Malay issues / Socio-economy

Questioning the NEP?

Managing Editor of The Star, P. Gunasegaram wrote an article about the NEP. Specifically, what the NEP meant to him. He called for more debate on the NEP and particularly, the real issues of the affirmative action.

He said, “major problem with the NEP is that the 30% equity target for Malays and other bumiputras became the very visible and de facto criterion for measurement of the very success of the NEP.”

I believe he had it wrong on this one. While he was correct in saying that the objectives of the NEP are to eradicate poverty irrespective of race and to eliminate the identification of race with economic function, he was definitely wrong when he said that the measurement of NEP’s success is the quota of 30% equity target.

The quota, for those who don’t know, is stipulated in the Constitution. In fact Article 153 of the Constitution, gives the powers to the Yang DiPertuan Agong to preserve and observe a reasonable reservation of positions of the bumiputras in terms of business, educational scholarships and in the public sector. It is all there to see.

Now the Constitution said all these. But how can the Government act on this particular law?

Before NEP existed, the Government at that time did not seriously pursue the issues on poverty and the absence of economic strength of the bumiputras despite the fact that the Constitution of 1957 clearly stated the need to uphold the survival of the bumiputras.

As the result, by the year 1969, huge gaps existed among the races. The chinese, having cornered the economic pie, remain the wealthiest in the nation. Rural areas are only fit for the Malays. There were less than 2% bumi doctors at that time. Most of the Malays fell into the very low income level.

These are the disadvantages of meritocracy. In a homogeneous country, the benefits of meritocracy outweighs its disadvantages. In a multiracial country of ours, meritocracy may have serious pitfalls if it runs unchecked.

A level playing field must first be achieved if everyone have to compete on equal grounds. Thus NEP, the so called affirmative action, is developed to achieve this.

The biggest achievement of the NEP is the creation of large middle class for all races. In the 60’s, nearly 80% of the people are poor. Now, nearly 90% fall into the middle class category.

This could not have happened if the majority of the kids back in the 60’s and 70’s did not receive scholarships to further their studies. Most of the students who had the chance to pursue their studies came from wealthy family. Not surprising, most of them were chinese and a few sons and daughters of malay aristocrats. The rest, would have received government’s scholarships. But these were given on merit basis. And so, only a sprinkle of Malays got the chance to further their studies. With NEP, opportunities were given to these children to get out from the vicious cycle of poverty. Where their future was stuck to become fishermen, they now can become engineers or accountants.

How come? Because the NEP acted on the Constitution as the vehicle to ensure that the constitutional provisions can be realised.

Hence when P. Gunasegaram said “it will not be seditious if someone questions the 30% bumiputra equity target or says the measurement criteria are seriously flawed.”

I seriously doubt that it is NOT seditious to question one of the pillars of the nation’s code of existence.

What does he want to do? Cancel the quota provisions stated in the Constitution?

I doubt that because he just wanted this target to be reviewed. Let’s review it then.

The success of the NEP certainly does not bound to the 30% equity of the Malays. It is the creation of the middle class bumis. By the way, 30% equity target as benchmark for the wealth of the Malays are very, very low as compared to the population of the bumis here in Malaysia.

Luckily he gave us a bit of a solution when he said,  “Let’s take the 30% equity target for instance. It cannot be taken as the sole or even the most important part of NEP achievement because there are other things which are far more important – poverty eradication and racial balance in employment to name just two.”

Correct. Let’s not take it as the sole criteria. Let’s look at the poverty eradication. In Malaysia, the biggest number of people who are poor are of course, the bumiputras. With about 8% of the bumiputras are poor as compared to 0.6% of chinese over their total racial population, no doubt a lot must be done to eradicate this problem*. Affirmative action is needed just to champion this cause.

How about racial imbalance in employment? Yes how about it P. Gunasegaram?

We have roughly 1.2 million civil servants in this country. Minus the army, the police force and teachers, we have only about 600,000 – 700,000 civil servants in this country.

The overall workforce in this country is about 11 million people and we can conclude now that the rest of the working force are in the private sector.

With approximately 10 million people working in the private sector, where is the position of the bumis as prescribed in the Constitution?

We must not be in denial when we say the private sector provides level playing field for the bumis to join there. Let’s face it, even in the so called liberal private sector, racial discrimination does takes place.

And so, when the public sector is now getting liberalised, what is being done to help the bumis get out from their low to middle income levels and achieve per capita income similar to that of the chinese?

Will the more wealthy chinese help the bumis achieve this?  Or will they just shout to the face of the bumis – Who cares! It is meritocracy time! You sink or swim!

But how can you swim when certain sectors controlled by the non bumis consciously snuff out any participation of the bumis in their sector?

At the end of his article he stated the obvious – “the time has come for all Malaysians to see beyond these and do what is right for everyone. Help everyone who is needy and if any particular race is more needy than another, it will automatically be helped more too.”

So what is the fuss all about then?

It is actually the greed of the non bumis of not wanting the bumis getting a fair share of the nation’s wealth. In fact, the more they shout and criticise the 30% quota, the more will the bumis realise that even with that 30% target, it is already a very low target. They should get more! No wonder their per capita income is lower than the chinese and indians.

Probably if the target is set higher, with more stringent plans and stern enforcement methods, the bumis will achieve the same playing field much faster.

Now that is a thought that everyone seemed to dismiss. The next time anyone said about the 30% target, just take a quick look at any non bumi companies and count the number of bumi staff in there. Is it 30% of the total manpower?

Out of 10 million workforce in the private sector, who will take care of the bumis’ plight?

I agree with blogger Satd’s suggestion to call for a review or a royal commission on the implementation of article 153 and the corresponding affirmative actions of the NEP and the NDP.

Yes we need more debate. But debate is worthless without this white paper study. The Yang DiPertuan Agong is responsible for the special position of the malays and the bumiputras in this country.

Therefore, it is only proper for the Agong to commission the government to perform this study to review the success of the bumi special position as intended in the Constitution because the economic achievement of the malays is in the ambit of his responsibility.

Is it really true that all the bumis are wealthy rich and they do not want the NEP anymore?

Is it true that there are no discrimination towards the bumis in all areas of the economy?

We all know that the government was too lazy to make a comprehensive study about the real situation of the bumis when formulating the NEM. They had blindly thought we are trapped in a middle income when all this while the nation’s per capita income was not stagnating but was steadily increasing year after year.

It shows us how unfit and unreliable all the economic advisers of the nation are.

All the above are the real issues of the affirmative action.  When the government tries to enact a policy to help the bumis in this small sector of the economy, the non bumis shouted that it is unfair but at the same time, they consciously deny the rights of the bumis in their larger sectors. This is why the bumis are stuck in a rut. They only have the government to protect them. The private sectors won’t give them any chances. But these days, even the government seemed to bent over backwards or bending over the demands (depends on how you look at it) to curtail the opportunities given to the bumis.

Therefore, the contention of the NEP is certainly not limited to the 30% equity target and all the incessant barking and howling that comes along with it. It cuts both ways. How the non bumis treat the bumis should be taken seriously. If the economic wealth is monopolised by the minority, one true outcome will emerge. The country will become an Apartheid country – where the minority hold the controlling stakes of the country, especially the economy and politics.

Meritocracy does not favor the weak and the handicapped. It will create something much worse in the form of income gaps. Severe income gaps in a multi ethnic nations are dangerous.

If it is left unmonitored, the situation of 1969 will recur. Shall we then come with another round of policies to eliminate identification of race with economic function once again?

Even in the UK, where meritocracy is known to exist, is plagued with new problems. After a couple of generations immersing themselves of awarding only the best with opportunities, they have come with a new disease. A study was made by the British Government in July 2009 to address the problems of:

– only children from the richest British families can enjoy careers in top professions like law and medicine because of increasingly impenetrable social barriers,

– there was a “closed shop mentality ” in many professions, which excluded young people from low- and middle-income backgrounds,

– there are too many kids out there from average income families who are bright … and who want to go on to get a top professional career but haven’t got the right connections, haven’t necessarily gone to the right school, maybe haven’t had the chance to go to university,

– “birth not worth” had become a greater factor in deciding someone’s chances in life,

– professions had become increasingly socially exclusive / elitist, open to fewer people,

– it found 75 percent of judges, 70 percent of finance directors, 45 percent of all top civil servants and 32 percent of MPs had been to independent schools [for the rich], although just 7 percent of the population was independently educated, and

– those who get professional jobs grow up in a family richer than seven in 10 of all British families, and

– poor children born in 1958 had better prospects than those born five decades on.

Those are the negative aspects of meritocracy. One that will be felt 2 generations down the line. If the UK is now facing a situation similar to what we have before 1969, then we should know better and learn from that painful lesson. If meritocracy favors only the rich, and the rich are made up with people of the highest per capita income or comes from one racial community, then meritocracy is indeed, a racist tool disguised under the cover of a really nice concept we call ‘meritocracy‘.

Why do the rest of the people do not realise this?

A level playing field must be achieved before full meritocracy is implemented. We can impose meritocracy bit by bit but at the same time, action plans must be done to help the bumis be given opportunities in any field and any sector of the economy. Only then we can do away with the 30% target because then we are confident that the bumis can compete with the rest.

It is no use to eliminate quotas but the outcome of that would be the bumis will get smaller and smaller share. Remember, we are not homogeneous. Even the effort to get all of us much closer and integrated are often been ridiculed as ludicrous by certain sectors.

* 2004 figures. Please refer to the table in here.

** please read Hidup Tuah’s article here which he had written more than a year ago about the side effects of unfettered meritocracy.

103 thoughts on “Questioning the NEP?

  1. Salam JMD,

    What a BRILLIANT article !! Gua tabik bro ! Eat ur hearts out LKS … selama ni blog lks duk menyalak meritokrasi, Najib pun sahut Meritokrasi ….seolah2 Meritokrasi itulah jalan terbaik, paling suci untuk rakyat.

    Tapi baik lks maupun Najib tidak pernah mau menyentuh perlunya ‘level playing field ‘ across the board. Tumpuan hanya kepada apa yang direserved untuk Melayu. Tapi apa yang telah ada dalam genggaman cina tidak pula disentuh.

    Permisi untuk ciplak excerpts from this great article, diterjemahkan supaya sesuai ngan blog picisan saya🙂

    Sekali lagi, tabik sifu !

    JMD: Thank you Din, not a problem.

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  2. 1. Yr artucle should enlighten Gunasegaram – how shallow his tots are. Congrats.

    2. If one cannot/should not question the rights of the M’sian citizens who are the decendants of the immigrant race (Chinese, Indians, etc) and who became the citizens of M’sia under Article 16, one also cannot/must not question the special privileges guaranteed for the Malays/Bumis under Article 153.

    3. Article 153 (2) clearly stipulates that it is the solemn duty of YDA, on the advice of the Cabinet (Article 40) “…to safeguard the special positions of the Malays and natives of …Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable…”. It means, among others, the Cabinet / YDA can set the proportion anything above zero up to 100%!

    4. If 100% quota for Malays/Bumis can be construed as grossly unfair, the 30% quota for this group can also be construed as naked injustice since it will perpetuate and excarbate inequality / social injustice under the existing gross socio-economic racial imbalances; therefore must be reviewed with a view to achieve greater social justice/equality by reflecting actual racial composition:

    * Malays / Bumis poverty rate is twice that of the Indians and 9 times higher than that of the Chinese,

    * Malays / Bumis monthly H/H income is only 72% of that of the Chinese and 91% of that of the Indians,

    * income ratio of Bumis: Chinese = 1: 1.38; Bumis:Indians = 1: 1.10;

    * other relevant indicators can also be included to further strengthen the case.

    5. The bottome line of solving a basket of issues on equality, social justice, level playing field, meritocracy, etc, it must be approached methodologically/systematically and NOT by putting the horse behind the cart.

    6. I’ve written this in my blog and I’ve laid it out in Dewan Negara in Dec 2009.

    Tq.

    Darahtuah

    JMD : Thank you so much for the comment.

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  3. An excellent article as always. It looks at the NEP from a different perspective. Our PM should seriously consider revising the 30% Bumiputra equity quota UPWARDS!

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  4. Great article. Many Malays were counting on UMNO to upheld the struggle. Many were disappointed. Where can they turn to now? Perkasa?

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  5. why dont u forward this article to Malay member of the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) – who formulate the New Economic Model (NEM). Tan Sri Amirsham, Prof Norma. C whether they respond.

    nice article!

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  6. Nobody questions 100% of a bumiputra’s company remain 100% his. But to force people to give up 30% company supposely at a discount may be considered thievery.

    What happens to all that have been given since the begining? Why cannot people work hard to attain 30% and even 100% instead of asking handouts and wasting it jolly jolly and then demand compensations?
    Besides who are these people who get the handouts if not mainly the UMNO elites and their cronies?

    Other races too have to struggle and don’t expect Ananda or Vincent to help them. Besides Ananda and Vincent are cronies of UMNO leaders.

