Pakatan Harapan-led government?
“MTEM hopes the Mara Council will take another look at the plan and decision it has made.”
Yazid also called on Rural Development Minister Rina Harun to check if the Mara Council has deviated from its vision, and if so, put it back on track.
“And if there is no deviation, a detailed explanation from the Mara Council is appropriate.”