    You may not believe it but the other races truly and sincerely wishes that the Malays can accumulate wealth to truly reflect their numbers. Actual the more wealthy your fellow citizens are the more the others will benefit through better business for all. How rich can you get in a poor country when nobody has enough to purchase your goods or services? How far can a country prosper if the majority of its people does not want to be productive when other countries have more hardworking working citizens?

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    • I feel sad that on the afternoon before the anniversary of Merdeka I have to say some pretty harsh words. But say I must in order to disabuse the abuses of others.

      You are abusive to use the words “force people to give up 30% company supposely at a discount may be considered thievery.” Obviously you question the NEP which was conceived from the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak. The Malays can also question the citizenship right given to you and your descendants. One was in exchange for the other, remember?

      You are also abusive in implying the Malays “cannot work hard to attain 30% and even 100% instead of asking handouts and wasting it jolly jolly and then demand compensation”. You do not take into account that the Malays don’t have a culture of profit taking, of doing business, of accumulating wealth. They have started to learn business only 40 years ago. Whereas the Chinese have it for over a thousand years. Ultrakiasu are you?

      No problem to us if you blame the implementation of NEP. But not the concept of NEP, comprendo?

      Good that you “sincerely wishes that the Malays can accumulate wealth to truly reflect their numbers … the more wealthy your fellow citizens are the more the others will benefit through better business for all”. We will now ask for 70% Bumi equity. So said UMNO Youth Head at one time.

      Can you substantiate your statements that “in a poor country when nobody has enough to purchase your goods or services … its people does not want to be productive when other countries have more hardworking working citizens”? Unless you do, you are talking thru your nose, old chap.

      JMD : Thank you for the comment Wan. Happy Merdeka.

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    • SugarB,
      “You may not believe it but the other races truly and sincerely wishes that the Malays can accumulate wealth to truly reflect their numbers. Actual the more wealthy your fellow citizens are the more the others will benefit through better business for all.”

      However, have you seen how certain job adverts being published? Specifically not helping.

      In addition, there are some instances that bumi businesses hard to get good price or discounted price from wholsellers, who are not bumis.

      I know there is no hard evidence, or else it will be a chaos.. but the job adverts shows how certain are not really sharing your thoughts.

      ~ OnDaStreet

      Supporting? Some yes, but some don’t.

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  7. JMD,

    why do you think my company refuse to take non malay intern. if i dont train my own anak melayu who do you think will? not only do i take in the anak melayu, i take from the lowest ranking IPTA.

    sometimes i wonder wether it is worth it because i have to scream and shout at them to give some of them a big mental slap because they are so “asleep”. when i do that they think i am monstrous…. if i dont they will continue to be “asleep”

    i have registered my company with various agencies as mentor and guess what? all the anak melayu will shun my company and take company that is easier to get through because if they choose my company they are forced to go into a steep learning mode which on the average anak melayu refuse to do. so, who is at fault here?

    i do blame partly the parents…and you know why? look at the proliferation of the ponzi/mlm schemes mushrooming all over the internet and the champions are mostly MELAYU. short cut jadi jutawan…..

    the other is our education system which teach our children to be rote learners and if you throw them out of the loop they are too dumb to learn on their own other then what is in the text book. i dare to say this becoz every semester there will be one or two out of every four who will flunk out with me because they are not able to figure simple things like writing a letter/correspondence. forget english, malay is also as bad…no penmanship at all. getting things done inspite of having SOP in place because too lazy to read.

    i have not even touch other matters yet and already i feel sick in my stomach and my heart for my ANAK MELAYU.

    i can only conclude one thing based on my observation and experience. we may have been MERDEKA for 53 years, we are not truly merdeka until we can embed into our young generation the independent of thoughts and action based on aqal, qalb and iman…

    Gah!!!! Salam Bro…

    Keturunan Jebat

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  8. Bravo, JMD. Another excellent piece. Well researched, very well argued, very clear thinking. It’d make the Managing Editor guy wonder if he has placed his thinking cap properly on his head.

    There is no question about sedition. Article 153 of the Constitution was added to the List of protected items under the Sedition Act 1948. It was not even discussed before. Now not only it is being discussed, it is even questioned sometimes.

    The lack of action on it had emboldened DAP Tony Pua to make a nasty proposal regarding the Bumiputera housing discount. Further encouraged by the non-action of the authorities, the recent MCA Economic Congress even went to the extent of calling for the abolition of the 30% Bumi equity. Imagine that. A group belonging to a member of the ruling coalition doing it.

    For some time now comments have emerged in retaliation to the calls made by those people against Bumiputera rights and privileges. They say if those people question the Bumi Special Position under Article 153, the Bumis can question their right to citizenship and that of their descendants.

    All these do not augur well for long-term peace and harmony in this country. The Government has to take firm measures to arrest the unhealthy trend. The Sedition Act is a ready tool for use. And start bold measures for the creation of a united and harmonious Malaysia. The single-stream schooling or Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS) is the only way to go. Start with school children at the tender and formative age.

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  9. On the one hand you say we need the NEP to help poor Malays break through social and economic barieers, to help them overcome obstacles they could not possibly overcome on their own. On the other however, you (or those like you) shout at the very notion that 7% bumi discount be discontinued for houses costing more then Rm500k. What social/economic barieer is there for a person who can afford a half a million dollar home?

    If we’re talking about alleviating poverty here, then why is there the 30% equity target, and why is there a 30% mandatory equity target for public listed companies? Aren’t the people we’re trying to help here too poor to afford stocks and shares? If this was REALLY about helping poor bumis, everybody would be on board, we are NOT on board because it’s become a gravy train for a few elitist Malaysians, the same elitist group you claim are running the UK.

    Your entire analogy of the British government is ridiculous and completely irrelevant. All that says is that there are social barriers in the UK that prevent those of poorer income to become judges or top officials. It has no bearing on a policy that discriminates based on race? We’re calling for an end to the NEP , and that has nothing to do with social barriers in the UK which are income based rather than race based.

    And finally, regarding the Satu Sekolah untuk Semua, are you willing to end the Maktab Sains and the Asramas and the Mara instituitions…Open them up to Chinese and Indians and Punjabis and Eurasians and other non-bumiputera races? If you’re not, then what you have is Dua Sekolah untuk semua. Another discriminatory act and another agent against the integration of this country, because how many non-malays do Malay children mix with at the Mara institutions. And I fully agree that Chinese and Tamil schools are not good for integration either, but you can’t ask someone to give up something that you yourself are not willing to give up.

    There’s nothing wrong with questioning something, people are only afraid of questioning if they don’t have a good answer…looks like you have no good answer for the NEP.

    JMD : This what happens if you do not read the UK report. Please think further before saying the UK report is not relevant to us. If meritocracy promotes judges and top officials only from families of higher income and those with that higher income are chinese, then of course, meritocracy promotes racism. NEP strives to eliminate this very barrier by giving kids from poor families (the bumis) an opportunity to higher education. The UK now is embarking a social affirmative action where kids from poor families with slightly low qualification to proceed in higher education with grants etc. They are in actual fact, using the same concpet as our NEP. Thank you.

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    • The problem with you, old fella, is that you either have a poor konwledge of the rationale for NEP or you refuse to accept it. The former is just about tolerable the latter is not.

      Would you rather the Government gives cash to all the poor Bumis until the 30% target is achieved? Stocks have proven considerable measure of success, man. There has been abuses. You can blame the implementation but not the concept of NEP.

      As regards the Satu Sekolah untuk Semua, why are you asking whether the Malays are willing to end the MRSMs etc? Do you know that the Malays had only schools for 4 years of primary education in Malay language built by the British in the kampongs? When you people had both primary and secondary schools in the towns, and in the English language, which enabled you to go for further studies and become all sorts of professionals. To the extent that when early this year I checked, you people still comprise about 70% of all the qualified accountants registered with the relevant authorities.

      And those pupils attend MRSMs only at the secondary school level – having spent years at national schools mixing with other races. And you relate MRSMs etc with vernacular schools? You must be squint eyed, man.

      True, “There’s nothing wrong with questioning something” but when you question NEP and the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumis, they can also question the right to citizenship for people like you and your descendants. Remember that.

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  10. I think many Malaysians don’t disagree with the 30% quota, in fact, I think it was a brilliant idea when NEP was first conceived and implemented in the 70s. But what I am disagreeing strongly is the fact that NEP gradually was used by the BN govt as a smoke-screen and being abused consistently to enrich only a few hand-picked Bumis. Secondly, and I am saying this wihtout any malice, the NEP has made many Bumis to take things for granted and become less competitive. Because of this NEP safety net, many Bumis, in my humble opinion, have become lazy, whereas, the survival instinct of non-Bumis would ensure they strive hard to make a decent living. Now, is this wrong??

    JMD : Yes, nobody denied that the NEP had been abused by a few. But to dismantle the NEP altogether at the expense of million others? Mind you, there are many other Malays out there who worked hard but just didn’t get the opportunity to go to the next level in their work/business environment due to impositions within the business and the private sector (as mentioned in this article). Also, the 30% equity stake in companies are only applicable to public listed companies (which numbers only about a couple of thousands). Millions other sdn bhd do not have to follow this rule. In the spirit of Ramadhan and Merdeka, Malaysians need to learn to sacrifice, be sincere and worked hard. Thank you for the comment.

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  11. The policy of the 30% Malay* wealth target is a Red Herring. The elephant in the room is the implementation of that policy which is the criticism of Malays and non-Malays alike.

    The underlying reason we have not achieved the affirmative action objective is not because for every RM100 spent to benefit the truly deserving Malays (either through education or entrepreneurship), RM85 is wasted through 30 years of leakages and corruption by UMNO and its ilk.

    Don’t blame meritocracy or the greed of the non-Malays (many are taxpayers too) or economic advisers. Tepuk dada tanya selera. The real culprit is the greed of UMNO. Deal with it.

    Kamali Ibrahim

    * Let’s call a spade a spade and not try and veil the argument and euphemise the agenda by including non-Malay Bumis. The grim reality is that when Malays talk about constitutional protection it is purely for selfish interests, and in fact don’t give two hoots about the other non-Malay bumis.

    JMD : Again, nobody denied the abuse of NEP. This blog time and time again had lambasted the abuse and weak implementation. We must improve this weakness. The bigger elephant in the room is the fact that some people wanted to abolish the NEP (despite its success) just because of this. Those are the the more malicious culprit. Because the ones that will lose out will be the majority.

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  12. Not sure if you had noticed that these do not need debate in the 80’s and early 90’s.

    How do you explain that even the Malays are starting to agree that NEP and the quota system are flawed.

    The non-bumis has to struggle twice as hard to survive and those that succeeded had worked even harder.
    Every time we got better, a new plan is there to make it even harder for us.

    What worse is we still don’t see the “priviledged” closing up the gap!

    It breaks our heart when you still accuse us of being unfair to you and that we owe you your living!

    To put thing even worse, we had finally seen with our own eyes that the real “bumis” – the aborigine of this land did not benefited from the so called NEP & quotas.

    We can swallow the unfair treatment but it’s the ever rising greediness and laziness that sparks the fire!

    Tun M said that he failed to help you, not that he didn’t, but you are not appreciative and refused to grow.

    JMD : In the 80’s and 90’s, the politicians with ulterior motives do not have any opportunity to criticise the NEP because it was a roaring success back then. Ample check and balance was there. Only when the corruption reached dizzying heights during the day Umno was at its strongest (Pak Lah’s reign) did the critics start to arise. We all remember how arrogant Umno was after the 2004 election when it won a landslide victory. They feel they can do just about anything.

    Well the mighty had fallen. Why? Because it failed to look after the mandate and the principles it was sworn to protect. With that, only a few Malays reaped and abused the benefits given by the NEP. We all remember how tired and sick we were looking at how pompous the politicians were acting.

    They forgot to look after the rest of the Malays. And now, those politicians had come out from the woodwork and criticise the NEP because of this apparent abuse.

    But the ones that will suffer will be those who never received the APs or directorships anywhere. Now is this fair? Certainly not. The ones that wasn’t appreciative is certainly those Umno leaders who had abused the trust given to them. Thank you.

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  13. JMD,

    The quota, for those who don’t know, is stipulated in the Constitution. In fact Article 153 of the Constitution, gives the powers to the Yang DiPertuan Agong to preserve and observe a reasonable reservation of positions of the bumiputras in terms of business, educational scholarships and in the public sector. It is all there to see.

    Where in the constitution has the quata–it only says a reasonable reservation of positions. But your reasonableness is sapu everything–civil service more than 90% malays, education–mara is purely for the malays. So to you this is reasonableness. In business yes the Chinese monopolise but most of them started from the scratch and slowly built up their business. They have not been helped by govt loans or no need to pay loans. So you have no grounds to complain. In fact they pay 80% of the govt taxes as said by your idol Mahathir himself.
    The big time Chinese companies do employ Malays, but anyway they are private companies you cant force them to employ the same number as the govt employees. In fact the govt must employ a reasonable no of non malays in the civil service–but is there a reasonable no. The govt of the day is there b’cos of the non malays support too.
    Do you think the GLCs, the privatised wing of the govt employ more non malays–a reasonable number–a definite no. And most of GLCs loose millions of the rakyat’s money. All the scandals are prove of this. All these hugh “losses” of the nation’s reserves arises because the leaders of the nation allows them to happen by not willing to implement the necessary check and balances to control the rakyat’s monies before releasing funds to such opportunists. The government is where the buck should stop at because they have the power to control such devious activities but instead chose to ignore or even participate in it through inactions or through active participations by them or their subordinates. When funds are chaneled to GLCs recklessly and without proper investigations, then, the government should be held fully accountable for losses as a result of such malacious neglect or their duties.

    These are the results of NEP and Ketuanan Melayu hijacked by interested parties who stand to benefit from such absence of control over funds allocation (or rather giftings). Helping the poor and needy is one thing but throwing the rakyat’s monies to cronies/opportunists must be investigated and stopped dead on its track before the nation slides down the slippery slop of bankruptcy. Is this how the government administers the nations finances? Is this how NEP is unfolding? Is this how the nation is slipping into oblivion? Is this how the rakyats have to suffer poverty?

    These sort of things happens because we now have a weak judiciary which is unable to withstand the onslaught of the executive elites because they are basically placed there in their positions by these elites/politicians, so, do not expect them to bite the hands that are feeding them. Guess who we have to thank for in all these rotten to the core GLCs? Who do we need to thank for our lack of judiciary independence? Who do we have to thank for all these corruptions and abuses of power that we are seeing in all these scandals that are now surfacing – just because these losses are now too hugh to be able to cover up anymore? Who do we have to thank for when the Malay community is no longer competitive anymore in whatever they do to the extent that they have to depend on charities and handouts? Who do we have to thank for?…I guess we all know who!….Don’t we?

    You said”meritocracy is indeed, a racist tool disguised under the cover of a really nice concept we call ‘meritocracy‘.But pls read the following:-
    “SINGAPORE, July 30: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s assumption that Malays in Singapore had failed and their neighbouring Malays should take lesson from their plight has not impressed a Singaporean daily.
    Right: An Islamic school cum mosque in the Aljunied district in Singapore
    The republic’s Malay daily Berita Harian in an editorial said Malay-Muslims in the state were successful and it was a result of their hard work in line with the values of meritocracy, not a result of being spoon-fed.
    “We do not believe in being spoon-fed or being too dependent on the government – in other words, we do not have a crutch mentality,’ wrote editor Guntor Sadali.
    Guntor said Singapore Malays believed that a community with such a mentality would soon become a “two M” community, which stands for ‘manja’ (spoilt), and ‘malas’ (lazy).
    “We definitely do not want to be labelled as a pampered and lazy community,” he said, adding that the Malay community in the island raised their own funds to build Islamic schools, mosques and other community properties.
    “Now, what could have happened to the Malays here in the last four decades? What could have driven Dr Mahathir to voice his concern and to caution the Malaysian Malays? I wonder,” he added.
    ‘Knowledge is power’
    The paper however noted that Mahathir could be referring to the political power of Singapore Malays.
    For the Malay minority there, power is not about wielding the keris, but is about being equipped with knowledge, the paper adds.
    “Malay children here attend the same schools as other Singaporeans with a shared aim – to obtain a holistic education and, of course, achieve good examination results,” the editorial went on, adding that while it was tough for the community yet like all others, it left them with no choice but to work hard.
    “There is certainly no short cut to success,” Guntor said.
    He said the island state’s meritocracy system pushed Malays to work harder, and cited the increasing number of professionals and corporate leaders among the community as proof of their success.
    He said the Malays would not want to achieve success any other way, and said Singapore Malays were proud of their self-reliance, unlike their northern brethren.
    “We may wear the same clothes, eat the same food, speak the same language and practise the same culture. However, the similarities end there.
    “Shouldn’t our friends and relatives across the Causeway be like us – Malays in Singapore?” asked Guntar.

    Finally pls be reminded the majority of the malays are poor because the Umno leaders had abused the NEP for their own gain. They stole in the millions the rakyat’s money in the name of NEP

    Like

    • algojo, you sound like General Tojo – whacked everywhere but got whacked by atom bombs eventually.

      Be cool, man, the Malays have not started to ask 70%. Isn’t that a reasonable figure considering Malays and Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak total nearly 70%.

      You talk about “civil service more than 90% Malays, but very small in terms of wealth lah. The Malays have not even asked for % in other sectors of the economy. You making this noise may prompt them to start doing it.

      Re MARA, some one has explained above. But pay what “80% of the govt taxes” that you said TDMahathir said? The Treasury/ Inland Revenue said Chinese pay only 30% tax, GLCs pay 40% and the Malays, Indians, foreigners etc pay 30%.

      Waaah, even the Judiciary you also want to hantam. Not enough hantam GLCs ha?

      That old silly thing quoting Guntor Singapore – the man has to earn his keeps la, or DAP position or whatever. Quoting Singapore is not relevant lah, friend. They are a city state. Even so, have to rule with Big Brother always on the wall. You try to dissent there, you might get sued to bankruptcy, man.

      Alamak, too long olely to counter all your unacceptable comments lah. Chau.

      Like

    • Haha

      Have you read about the UN representative’s findings on human rights in singapore.

      He observed several TROUBLING policies. The HDB quota penalises the Malays. The SAF policy is discriminating the singapore Malays – is it because their enemy is the Malaysian Malays?

      The educational achievement of Malays is lagging behind the other races. Was it meritocracy? Students who excel in their written exams has a string of tutors to assist them. The poor Malays have no funds to provide for such tutors. So this becomes a vicious cycle.

      Guntar is from the ELITE group who has to “turun padang” to really see for himself how successful the heartland Malays are and then swear on the Quran that the singapore Malays do not suffer discrimination in their own land.

      Wait for mid 2011 and you can read this UN representative’s report and then come back to discuss.

      Like

  14. Dear JMD,

    Well done. You hit it right on the nail. It seems many do not understand the underlining flaw of meritocracy.

    That is – what about those who cannot meet benchmarks or yardsticks or what have you, due to a variety of factors.

    And they are many. They are intelligent, honest and hardworking but do not possess certain aptitudes or qualifications.

    Would it mean they have no merit?

    Meritocracy breeds elitism. Correction, meritocracy is elitism.

    Best regards
    Freddie

    Like

  15. Thank you for a studied analysis of the situation. Your thoughts on this matter ring home the truth as it is. As a non-bumi, your article represents to me the reality of this country today. It is this very reality that makes me embarrassed to see my fellow non-bumis going on in this fashion. They have become quite shameless and lacking any sense of cognitive analysis. I personally find it quite insulting that the non-bumis continue to beg for equality etc.
    Are they so blind and foolish that they are unable to understand that such a scenario is a pipe dream? What is really sad is that the non-bumis have lost their original sense of survival. They all emigrated from whereever they came from on the basis of social or economic persecution in the hope of building a better future. Now that they have hit a wall here, why continue to cause more strife? Respect the Bumiputera call and leave. I totally agree with Ibrahim Ali and Ridhuan Tee that they should get out. Clearly a lot of them have read the writing on the wall and have begun to move their interests and families to places they find more conducive.The recent privatisation and focus by non-bumi businesses overseas is one example of that along with the call of most non-bumi families to their children studying overseas not to return. As the principal in JB said, just cause you’re sitting in the Proton Saga driven by Ali, it doesn’t meant you own the car! Why are these non-bumis so thick headed. How many times do they need to be shown where they stand!
    I hope and pray that the non-bumis will heed the call of the true citizens of this country and pack-up before they cause more harm. Yes, you have gotten comfortable here…but at what price? It may be difficult to start all over again but consider then what it was like for our ancestors. Have we become so lulled by our material comforts that we have lost our sense of self-respect and dignity?
    They too had to make some tough choices but imagine that they didn’t……………….you wouldn’t be where you are now.
    Please leave the Bumiputeras alone and let them have what they want. Give them back their country. If the NEP has shown us anything, Malaysia can thrive and prosper without the non-bumis and their constant requests for equality! We had a good run and now the equation has changed.To my fellow non-Bumis and other pendatangs I say, wish the Bumis well and find some backbone and go somewhere where you are more welcome. To the Bumiputeras and rightful owners of this country, I say, Thank you for your kind hospitality and I sincerely hope that the country will continue its meteoric rise into the stratosphere of rich and succesful nations.
    Jebat, once again, thanks for your very erudite and thoughtful piece. It is obvious that some of my fellow non-Bumis will never see the light…………….let them stay and wither away into oblivion.

    JMD : No need for sarcasm here. As people sometimes say, sarcasm is the best way to defend without the intellect to counter with facts. Read the article again please. Oh and read this too. Its chicken soup for the soul. Thank you.

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  16. Dear JMD,

    PS

    Its close to Raya and it always makes me happy at this time to see so many of my Muslim brothers and sisters at the shopping complexes and bazaars.

    The common folk from all walk of lives.

    I travel by komuter and many are coming to KL from the smaller towns.

    I have no doubt in my mind that if not for the NEP this would certainly not be the case.

    Cynics would think otherwise.

    Regards
    Freddie
    (A happy Racist)

    Like

  17. I’ve always respected your views as they are rational and factual. Unlike other commentators who simply lash out whenever they see something that they believe to be unjust, you bother to collect facts and then present them in a manner that is easy to understand.

    I do not question what the Constitution has provided for. But like Constitutions of many other countries, what the founding fathers envisioned many decades earlier may not be 100% applicable today. Bear in mind that when they negotiaited, formulated and finally agreed on what would make up the Constitution for all citizens to abide by, it was during a different era. Economic, social and even religious environments were all very different. They believed that what they all agreed upon would work best for the nation’s well-being and growth.

    But under today’s environment, I am sure that if Malaysians were getting together to create a Constitution (I am not saying change the present one but formulating one for a new nation), it is very likely that it would not be the same.

    So back to the Constitution that exists and which we must all respect. It never did specify a quota of 30%, right? I suspect that the ‘rights and privileges’ aspect was more related to social matters rather than economic. Perhaps our founding fathers, in their simple and naive manner of thinking, saw that the main point of contention was matters like the position of the Sultans and the provision of things like Malay Reserve lands so that the Malays would be assured of their share/ownership of land.

    It is the NEP that established the 30% quota which became a ‘target’. From what I can recall listening to my parents and relatives talking at the time the NEP was announced, the Chinese were resigned to the fact that they had to ‘live with it’. I think that the feeling was that it was something with a time-frame and one day, such demands would be removed and descendants would again have an equal chance to get jobs and to do business.

    It is not so much the quota that has been the thorn in the toe of those who are not supported by the NEP. It is more the fact that there is a sense of being told that the bumiputras are ‘entitled’ to take the 30% in whatever way they choose to. This was the sort of attitude in the early years of the NEP when there were many bumiputras who were ‘invited’ to be board members of companies, simply to meet the quota requirement.

    What has frustrated the non-bumis is that there is this assumption of ‘sharing’ wealth that has been hard-earned. It cannot be denied that non-bumis have had to work harder, pay more and accept not being chosen even if they quality because of prevailing policies. So if they have put in such hard work, why are they being told they must ‘share’ it?

    The problem has been that there are also many bumis who have mistaken the NEP for being a ‘free ticket’ to a job or a directorship and with it, riches. This is not a generalisation as I know there are many bumis who are as hardworking as Chinese and who believe in doing their share of work. But unfortunately, there are also many who have taken on senior positions in companies but lack the qualifications and skills for the post. But they are there because of the NEP.

    I think that if the government had worked harder at ensuring that the mindset of the bumiputras was changed from the laid-back attitude which Tun Mahathir spoke of in The Malay Dilemma, to one of being pro-active and more aggressive in business, things might be different today. This could have been done with the NEP too so its existence was still okay. But a sense of competitiveness should have been introduced rather than allowing the sense of entitlement to become the norm.

    Being in my 60s now, what happens next does not really worry me since it won’t affect me. But I see my young descendants frustrated by the way they continue to face discrimination even though they work hard. Like me, they regard Malaysia as their home, the country they were born in and the country they want to live in and work in. They know no other country but being denied opportunities makes them ask themselves why they should be loyal. I can hear the extremists say ‘if you don’t like, then go!’. But if you keep talking like that, then you are simply preventing 1Malaysia from ever happening because every challenge is met with ‘get out!’.

    Like

    • Non Bumi,

      Just a short note before buka puasa –

      Being in your 60s I had expected you to have understood the reasoning for the NEP and explained to your children. But it looked like the whole lot of your family is not only not understanding but also resentful.

      Then you marah those who say if you don’t respect the Malay Special Position, they can also not respect your citizenship and that of your descendants and say “get out”.

      Pikir sikit lagilah. Nanti saya ada masa saya tulis lagi.

      Like

    • Actually you should be glad for the laid-back attitude of the bumis, otherwise you and your forefathers would have to EARN your rights to citizenship.

      Imagine trying to become an American or Australian or Canadian citizens – would they have accepted highly illiterate, malnourished and very poor “pendatangs”? They have a LONG list of criteria before they award citizenship.

      Coming from other countries, it is almost dictated that the pendatangs back then MUST work hard to make a living on another man’s land.

      As for the bumis, while kill yourself grabbing wealth when they plan to stay in their homeland.

      This disparity in the different value systems has a lot to do with this “competitive” spirit. When your ultimate goal is the afterlife, you would spend a big portion of your time “investing” in the next world not so much in the present world.

      When your motivation is the gratification of worldly pleasures, then of course, accumulation of wealth would be the sole aim of your life.

      That is why the Malays are lazy and the chinese greedy.

      NEP is to avoid 13 May 1969 recurring again. Abuses in the implementation does not render the NEP obsolete. Tackle the implementation but don’t abolish a very sound policy.

      If your descendants “regard Malaysia as their home, the country they were born in and the country they want to live in and work in” – then it is HIGH TIME that they know and ABIDE by the constitution.

      You have failed to teach them the history and the constitution of this country you call home.

      BTW – do they speak the official language, Bahasa Malaysia and do they know that the official religion is Islam and are they aware of the Rukun Negara of the country they call home??

      Like

  18. An excellent display of how good writings can snuffed out those flame throwers. I hope that guy by the name of art harun read your piece. Proud of you JMD.

    Like

  19. Excellent article, JMD.

    The NEP-unfriendly party will be silenced by your arguments. Even the pro-NEP people may not realise that the NEP is Constitutional. In any case, Malaysia enjoyed the highest GDP growths during the NEP years. Does anyone care to ask why?

    Like

  20. ” If meritocracy favors only the rich, and the rich are made up with people of the highest per capita income or comes from one racial community, then meritocracy is indeed, a racist tool disguised under the cover of a really nice concept we call ‘meritocracy‘.

    ”Why do the rest of the people do not realise this?”

    thank you, i will always kept this quotation on my mind, let’s hope it’s not too late for the country to realise it all

    Like

  21. a) Muslims are not suitable to work in the private sector, if it is a marketing job, as the job requires after hours social drinking, karaoke/night clubs and spas. And after doing all that, the boss expects you to be in office at 9.00 sharp. And most problem solving and brain storming are done after hours at the nearest pub.

    b) many natives now think that NEP is part of the “special privilege” as stated in article 153, whereas NEP was only introduced in 1970, and was not suppose to be race based programme it has become.

    c) from the comments made above, the some natives really do not understand how economics and businesses function. natives have always sold their products too cheaply and does not understand some of the markets they control. The story about stanley ho buying up durian of the musang emas variety(from bentong and grown by chinese owned orchards) should open their eyes to the opportunity in agriculture. but this part of the industry is neglected and many malay owned orchards function more like a hobby for the owner. the natives cannot see their under utilised assets, but always in envy on other people’s wealth.

    d) The apprenticeship scheme is the best way to enrich the natives in terms of wealth and skill. If they leave school @ 17 and become an apprentice to a mechanic/chef/farmer/retail/construction/engineering/architecture/finance/music/entertainment, they could earn and learn, and become an expert by 25 and have their own business by 30. This apprenticeship should be supported by teaching of theory during the spare time and have their own exam board whereby certificates are issued, like what is done in many developed countries. for the scheme to work, the student has to be disciplined and a hard worker. we can see the abuse apprentice can get from shows like hell’s kitchen. this will encourage more opportunities for students with no money to get their certificates and degrees.

    e) apart from PSD, scholarships are awarded by TNB, petronas, felda, telekom and many other government agencies to bumiputra students. At the same time, private entities should be allowed to build their own universities which can issue degree/PhD/master’s locally, instead of the twinning program currently. nobody should be left out due to any govenrment policies when it comes to education. It is the bedrock of any nation.

    f) while it is true that the rich dominate the top careers and prospects in UK, US and singapore, the apprenticeship scheme stated in (d) has helped many poorer students to take opportunities for career advancement.

    g) The present govenrment has neglected to assist native rural farmers to be successful in terms of skill and finance and due to this, the siblings are leaving the field for better jobs in the cities, and more malay reserve land will be neglected and abandoned.

    h) in 1958, students in UK do not need to pay University fees whereas presently, they have to. hence the poorer guys are left out of the education system. having said that, the UK health system is basically free for all, unless you opt for private medical facilities.

    i) when NEP was implemented in 1970, china and vietnam was communist, india was too bereaucratic(and still is) and all the FDi’s have nowhere to go except malaysia, thailand, singapore and indonesia.
    Today, india has prospered, due to their excellent higher education, china and vietnam has embraced capitalism and malaysia is still stuck in racial equity struggle.
    I still remember before 1997, the elite malay busnesmen were just sitting on their chairs, waiting for offers of shares from those non-bumi companies who wants to list their shares on the bursa. the smaller shareholder had to put their name with miti in order to get the pink forms. Most sold their shares after listing for quick gains and their share purchase were fully financed by banks. but today, it is a different story, as shares will not rise by so much as it used to. so harder to get the malay guys to buy the 30% stake. Bursa loses in terms of new lisitngs. Funny thing is that PRC companies are exmpted from this. So malaysian non-bumis are penalised and hindered in their business advancement, while foreigners are not.

    j) if the 30% equity have not been reached, then should we not change the management of this country with something new? Instead, we allow ourselves to be lead by the same jokers who failed to deliver.

    Like

    • sputjam,

      The jam that you sput has often been unpalatable I notice. I have called myself sputnik, the first Russian orbital spy station watching what you say.

      b) Your choice of the word “natives” is itself dubious. And what makes you imply that NEP is not part of the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak as stated in article 153? Do you know that although introduced in 1970, NEP was conceived out of Art 153? And what “not suppose to be race based” are you talking about? Is it not supposed to bridge the gap between the Malays/ Bumiputeras and the Chinese?

      c) You are mischievous when again using the word “some natives”. And what makes you think you know economics and business? You know next to nothing about the durian industry and you quote stanley ho buying 88 musang emas fruits one time sending a plane to Singapore and nothing heard any more after that. Do you know that I have acres of that variety in my orchard and I challenge you to get Stanley send a plane buying 44 fruits when my trees mature and bear fruit. Ada berani? Or next you’d say this Malay want tongkat? I can write yards about Chinese using tongkat since the 19th Century until Vincent Tan wanting the football betting license but Najib decided not to give. Don’t give busuk jam lah, sput. We can fart you back more busuk, you know.

      d) This one on apprenticeship doesn’t smell. Give credit where credit where credit is due lor, correct? But don’t use the words “to enrich the natives”. Choose your words la, Mr don’t-believe-you-economist. You suggest but don’t feel bad if they don’t buy your suggestion. The best of experts have been proven wrong – now Stephen Hawking has also admitted weaknesses in his theory about the Universe.

      e) If everybody is allowed to build their own universities, then you’ll not only be sabotaging the efforts at reducing the huge imbalance in the number of professionals between the Chinese and the others because the Chinese have the money, the others generally don’t. Malays now are only 30% of the qualified Accountants registered with the relevant authorities. You might also cause a situation where a bus driver is a graduate, like happened in India. And have you heard the expression “little knowledge is dangerous” and unemployed graduates becoming disgruntled in more ways than one?

      g) Your (g) is more an accusation than a concrete suggestion. Make suggestions with details, lah so that you don’t sound like Opposition Party fellows.

      Well, already panjang my counter comment, sputjam. Will continue next time. Remember, there’s a sputnik over you.

      Like

  22. JMD said ,

    Those are the negative aspects of meritocracy. One that will be felt 2 generations down the line. If the UK is now facing a situation similar to what we have before 1969, then we should know better and learn from that painful lesson. If meritocracy favors only the rich, and the rich are made up with people of the highest per capita income or comes from one racial community, then meritocracy is indeed, a racist tool disguised under the cover of a really nice concept we call ‘meritocracy‘.

    Unfortunately, the same can be said about those who had benefited from the NEP. the elite malays are now trampling over the nons and the poorer bumis. You have son of prominent polticians taking over the country, like some sort of family dynasty.

    Like

  23. An excellent article which clearly put things in the proper perspective. Its the reality on the ground which seems to be ignored by the “economic advisers” in formulating the NEM. as you rightly argued, they should have got their facts right! Requesting permission to reproduce your article in my blog

    Like

  24. Interesting article, except it completely misses a crucial point: the misimplementation of the NEP.

    Your article paints half a picture beautifully, but leaves the other half of the canvas completely blank.

    This is the reason the NEP has failed to take the country to greater heights. This is what divides us. A policy that was created to help the poorest would not get as much flak. Instead, even millionaires get discounts and scholarships in place of poor sons of the country. The NEP has led to abuse, misuse, corruption, cronyism etc, all while certain politicians stroke the racial vein in order to ensure the wealth and power of their family and offspring continues to grow.

    If most of the people under the poverty line are Malays and the NEP is going to help that, who are to help the poor Chinese and Indians? Maybe we need an economic policy to help the poor, not the Malays specifically.

    But I think we are too far away from that. We are juvenile and immature, fighting for our race and not our country – yet claiming to be patriotic.

    JMD : Oh dear, yes what would have happened to all the poor chinese and indians? Are you saying that the government WILL NOT help the poor chinese and indians? Of course they will help them. We see so many cases of the government giving a helping hand to them all the time. Blinkered now are we? Now let’s look at the power of averages, the per capita income. Is it not true that per capita income of the bumis are lower than indians and chinese? So how now? We do have the policy that help the poor. We call it Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat. Do you know how many indians who are poor before the NEP? More than 90%! Now there are less than 3%. All because of the NEP! Just because some had abused the system, we want to abolish it totally without taking into consideration that it had created a huge success. Read the article again please. And yes, the abuse of NEP had been written time and time again in this blog. Everyone knows it. But this article is not defending the abuse of the NEP. It is defending the NEP itself against those who wish it disappear. Thank you.

    Like

  25. Does the 30% goal even matter? Everyone [weasel word: who?] is saying the problem of NEP is in its implementation. So what if we do away with the 30% goal just to satisfy these people who question the target? We just need to focus on executing it right, affirmative action or not. Heck, if we can get 40% or more bumi equity, better still. Therefore, I don’t think bumis will get smaller share of the pie if the quota is done away with. I mean, what happened during execution? Was the voice of those eligible for NEP aid heard at all? (Exaggerated; I surely know cases of people benefiting from the policy)

    The problem with meritocracy is that it requires equality of opportunity, which is lacking in economically unbalanced multi-racial Malaysian society. Providing equal opportunity (e.g. allow all kids to better education through tuition centres) would require heavy subsidization in every sector; not viable financially (well, you *could* sacrifice economic growth…).
    I.e. meritocracy without equal opportunity is just aristocracy by another name.

    On the other hand, not being able to apply meritocracy does not merit the promotion of posts to unqualified people. Now that is another issue that meritocracy proponents are bringing up, which may hold water…

    Oh yeah, although I mentioned bumi/non-bumi above, never did I imply that meritocracy in Malaysia may cause racial tension, because I imagine it won’t be racist (though aristocratic). But alas, in reality, people think it is racist, and politicians never stop making them think it is.

    Like

    • If you do not assume that, then logic would dictates that there be a policy to help ALL poor people regardless of races, wouldn’t it?

      Like

  26. Since quota is written in the Constitution, it must be right. Right?

    JMD : Since you have the right to be heard here, you are the only one with the correct opinion, right?

    Like

    • You got my point wrong.

      If your justification for affirmative action is strong enough, why hide behind the Constitution?

      Though I don’t agree with your entire assessment, I still have more respect for you than most commentors here because you don’t sound like a redneck.

      What is written in the Constitution is not always right. You may call it seditious because someone questions it, but that would be cowardly, and you are better than that.

      Like

      • Have you not heard of he Welfare Ministry or Department? Have you not read of the many top performing non-Malays being given scholarships? Where have you been, man? Katak bawah tempurong?

        What are you talking about the Constitution is not always right? Article 153 on the Malay Special Position is not right? So, the granting of citizenship to you and the likes of you is also not right?

        Like

  27. Well done. I have been waiting so long for a factual and empirical argument for the NEP. Meritocracy is a nice concept if there were indeed a level playing field.. but there isn’t and this a fact. Let’s not apologise for being Malay and not as well equipped to deal with cut throat competition – for now that is… we have not had the benefit of thousands of years of commercial and military activity. Malays are laid back by nature and it is due to many factors. Life has been good in this land of milk and honey. Throw a seed or toss a tuber in the ground and it will grow and feed a family. Malays tend to marry relatives (like me…) and tend to be slightly inbred. Fact…

    But we Malays must change and this change must take time. We must embrace strategy as a way of life and implement it in our professional lives. Diligence and high standards must become synonymous with our culture. Only then will Malays have a chance to compete in a society run along the lines of meritocracy.

    Today, Malays are unfortunately represented by extremes of political stereotypes – the money-grabbing Umnoputra elite who would sell their mothers in bulk under the guise of privatization exercise, the turban wearing Pas politico who wants to cane more women and the Anwaristas who protest the Umno privatizations but sell sand to all comers…

    The Constitution is very clear on the position of Malays. The objective is very clear and it was never to deprive others.

    We Malays must become a better people if we are to maintain equilibrium which I feel is a more tangible goal than equality.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment.

    Dear readers, have a happy buka puasa and a wonderful Merdeka celebrations!

    Like

  28. Bro JMD,

    i think u always good with numbers + economic matters + etc…

    Cant u just volunteer to be Pm advisor? no need fees pon, i think u will do, eh?

    ………………

    Like

  29. au contraire mon ami………………I fail to understand why you should see my opinion in the harsh light of sarcasm…
    I think that it’s time the non-Bumis woke up and accepted the real state of the country and what kind of future remains for a pendatang. Many have and are doing the right thing…………….many more will need to be educated and made aware. Those who can’t get out of the trap will eventually learn to capitulate or wither. What I am suggesting is a peaceful and amiacable end for all………………I see very little sarcasm in that sir.

    Like

    • You need to state your views more clearly, my friend. I, too thought you were sarcastic in the earlier comment.

      Never you mind, sir, as long as your intention has been honest and sincere.

      We need to remember that the Malay civilisation is not like the Chinese. Especially in respect of the culture of profit taking, of risk taking, of doing business. The Malays started doing business only about 40 years ago. The Chinese have had it for over a thousand years. They invented weights and measures a long, long time ago.

      The Malays have a culture of “berdagang” – exchange of goods for daily necessities (barter trading) on the basis of “patut”. Read about it in the book, “The Malay Civilization” published by the Historical Society of Malaysia (google it and you’ll find it) in 2007.

      Like

  30. Dear JMD,

    Well written article and allow me just to respond on some issue. I’m a non-bumi who calls Malaysia home. I would echo Dhssraj Singh’s comments above. Why isn’t anyone offering any alternatives in improvement of the implementation of the NEP? We have 40 years of quite frankly disasterous track record. 19% out of the targeted 30%. Mind you the DEB was initally set for 20 years only.

    You mentioned that the implemetation is flawed in your previous article? Are there any alternatives /proposals to rectify it? Why still champion direct nego deals? Is that part and parcel of NEP? I understand if the contract is to be awarded to a bumi company by way of tender..but why still by way of direct nego? Stinks of corruption!!.

    And why the resistance of the discount to buy luxory houses/commercial houses? Maybe RM500k is low, how about no discount rule for RM1mil? NEP is to eradicate proverty and not to save monies for some selected elitist buying mansions. They buy and rent out so logically they should give 7% rental discount too but do they?

    Protecting the millions of people living in proverty is fine, but handing over hard earn tax payers monies to a minority few (whom amasses billions and park them overseas) is a travesty.

    Like

    • Because the proposal is a daring attempt at encroaching upon Malay rights and we simply can’t have it, detest it and tell Tony Pua, if he wants to do it, he should surrender his citizenship and the right to it for his descendants as well.

      The same goes for the MCA sponsored Chinese Economic Congress calling for the abolition of the 30% Bumi equity under the NEP. It’s detestable and unpardonable to have done it. Plain outright antagonism on the Malays and Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak (therefore racist), aggression on Malay rights and damnable transgression into what has been provided under Article 153 of the Constitution. Damn them. They should also surrender their citizenship and the right to it for their descendants.

      The Bumi housing discount and the 30% equity came under the NEP, the NEP was conceived from the Bumi Special Position, that position was spelt out in the Constitution in exchange for non-Malay right to citizennship. No two-ways about that and not negotiable.

      Like

      • Thank you for your kind reply. However, I cannot agree with your comments. I don’t question the special position of the bumiputras as provided under Article 153. What I question is the policies implemented under the DEB. We all are in consensus that the DEB was set up to eradicate proverty, to bridge the gap of proverty between the class of citizens.

        However, this DEB has been “bastardised”. The implemetation has been abused by a small number of elitist. Despite all the support given to the bumiputras have, it has yet to achive its full promise of equal distribution of wealth. Many deals and/or contracts are done above board with no proper check and balance. Direct nego deals, masked as a privellige under DEB. Again I repeat, I dont mind if a contract is awarded to a bumi company solely if bumi companies are allowed to tender for it. But does it ever happen? What I want is a DEB which has no room for leakages? TO FULLY BENEFIT THE BUMIPUTRAS!!

        The issue of property discount should not be an issue at all. Why would one defend such an absurd privellege for the rich? If you say this tantamounts to a challenge to the bumi rights, then where does it say in the constitution that the rich will continue to enjoy the benefits which are intended for the poor? Why cant I question it? Are you saying people like Nazir Razak, Syed Al-Bukahry or Tun Daim should continue to benefit of these discount?

        You keep saying that if we question the DEB, we should be prepared to surrender our citizenship? Wow..no room for constructive discussions then..and just continue to let the DEB fail. Are you saying that the non bumi has no stake in the welfare of this country? I am proud to be a Malaysian, my ethicity is secondary, but I am ashame of people like you who, having zero intelectual input who goes around short of telling non bumi that they should just surrender their citizenship and begone from this country.

        Like

        • Criticising NEP implementation is acceptable. But not NEP concept. You have to make it clear that you are hitting at implementation not the concept. The latter part of your comment shows you are against the concept.

          Quoting the word used by Nazir – “bastardised” – does not endear you to the Malays or make them want to listen to you. Because Nazir has himself bastardized the NEP. And himself in the process. Many people have written about what Nazir did and didn’t do when he was / is in a positio to help the Bumis. Your statement “The implemetation has been abused by a small number of elitist” applies to him.

          You said, “I dont mind if a contract is awarded to a bumi company solely if bumi companies are allowed to tender for it”. Isn’t the “Bumiputera Only” tenders conducted by JKR still going on? As far as I know it’s the Economic Planning Unit awards of huge projects on so-called Turn-Key basis that were not based on tenders.

          But the issue is not the award of tenders. The issue is the Ali Baba-ism still being practised. The fault lies in many places – cronyism and corruption allowing the non-genuine or inexperienced contractors getting projects, Malays taking time to acquire financial and other capabilities to be able to handle huge contracts, and non-Malay contractors not willing to work together but instead preferring Ali-Baba-ism.

          Property discount amendment proposal is an issue because it encroaches on the rights of Bumiputeras in general, irrespective of property sizes.

          It’s ridiculous to even ask if the constitution says the rich will continue to enjoy the benefits which are intended for the poor. The Constitution also does not say help the poor.

          The Constitution provides for the YDP Agong, through the Government he appoints after every General Elections, to protect and promote the rights and interests of Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and sarawak, because they have a Special Positon in this country.

          You can’t question it because the NEP is derived from the Special Position and the Special Position, under Article 153, is protected under the Sedition Act. It is protected because it is a sensitive matter. Remember, the Malays got only their Special Position, (which had been there “since day one” said the British), recorded in the Constitution, whereas you all got citizenship right, a tangible and of huge benefit considering you all never had it all those years under British rule and before.

          Questioning the Special Position is not only seditious but now attract others to question your citizenship. Isn’t that a sensitive issue? Yes, no room for discussion, nor for negotiation on matters concerning the Special Position. Because you wouldn’t want people to negotiate on your right to citizenship, would you now? For example, up to 30% only? Or should last for 30 years only?

          It’s not a question of “continue to let the DEB fail”. It’s a question of getting the implementaion correct. It’s not a question of “non bumi has no stake in the welfare of this country”. It’s a question of being reasonable. You got a big thing on citizenship, you have used it, you have become vastly wealthy and advanced in education, let the Malays and the Bumis catch up with you to a satisfactory level.

          Don’t be “proud to be a Malaysian”, old hog, if you start saying “I am ashame of people like you who, having zero intelectual input who goes around short of telling non bumi that they should just surrender their citizenship and begone from this country”. You deserve it when you are ultra kiasu, not enough with vast wealth and educational advancement, yet want to erode Bumi rights and privileges.

          Remember, not all Chinese are like you and the likes of you. The majority are reasonable, live and let live. But those who don’t show a respect for the Constitution, including Article 153, worse still those who are racist (being antagonistic to Malays having NEP – anatgonism being the definition of being racist), deserve to be ashamed and go elsewhere where they can respect the Constitution of that country.

          Like

          • Aiyoh Resister..

            Nice to see you can actually give an intellectual insight to an old hog like me.

            I dont deny some non bumi are extreme kiasu- they envy the “special position” afforded to the bumis. But I differ from them, I dont have any inclination to challenge that status.

            I am just voicing my frustration at the implementation of the DEB. Look, the DEB had opened and lead to much advancement of the bumis. That is a fact, and perhaps you too have benefited from it. Sure, my forefathers obtained the jus soli citizenship and agreed to the special position of bumis. True, it is a graceful act by the bumis to accept the immigrants as one of their own. I am thankful for your forefathers for their benevolent act.

            But you say it yourself, DEB has been exposed to abuse and riddled with self serving few who cannot seem to satisfy themselves with all the perks and privilleges afforded to them. Greed is the downfall for many. Should we stand by and let it continue?

            It is strange that many identify the shortfalls of the DEB, but how many really propose solutions? The sholarships, licenses, contracts and equity are only accessable to few. Could anyone whom is a proponent of the DEB stand up and offer a solution? Just dont keep defending something which has problems but not offering any light at the end of the tunnel.It is like whipping a dead horse.

            If we are not allowed to point out the failures of the DEB, how is it going to improve? That is why I said I feel that the non bumis have been left out. Each time one critised the failed implementation of DEB, it is construed as a direct attack on Art 153.

            If you suppress the individuality and the criticism, I am afraid we are just leading this country to the first Reich, just as Hitler had always championed the cause of the Aryans. Far fetched as it may seem but it is the way I see it going. Every criticism is answered by surrender your citizenship, I cannot help to think that I am been purged from this homeland for fighting the cause of just.

            Just as you said that the constitution does not help the poor, it does not mean that we as human should not do so. We should refrain from greed, the rich doesn’t need any help and this applies to all. The poor deserves these previlliges.

            Like

            • Gladfly,

              You sound like a reasonable guy on the surface. But when you say “The sholarships, licenses, contracts and equity are only accessable to few”, of course they are, my friend. Priority is given to those who deserve them under Article 153. You have to accept NEP is part of or came out from 153.

              However much you argue it, the fact remains that they were intended to level the playing field. The rationale for NEP and for 153 has been explained so many times. Meritocracy only when there’s a level playing field. If you don’t accept that, susahlah. You and I have problems. Your kind and my kind, too.

              There’s no “solution” to the concept of NEP. Because there’s no problem – there should be no problem if you accept it. The solution is only to make you accept it. Don’t forget, the top non-Bumi performers also get scholarships.

              If you want all the sholarships, licenses, contracts be opened to all, to open competition, you are not accepting NEP. Then those hoping to receive NEP benefit will naturally question your citizenship because of the quid pro quo. Surely you can see that.

              But what you can do is howl if children of wealthy Malays get scholarships, non-genuine Malay businessmen or cronies get licenses or contracts. Then you should get the full facts, the detailed particulars for people to believe and agree with you.

              Nothing wrong with NEP, only its implementation.

              Like

              • Thank Resister for your kind input.

                But alas, I think you missed my point. I am not championing for equal previllege for the non bumis. I agree the time is not ripe yet, to do so its like having a game of football with 11 v 7, its a loopsided affair.

                Perhaps I have not articulated my thoughts clear enough? That, I must admit would be my failure. When I question “The sholarships, licenses, contracts and equity are only accessable to few” it is in the context of bumis themselves. My grouse is that why, scholarships are awarded to sucessful bumis?i.e the children of wealthy bumi, anak datus, anak business man where anak kampungs are sidelined. How will the level playing field be closed if the rich continues to receive such affirmation actions? I am speaking from my personal view which I gained when I studied overseas, do correct me if my perception is wrong.

                The same goes to contracts, sucessful bumis gets the award, then ali baba it out, most of the time to non bumis. Isn’t this detrimental to the bumis themselves. Why be an agent when one can be the principal?

                Like

  31. Dear JDM,

    I must commend you on an excellent article. I’m a Malaysian who is currently an expat and I truly do miss my home, Malaysia. After reading countless articles on the Internet (being my only source of Malaysian news here), I find it truly refreshing to come across an article that lays its argument factually and coherently. This is a far contrast to the overtly emotional postings found on other blogs and social networking websites.

    However, I have to disagree with you and my fellow commentators on some points.

    Granted that the NEP is about eradicating poverty regardless of race, why do we have to maintain that this is a right that is accorded to a particular race? As this is a big issue of contention, removing racial language from the policy would not impact its implementation because the lion share of the money would go towards the Malays whom constitute the majority of the people living below the poverty line (as per your argument).

    The argument that the Malays are not as “skilled” as the Chinese in business because the Chinese had a head start is flawed. Just because our forefathers are not equipped with certain skills in the past does not excuse us for not acquiring those skills ourselves. If this is true, there would not be web designers, particle scientists, bioengineers, plastic surgeons among us as these fields were not even discovered a generation ago. What is required is not a head start but the spirit to always want to get ahead in life by improving one’s self, or colloquially, a sense of kiasu-ness.

    I believe in meritocracy and that doesn’t make me a racist. The argument that meritocracy benefit a race is disingenuous and a lazy one to make. It implies that there is a master race. This is an idea that I personally do not subscribe to. To have meritocracy that is truly equitable lies in how it is implemented. Most countries have anti-discrimination laws that make it illegal for companies to not afford the same employment opportunities to people if they have the right qualifications, regardless of race, religion or sex.

    Most none Malay commentators are unhappy because they can’t see the effectiveness of the NEP that they had helped fund through their tax ringgits. The majority do not have a problem with Article 153. Rather than continuing with the same policy or abolishing it totally, why don’t we find ways where we can run the NEP professionally? We could establish an independent commission for this purpose that reports not to the government of the day but to Parliament. To maintain fairness, the commission would be given a budget and targets to achieve and should be run by professionals (of all colours and creeds) who are not politically affiliated. That way, no political parties can (mis)use the policy to their advantage.

    The argument that revisiting the 30% equity requirement is tantamount to racism is quite perplexing. Suppose if you will the example of Apartheid that you highlighted in your article. Do we label the blacks as racists in their calls to abolish a racist government policy? Granted that this is an extreme example to give as NEP wasn’t designed to solely benefit a sole race. However, the call to revisit 30% equity isn’t a call to abolish all special rights as well.

    If we keep highlighting that this a social contract that the non-Malayans had agreed to as a condition for their citizenship aren’t we forgetting that the 30% equity condition was implemented unilaterally by the Alliance government post -1969 and not during the run up to independence? This policy was sold to the public as a temporary policy that would run for 20 years and hence it was a sacrifice that society could make to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the long run.

    Sincerely,
    A concerned citizen who wants solutions

    Like

    • I’m a concerned citizen who wants all Malaysians to respect the Constitution of the country fully.

      And all solutions to be based on the Constitution, the highest set of laws in the country, discussed, debated and approved by Parliament at Merdeka and at the formation of Malaysia. All other laws, rules and regulations emanate from it and must not contradict it or become ultra vires.

      The Constitution provides for the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 153. That Special Position had always been there “since day one”, according to the British Colonial Secretary when discussing the Malaya Independence Bill in the British Parliament in the 1950s. The Malays got only that fact recorded in the Constitution, and in exchange for that, the non-Malays got citizenship right. Fair? It’s a lop sided deal to many Malays but, being kind hearted and generous, they agreed. However, this should not be exploited.

      Now, the NEP was conceived from that Special Position and it is clearly a Malay and Bumi right as much as citizenship is a non-Malay right. Questioning one has led to questioning the other. Many Malays have now come out asking DAP Tony Pua (nasty proposal on Bumi housing discount) and the MCA Economic Congress delegates, as well as the MCA leadership that endorses their resolution
      (calling for abolition of 30% Bumi equity) to surrender their citizenship and the right to it for their descendants.

      Meritocracy in a non-level playing field will result in the dominance of the Chinese in economic, educational and other fields and does not augur well for long-term peace and harmony in the country. The Malays were a down-trodden race in their own country during 80 years of British colonial rule, given only 4 years of primary school in the kampongs where there were not even any English schools then, no help or encouragement to do business, the British wanting them to continue being farmers (rice planting) and fishermen to look after the food production of the country, they said. Whereas the Chinese, who were mostly in the towns, were given help by all kinds of licenses etc to do business and had ample schools both at the primary and secondary levels, and in the English language, which was the passport to success at that time.

      I can write more to argue the Malay case but enough for the time being.

      Like

    • A short one, JMD, sir –

      Dogsick said, “The argument that revisiting the 30% equity requirement is tantamount to racism is quite perplexing”.

      It’s not “revisiting”, man. It’s bringing up sensitive issues. I agree with the view that the Special Position and NEP is not negotiable.

      Suffice for now, you raise the Special Position issue, the Malays will raise your citizenship issue.

      Racism is where there is antagonism. Is there not antagonism when people want to to be obnoxious about Bumi housing discount, even dared ask that the 30% Bumi equity be abolished. Not enough owning vast wealth and controlling the economy of the country? Is that “perplexing” to you? You must be skewed in your thinking and views, man.

      Did I say a short note, sir? Sorry about that.

      Like

      • Dear Anon,

        What is the principle behind the NEP? Could we agree that it is to bridge the gap between the rich non bumis and the bumputras?

        But DEB was fixed for 20 years only ? So its ok for you to renaged a deal that the bumi themselves have set? There was a timeline, as been repeated again and again that the reliance on crutches will only make one weak, uncompetative and rent seeking.

        You quite rightly said that the non bumi owing vast wealth today because we believe it is through adversity that one gains strength. We work hard, save a hell lot more and embraced changes as we go on. Do we want more? I cant say for others but I want my fellow Malaysian..irrespective of creed or race to live in prosperity. Simple sharing is caring… why must one race dominate over others?

        Like

        • What the heck Gladfly?? At one point you said most Malays are still poor just because NEP has abuses in it… so we must end the abuse (i agree with this – Malays are the poorest lot compared to others) so that the NEP can fully benefit the bumiputras. So are you saying NEP should continue?

          Then at the other end, you said NEP shouldn’t continue because 20 years has lapsed and the malays are dominating over others…?!

          What the heck man! How can poor Malay people dominate over others?

          Sharing is caring??? Tell that to the chinese guangxi loh!

          20 years was an optimistic figure. Should be 60 years (2 generations).

          Like

          • My dear headmaster (primary or secondary?)

            Its been a while since I saw you, I hope that you all is well and you are in good health.

            In respect of your comments, it is unfortunate you have misinterprated my chain of thoughts. Perhaps my headmaster ought to have tought me better during my school days in articulating my thoughts.

            What I wanted to put through was that despite having 20 or 40 years of crutches, the goal of NEP has yet to be achived. The main reasons for this failure is the implementation. All would agree that idealogy of the NEP is correct but the impletation sucks… I agree with the underlaying principle of NEP as long as the bumis are still poor, we ought to give them special opportunities as this is their special position.

            But day in day out we see the abuse, scholarships given to the rich and connected bumis, contracts given to connected bumis? shares given to rich bumis? Isn’t it time to stop all these nonsense?

            I did not say the Malays dominate..my cry is for us to live in a country that no race dominates each other..be it policitally or economically. I dont subscribe to guangxis..and pls it is the same for your Malay chambers. Its called rent seeking.

            60 years would it be enough? Perhaps so but its a pain when the post keeps getting shifted isn’t it? Maybe we could have this discourse again in 20 years time if both of us are fortunate to live that long.

            Till then have a good day and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Sharing is indeed caring.

            Like

            • Now, now, now Gladfly. You are being rude, aren’t you. Talking crutches and all.

              I can write yards about the Chinese being given and using crutches since the time of Menteri Larut Ngah Ibrahim in Perak in the 19th Century, until now even Vincent Tan was still hoping for another of the many crutches he has got, except DS Najib decided not to issue the football betting license in the last instance.

              But I have to go out now for an hour or so. Might take you up again upon my return. Stay cool if you want everybody to live in prosperity, man. You may hit at implementation, not the concept of NEP.

              Like

              • Hi there.

                Are you my headmaster again?

                Its like the chicken and egg situation..?
                Which comes first? (according to recent scientific research the egg came first..but what the heck!!)

                When I question the implementaion of NEP/DEB, ohh I am suck back as if I question the special rights.

                Look at my posts, never once did I say the is no room for affirmation to the bumis. I question the implementation, the root cause of the failure of DEB. Malaysia is “Malay” sia ..I accept that, our citizenship is afforded by the grace of the bumis.

                But, you see, I look at the implementation of DEB and see WASTAGE..no one has answered me as why allocations of scholarship is skewed to the connected and rich. (my personal experiance when I was studying overseas I reliased the bumi students who were on scholarship were mostly..anak datuk, anak org kaya, no anak kampung????) Unless u tell me the anak kampung cannot qualify (then we go back on the issues of merit) Why does the rich still needs such affirmation..isn’t the very core of DEB is to assist the bumi to equality.

                It pains me to see such wastage and injustice. DEB at its current form only propagates a number of elite individuals. Yes more middle class bumis have been created, but stop and take stock of the situation, does the middle class still needs the affirmation. Will they forgo their children’s rights for quota’s in exchange for the rural poor bumis?

                Vincent Tan, Yeoh Teng Lay, Lee Sing Chen and many chinese mega rich persons made money due to NEP. True..not by guangxi but from rent seeking…

                Eliminate rent seeking..and half the battle is won. That is why I can never understand why mega projects still done through direct negos? It affords opportunities for rent seekers. CONNECTIONS is what it takes…

                I feel as if I have been alienated from my own country. Each time I put a question on the implementation of DEB, the feedback I get is that..look dont question Article 153, or give me back your citizenship? Should I be red carded for questioning the decision of the referee? I dont want 30% equity back nor any discount to buy houses…ok..or scholarship for my kids to go to tertiary education. I just want a fair deal for everyone, particulary for the miskin bumis. They have been forsaken too long!!

                p.s I just borrowed the analogy of crutches from our Dr M. Please forgive my impertinence if it sounded rude🙂

                Like

              • You should see my reply to you a few posts up.

                It is generally agreed that there have been weaknesses in NEP implementation. Najib himself acknowledged it and has done something about money politics in UMNO, said to be a one of the causes of the problem.

                But you really need to provide proofs, details of NEP abuse for people to be clear that you are against the faults in implementation not the concept of NEP.

                When you are perceived as being against NEP (the concept), you will be getting the quid pro quo response. Do make sure you don’t appear as hitting at the concept of NEP, as explained above.

                Like

        • Dear Gladfly,

          NO NO NO NO, man. The NEP was the elimination of race with social functions. The Chinese being businessmen and the Malays being farmers and fishermen that the British colonial masters wanted them to continue being – to look after the food (rice) production of the country, they said.

          Invariably the Chinese were identified as businessmen and rich and the Malays identified as peasants and poor. It was therefore to bridge the gap betwen the Chinese and the Malays. Not “the rich non-bumis and the bumiputeras”.

          Who said the NEP period was “fixed”? It was “estimated” to take “one generation”. The figure 20 years was never mentioned at all. It was an estimate. Nobody can estimate it accurately because nobody has ever done it.

          In any case, you all have citizenship right forever. Why can’t the Bumis have it forever, too? Questioning the NEP and the Malay Special Position may make the Malays ask for more. Remember, now people talk only about 30% corporate equity; other aspects of wealth have been mentioned but not yet demanded so far.

          What “renege a deal” are you talking about? But since you have used those words, are you not the one(s) reneging the deal, what is known as the Social Contract, whereby you got citizenship right and the Malays got their Special Position enshrined in the Constitution? Are you not letting the Malays
          have their quid pro quo, that which was in exchange for your citizenship?

          By saying those you are not even respecting the Malay Special Position which your leaders have agreed before Merdeka, which your representatives have agreed, debated and approved in Parliament together with others on two occasions – once at Merdeka, another at the formation of Malaysia.

          Don’t imply that the Malays are not working hard. But being kiasu (not wanting to lose out or being left out) is not part of the Malay culture. Just as profit taking, risk taking and doing business has not been Malay culture – the Malays started at it only 40 years ago. The Malay culture had been one of “berdagang” or exchanging goods for daily needs (barter trading) on the basis of “patut” or reasonableness. That’s why the Malays are often upset when people are “tak patut” or unreasonable.

          Good that you want all Malaysians to live in prosperity. True, why must one race dominate over others. But, in terms of the economy, I wonder what you call the situation where the Chinese own vast wealth and control the economy, where practically all commercial buildings and shophouses in the towns all over the country are owned and operated by Chinese, and practically all the numerous Chinese businesses employ Chinese except a few Malays in lowly positions. Not economic dominance?

          Let’s share lah. Level the playing field. So that we can not only live in prosperity but also in peace, unity and happiness. Let’s be reasonable.

          Like

          • Haha..good retort. Allow me just to rebut.

            I get the feeling that we cannot see things eye to eye. Sometimes I wonder if I could just one day swap lives with a bumi and the bumi swap to a non bumi just to see how they tick. Perhaps maybe we would be able to understand each other better.

            Its not about questioning the NEP. Its about the failure in implementing the very core of the goals of NEP. I concede the issue of our citizenship, special position of the bumis and affirmation actions for the bumis. I dont resent it nor I wish to abolish it. What irks me are the leaks and blatant abuse.

            Allow me to assume that you (by virtue of being able to write excellant English) is a byproduct of the NEP. The NEP has worked wonders for you. Now you are educated, earning a decent living and so on. So shouldn’t these previlleges pass on to someone who is more deserving? What I mean is this, say your children is afforded a scholarship by virtue of merit and not by quota? Would you say no and allow the scholarship to a lesser deserving bumi student because that student is “miskin”. Assuming scholarship by quota, would you give it up as well as you are now no longer miskin? You are now in level playing field isnt it?

            I am against giving any form of carte blance affirmation based on race. The same way you resent the Chinese guangxi…because you feel it gives preferential treatment to the chinese . The affirmation policy is for the deserving bumis not for the rich and wealthy individuals whom had bastardised the NEP? True?

            This argument will never end as long there is a tick for tack action. The Chinese will keep looking at the Malays as those whom made it due to NEP, the Malays will look at theChinese as those greedy people whom have come to take all.

            Level the playing field and lets all work together. Let the deserving get their due for we are all equal before the Almighty.

            Like

          • Correction:

            The NEP was the elimination of race with social functions

            should be

            The NEP was the elimination of the identification of race with social functions.

            Like

    • As I have stated in my comments, the majority of non-Malays have no issues with Article 153 which gives the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the power to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak with regards to positions in public service, scholarships, permits and licenses. Look it up and you’ll see that it doesn’t cover housing discounts and 30% equity.

      The housing discounts and 30% equity are part of the NEP which was introduced post-1969. The NEP isn’t a “social contract” that the Malays and the non-Malayans agreed to pre-1957, it is a temporary policy that the politicians formulated to ensure that 1969 does not happen again. Pigsick’s argument that the NEP was conceived from Article 159 would be stronger if the language of the article mentioned housing discounts and equity in public listed companies. But it doesn’t and that’s why, to Anon’s point, I find it perplexing on how we arrive at that conclusion that question those is tantamount to the questioning of the “social contract”.

      Not withstanding that, I am still of the opinion that affirmative action programs should continue in a different form to eradicate poverty regardless of race. The problem that we are facing is a clash of classes that has been expediently camouflaged by uninspiring and lazy politicians as an inequity among the races. Every race in Malaysia has their share of rich people and poor people. Granted that the Malaysians Chinese are relatively affluent compared with their brethrens but they also pay higher taxes which then get redistributed into NEP programs.

      The question is, can all Malaysians emulate the model that the Malaysian Chinese had adopted to improve their lot in life? Most of the Chinese who came to Malaysia during the early 20th century were labourers who were brought in by the earlier 19th century Chinese migrants who were traders as well as mining concessionaires. Most of them had had no experience in running businesses. But Pigsick is absolutely right that there were schools in towns and it was through education and hardwork that they acquired the skills required to improve their economic standing. Were there special permits and licenses given to them to do business by the British? I honestly do not know. Perhaps Pigsick can help to substantiate this point. But even if there is, were they given at the expense of the Malays? Again, I honestly do not know but I am leaning towards the thinking that no Malay businesses were required to give up 30% of their equity to these poor Chinese immigrants.

      My intentions are not antagonistic and I do not intend to ruffle sensitivities. However, we have to wake up to the fact that Malaysia is losing its competitiveness to our more progressive neighbours. It is not a zero sum game where we can’t be competitive and compassionate at the same time. There is a solution and as long as our politicians take the easy way out, this issue will forever be clouded as a racial one.

      Like

      • Lets cut the bull and see what the reality is la ok…. the chinese have their own set of affirmative action…

        they consciously push non chinese from participating in their economy…

        can you see any people can tap into the market monopolised by the chinese???? tyre industry? autoparts?? raw building materials?

        didnt you people say, dont buy from malays? buy only from huaren..

        So when u have your own ‘help our own scheme’ that is unfair to non chinese, when the poor non chinese (i.e. bumis n indians) wanna have d NEP to get them out from the rut,.. you wailed and howled like a baby?

        you hold all the candies yet you question why other people are trying to get candies too…?

        Like

        • Mr Wolf..

          Its Tick for Tack..the Chinese has practised this for eons.

          Can you see any people can tap into the market monopolised by the non-chinese???? automobile industry? oil and gas?? government service?

          If we keep looking at this with a narrow prospective, it will never end. We keep picking faults at each other.

          didnt you people say, dont buy from chinese? buy only from Malays..Same old same old

          So when u have your own ‘help our own scheme’ that is unfair to non chinese…so how does it feel being discriminated? Takes one to know one..

          I for one is not very keen on candies..I prefer sweets..and if I could I would give my sweets to all whom come and ask from me.

          Thanks Mr Wolf..for crying wolf..

          Like

          • Gadfly,

            Its Tick for Tack..the Chinese has practised this for eons.

            (so you do realise that chinese selfishly only take care of themselves.. and for ages too!)

            Can you see any people can tap into the market monopolised by the non-chinese???? automobile industry? oil and gas?? government service?

            (govt services? HOW ABOUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR?? jebat mentioned that private sector boasts a large number of chinese. still wanna compare to the tiny civil service? Automobile industry maintenance and spare parts are controlled by the chinese by the way)

            If we keep looking at this with a narrow prospective, it will never end. We keep picking faults at each other.

            (now you know. Have some empathy and move on)

            didnt you people say, dont buy from chinese? buy only from Malays..Same old same old

            (never heard malays say that. in fact, the malays buy everything anyone could offer. They even join MLM that is created by the chinese)

            So when u have your own ‘help our own scheme’ that is unfair to non chinese…so how does it feel being discriminated? Takes one to know one..

            (so what now? u r admiting u discriminate. so why complain if the bumis want to strengthen themselves. As if the act of strentgthening the bumis make the chinese lose all their business license)

            I for one is not very keen on candies..I prefer sweets..and if I could I would give my sweets to all whom come and ask from me.

            (irrelevant)

            Like

            • Dear Mr Wolf.

              Let me retort

              (so you do realise that chinese selfishly only take care of themselves.. and for ages too!)

              So? What is Art 153? Its the same isn’t it.. preservation of the special position. Dont you see it as a form of protectionism? You blow hot and cold…one end you say..Chinese selfish take care of themselves, isn’t it the same like your DEB. I have repeatly said..its fine to protect your own kind.. that is human nature to do so. I am not against Art 153 or DEB, if you take time to read my earlier posts (which I guess you never did). But my grouse is on the implementation of DEB, the wastage and abuse. You can ask me to shut my mouth if you agree DEB is for the rich and poor.

              (govt services? HOW ABOUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR?? jebat mentioned that private sector boasts a large number of chinese. still wanna compare to the tiny civil service? Automobile industry maintenance and spare parts are controlled by the chinese by the way)

              True. But you draw an anology of chinese control sectors, I just gave examples of bumi control sectors. Tick for Tack. You admit yourself that gov sector is handled mostly by bumis. GLC??? O&G?? I dont want to keep getting into these ridiculous childish arguments of who has what. Suffice to say, each race controls certain sectors. It is not fair to pigeon hole certain sectors and generalise it as so. That is why I said it is a narrow minded view.

              (never heard malays say that. in fact, the malays buy everything anyone could offer. They even join MLM that is created by the chinese)

              I dont know how to response, so I’ll just say, if you say so… it must be true. Just a point of thought..I drive a Proton,pump petronas fuel, I eat Bernas rice, I drink Syabas water all must have been from the chinese.

              (so what now? u r admiting u discriminate. so why complain if the bumis want to strengthen themselves. As if the act of strentgthening the bumis make the chinese lose all their business license)

              At last some substance. Its fine to strengthen the bumis, to level the playing field. I dont mind, as I believe if I am good I can compete. But, my point is this, malay chambers help the malays, the chinese chambers do likewise. Its the same wat…unless you imply..guangxi bad..malay chamber good? Not double standard?. I reiterate, the failure is at implementation, say bumi get the contract, but ali-baba it to non bumi…who is the real loser?? The Bumi of course, as they lose the opportunity to advance themselves, to learn the trade, aquire the skills. That is why I criticise the DEB, for that is what happening. Not because DEB favours bumis, but DEB favours rent seeking Bumis with connections who in fact marginalising the poor bumis who need the DEB most. Get it? No?

              (irrelevant)

              Goes to show how naive and short sighted you are. Its called equal wealth distribution, the very essence of the DEB, perhaps you wish to be the one who keeps the candies and let other howl and wail at you for it.

              Like

        • Wolfbane,

          With a few strokes of the keyboard, you have rebutted my arguments as being “bull”. I really do want to know what you think about some of the points that I had raised.

          Notwithstanding that, the issue that you brought up is a pertinent one- how do we break into some industries that is disproportionately dominated by a certain race? This is a complex question that is more business related than racial.

          I am generalizing here but in some Chinese SMEs and family businesses discriminate regardless of race. Driven by the profit motive and the need to preserve control over the business, they are managed tightly and it is very difficult to break into these companies even if one is a Chinese. Wolfbane, these companies are dying as they are not sustainable.

          These companies are not big enough to be listed, not small enough to be cost competitive. It is a matter of time before they become as passé as Chinese sundry shops which had been overtaken by global hypermarkets. With each successive generation, the wealth accumulated by these businesses is spread thinner and a lack of progressive ideas from new blood will seal their doom.

          I had spoken to a few of these owners and most of them had advised their children to start acquiring new skills to continue evolving. It is this spirit that I am eluding to in my comments- the need to constantly improve one’s self even though there is relative comfort in life. This is a lesson that all Malaysians should adopt because as global economics becomes more integrated, we need to be as competitive as our neighbours. We are no longer economically insulated as our market has expanded beyond our national borders.

          Your analogy on candies needs a slight revision. It is not the Chinese in Malaysia who wants your candies. It is the Chinese in China, the Indians in India, the Vietnamese in Vietnam, the Brazilians in Brazil, the Mexicans in Mexico who are after ALL of our candies. The sooner we wake up to this reality, the better because there is still time to make amends to this.

          But I digress as your point is more for the midterm on how we can get a foothold into the Chinese business “dominion”. The solution to this has already been spelled out in the NEP in the form of cooperatives. By collectively pooling our resources together and managing such cooperatives professionally and transparently, we can compete with these family businesses more effectively. We don’t have to look far for examples of how this can work spectacularly. Just look at NTUC FairPrice in Singapore which is competing with global hypermarkets there. It is a cooperative of the National Trade Union Congress and is the largest supermarket chain there.

          Like

      • The key point is that the NEP was conceived from the Special Position of the Malays and that Special Position is a sensitive subject protected under the Sedition Act.

        You stated “the power to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak” but didn’t give a full quotation of that clause showing whether that power gives the discretion to include other aspects of development. I’ll check it up, time permitting. Meanwhile, I believe that there must be discretion allowed in the provision, as numbers and quantities of licenses, scholarships, permits etc mentioned therein are also not specified.

        Lawyers will tell you that no legal instruments, agreements, covenants etc will contain each and everything fully and explicitly. That’s why there is the profession called lawyers and solicitors. In the final analysis, what it boils down to is the intent of the parties to the agreement, and in this case, all those participating in the formulation of the Constitution, not just the constitutional lawyers consulting with groups and individual Malayans and later drafting the document, but also the various political parties involved.

        True, “every race in Malaysia has their share of rich people and poor people”. But the proportion is topsy turvy in so far as the Chinese and the Malays are concerned. Talks about Chinese paying “higher taxes which then get redistributed into NEP programs” has been countered by the Ministry of Finance / Inland Revenue figures which show that the Chinese pay only 30% tax, the GLCs pay 40% and the Malays, the others and foreigners pay 30%.

        Licenses to trade in various items including tin as well as to operate lotteries were mentioned in Journals of the Malayan Branch of the Asiatic Society and such publications. Offhand I can mention the book, “Sejarah Negeri Perak”, by (Porfessor) M.A Fawzi Basri that states some of the Chinese in Larut, Perak were provided with capital to start tin mines by the territorial ruler Ngah Ibrahim in the 1860s. He had a lot of money collecting “cukai jalan” (passing thru rather than road tax in present day sense) etc. Don’t you think there should be reciprocity even from this angle?

        Remember friend, the 30% Bumi equity in non-Bumi businesses is not free, is it? The Bumis are expected to pay for it in one form or another. It will provide the opportunity for Bumis to participate in business. Whether they did really participate or not is a different matter – shout at the implementation, not the concept.

        Be competitive and progressive compared to neighbours even US and Europe by all means. But it must never be at the expense of the rights and interests of the Malays. Meritocracy must be only when there is a level playing field.

        Like

      • Hey dogsick

        Would you prefer to be rendered poor forever so as not to pay taxes (your recurrent sore point)

        Or

        be ALLOWED free reign to reap wealth in another man’s land (originally) and pay peanuts in taxes as a favour returned

        Or

        be tightly ruled with a short leash, like Jackie Chan says, “The chinese has to be controlled”.

        Like

    • Mr Dogsick,

      Im a student of social studies. I cant really 100% agree with your assertions that;

      ‘Suppose if you will the example of Apartheid that you highlighted in your article. Do we label the blacks as racists in their calls to abolish a racist government policy? ‘

      The Black Afrikaans of the apartheid era were the majority people. The minority at that time (The Whites – they call themselves the supremacists), were the minority. But this minority controls everything such as the seat of power and national commerce.

      If you opine that the blacks weren’t racist, then juxtaposing the current situation of the majority bumis with the plight of the Blacks in South Africa at that time, I am certain, their calls to have greater involvement in the economy and to increase their income is not racist.

      Well just my thoughts.

      Like

      • Dear LS,

        Thanks for pointing that out as I was trying to come up with an analogy and the closest I could think of was Apartheid. Of course, I did qualify to say that it is an extreme example because the sitaution here is far from what the Afrikaaners went through.

        I agree with you that the call for greater participation into the Malaysian economy by the Malays is not racist. It is a right of every able citizens to demand for a fair opportunity.

        In fact, I had always pointed out in my comments that affirmative action programs should continue, albeit in a different form that is more effective and equitable.

        But before we can do that, we have to examine and take stock on what has happened so far.

        In 1969, the share of the economic pie was 2.4% Malays, 33% Non-Malay and 63% Foreign. The NEP’s goal was to rearrange this to 30% Malays, 40% Non-Malay and 30% Foreign.

        But wait…does that mean the Malays expansion is at the expense of others?

        The answer is “No”. Since 1975, the government started to incentivise industries to grow to stimulate exports. This will then increase the overall revenue of the country and hence this expanding economic pie would be enough to grow the Malay share without the need for the non-Malays to give up their share. In a sense, this is really a brilliant move as it made all Malaysians, regardless of race, to work hard to grow the various industries of Malaysia.

        As you are a social studies student, the following will be interesting for you: the GINI index of the Malaysia improved from 0.51 in 1970 to 0.44 in 1997 which goes to show that the NEP is working because income disparity between the wealthy and the poor is getting less. However, in 2005 the GINI index has grown to 0.49 which shows that within less than a decade, we had seen the reversion to almost the same levels as 1970.

        There are a lot of factors that could contribute to this. But critics of Tun Dr. M attributed this to his privatisation campaigns and expansions in government spending which created few multi-millionaires (of various races, I must add) at the expense of the greater society.

        Even then, Malaysians were generally oblivious to this because overall our Purchasing Power Parity, not adjusted for inflation, had grown from $2250 (1980) to $8230 (1997) to $13730 (2008). Generally there was a feeling that more Malaysians are wealthier because they can afford to purchase more with their money.

        So if everyone is happy, why are there “issues” now?

        Malaysia is currently a nett oil exporting country and our reserves are drying up. Oil revenues contribute to 33.8% of our direct income tax revenues in 2007. By 2014, experts estimate that we would be nett oil importers. At the same time, our foreign direct investment is drying up. Capital flight is happening as more businesses move out to more competitive neighbours. To compound matters, the government subsidizes a lot of our essential goods.

        As a result of these factors, the growth rate for our economy has slowed down but our expenditure has not. I really don’t mean to sound alarmist but that’s what the data points to.

        How then do we get out of this rut?

        We could cut on public expenditure but that would be a political landmine. After years of crutches (no, not only the NEP but petrol subsidies, food subsidies), Malaysians have been addicted to cheap oil and cheap essential goods. Any political party who try to cut the subsidies will suffer at the polls.

        So what’s left but to increase on revenues?

        To do that, we would have to tackle the following factors:-

        1. There is a lot of wastage due to corruption. We have to cut out the middlemen so that every ringgit spent in building our infrastructure and the running of our programs are money well spent.

        2. We have to attract more foreign investors by offering better conditions than our neighbours. This unfortunately mean that the 30% condition would have to go not so much to “appease” the local Chinese but to make us more attractive to global investors.

        3. Human capital would have to improve to increase personal income and attract better paying high tech jobs to our shores. This means that we need to build up the competencies of all Malaysians quickly in these new fields. We need to open up education opportunities to all who can contribute to the country.

        4. Continued peace and stability via a more effective and equitable distribution of wealth among society. We have to arrest the disparity between the rich and the poor and as the Malays are relatively poorer, this most affirmative action programs will benefit the Malays.

        Some of the people in our present government know what needs to be done. However, they lack the political capital and the will to act on all of the above.

        For example, we couldn’t have proper debates about the issues without someone or another rattling about race, race, race, race. But the common Malaysian is not really to blame as all of us had been lead by race based parties all this while.

        I really have confidence in all of us to find a solution to this problem if we can put aside the accidental label that we had been born into and start thinking rationally and with a common objective of making Malaysia great for everyone.

        Like

    • Dogsick should check up on ALL the advertisements run by the private (chinese-owned) companies.

      Conduct a survey on how many of these adverts asked for chinese only and mandarin speaking?

      I know of an Indian who could speak mandarin, stubbornly applying for that job. She proved her mandarin-speaking ability. Guess what? They told her that she is also required to WRITE mandarin.

      So please admit that the chinese are racists.

      Like

      • Ray,

        Unfortunately, I don’t read, write nor speak mandarin so I can’t scan the Chinese dailies to gauge the quantity of these adverts. I only know some curse words but I don’t think that they’ll be helpful in this regard…

        My views about these companies are already covered in earlier comments. In some of my earlier comments also, I propose that we adopt an Malaysian Anti Discrimination Act to ensure that Malaysians who are qualified for a particular job are accorded the same opportunities regardless of their race, sex or religion.

        I would recommend that your friend takes this case up with a lawyer and sue the company for discrimination. This will be a litmus test and it’ll definitely be a good high profile case for a budding lawyer to take on.

        As to whether or not to admit that an entire group of people as racist or not, well, I don’t think that I can do that because I believe that the issues that we are currently facing are mainly economic in nature and not racial.

        True, there are real racists but one can find them in all the races of the world. The question is would one be matured enough to see past that and work with like-minded individuals from all communities to solve this? We can write a new script for Malaysia that doesn’t conform to the stereotypes of the past.

        Peace, bro!

        Like

  32. Wolfbane, you are very wrong. Chinese are less than 30% of the population and you are saying that the remaining 70% who are non-Chinese can be convinced only to buy from huaren.

    I am not against the NEP but I cannot accept it when it seems that it is wrong for me to progress with my blood, sweat and tears and having to overcome obstacles along the way.

    You can say it is the spirit and attitude of kiasu and kiasi (don’t want to lose and don’t want to die). I will be very happy if everyone irrespective of etnic background have thsi kiasu and kiasi spirit

    Like

    • CPL,

      You r wrong. Since when bumis didnt buy from chinese? You see many malays buy from Giant, Jusco, Tesco, Carrefour… do you see any chinese buying from Mydin? wakaka

      Wah lau weh, when did d bumis telll you u cannot progress? If bumis told you u cannot progress, u n ur huaren will be the pooreset people here la wei! Rich chinese also can get it easy from d government la. dont la lie here.

      u want everyone to be kiasu? do u even know what that means if the malays have kiasu mentality?

      all non malays will die standing if malays start having kiasu mentality. dont believe me ah?

      Like

      • Dear JMD,

        “all non malays will die standing if malays start having kiasu mentality. dont believe me ah?”

        Kindly moderate the last line as it may imply something else.

        Thanks

        Like

        • Everyone, please control the use of language when discussing any issues. Please make it civilised. I prefer not to have any profanities in this blog or something really, really seditious like how vesewe, cooloc, good man and ruyom used to post. Trolls are not wanted here too. It’s me that will get into trouble with the law. Not you folks! :p Thank you.

          Like

          • wah liao.. cannot say die standing ah?

            how abt die squatting? can ah?

            gladfly dear, it was only an expression.. it means ‘f***ed up’.

            i dont mean u will die really die!

            ok ok i change.

            CPL,

            u want everyone to be kiasu? do u even know what that means if the malays have kiasu mentality?

            all non malays will be f***ed up if malays start having kiasu mentality. dont believe me ah?

            Cheers and yam seng!

            Jenat, u can moderate this if u want.

            Like

            • Dear Yellow fever,

              I understood, but out of abundance of caution I asked it to be moderated.

              To understand your line, one have to read and see whole picture. But someone who reads it as a one liner would just think it as a threat. You end it as one. “dont believe me ah?”

              I just dont want a non bumi to scream “there you see they again threaten us – kill us just like May 13”. More doubts and suspiscion would only make matters worst. Lets discuss and figure this out amicably.

              Like

  33. Wolfbane,

    Baca apa Gadfly ckp pun kita dah tahu niat buruk dia.

    Dah ada betis, nak peha.

    They have the wealth, nak org lain punya pulak.

    Kita dah bagi mereka peluang kaut keuntungan, sampai per capita income diorang naik tinggi, lagi nak ckp melayu ni nak dominasi semua benda.

    Diorang yg dah kaya.. Mau apa lagik?

    Dah tu, siap bleh ckp kerajaan tak bantu diorang. Piiraaah gadfly!!

    Nyanyuk kaaa??

    Like

    • Terima kasih En Gamby kerana anda menunjukkan bahawa anda langsung tidak faham apa yang saya cuba ertikan. Sekiranya En Gamby baca apa yang saya cuba terangkan di atas, En Gamby akan faham bahawa saya tidak pernah ingin menguasai mana mana sektor mahupun mencabar status hak bumiputra.

      Apa yang saya cuba hujahkan adalah kepincangan implikasi DEB di mana wahalnya adalah fakta bahawa bukan semua bumiputra menikmati taraf ‘special’ yang dikurniakan kepada kaum bumiputra.

      Saya juga tidak pernah menyatakan bahawa kaum melayu cuba mendominasi segala sektor perniagaan di Malaysia. Bila, dan tolong tunjukkan kepada saya. Saya hanya menunjukkan bahawa setiap sektor perniagaan akan dikuasai oleh segolongan kaum tertentu. Ini adalah fakta. Tetapi haruskah kita masih memperjuangkan hak-hak orang kaya saja?

      Sekiranya saya menyinggung perasaan En Gamby, saya mohon maaf kerana bukan niat saya untuk menyinggung perasaan kaum Melayu. Malah sekarang bulan Rahmadan, harus bermaaf- maafan. Sikap toleransi inilah yang kini semakin pupus di negara ini.

      Betis ada cukuplah, minta maaf peha saya tak suka.

      Selamat berpuasa.

      Like

  34. This train of comments is stimulating. I did mention earlier that meritocracy is admirable and necessary for Malays but in my opinion, the timing is not now. We do not have the necessary mass of meritorious Malays to be of any significance in an all out equal battle for access to Malaysia’s abundant resources. Article 153 is meant to ensure that Malays stand a chance against a community that has access to vast amounts of capital, a network of billions of people all over the world, a legacy of literacy that is thousands of years old, a treatise on warfare ie Art of War not even translated into Malay…I could go on but the gist of it is this…

    Is the Malay community able to compete against the Chinese community in an equal access competition for resources?

    The answer is a decided NO. I am Malay and I have real non Malay friends. I also have business partners who are Chinese and I am often amazed by the inventiveness and natural business abilities of the Chinese community. And then I look at my community and I say that we are a group that is slowly but surely becoming more merchant like in our traits. This will take time and the time is not now. Believe me, there are many malays out there who are like minded and do not feel that we should be judged as you do the Umnoputras etc..

    Access to resources is actually the crux of all this debate we see here and it is as old as our very existence as humans. What needs to be scrutinized here is that resources also need defending ie our borders, our homes and our personal safety…has anyone noticed that the ranks of the Army, Navy and the Police is almost 90+% filled with Malays. While we note that our forces may not always be of the best caliber, let us also note that it is not nearly as bad as some of our neighbours in the region.

    Like

      • Well written.

        True, level it up and we play. Its not nice to play 5v3 isn’t it?

        I just hope there are more ppl like you who can see the light. Many Chinese are not against the DEB, just the wastage and abuse of it. I am glad you are learning, to compete, and to rise above the chinese. We welcome it. For when there is competition, there is improvement.The implementation must be revamp, more transparent and accessible to all bumis. Kick out rent seeking.

        It is unfortunate some wish to keep to old system. Shame, cause these are the ones who are actually ‘mengadaikan’ their next generation. Remember..”resistence is futile we all would be assimilated”🙂

        Like

    • Bloody good comment Sdr hishamuddin. You have said it all. Delighted that you come out with those arguments.

      I also like the one said earlier on: meritocracy needs a level playing field. Let us have that level playing field and we’ll compete.

      Like

  35. Anon,

    Thank you for your comments. I’ll look up on the books that you had mentioned with regards to Perak mining concessions.

    The constitution, as I have always believe, is a living document. Before I am pelted with angry responses, let me elaborate. If we take the constitution as an end all and be all document then there is no room to argue that Article 153 offers adequate protection to safeguard the Malay Special Provision as the language does not specifically mention all of the items as spelled out in the NEP like 30% equity or housing discounts or the need to have a quota on Malay directors in public listed companies, etc.

    The language of clause 2 of article 153 in verbatim reads:-

    “Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special provision of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences”

    With regards to the income tax figure, I am trying to access the MoF’s website to get the latest figures for 2010 but guess what…the data is not available. The lastest figure that I have is from 2007 but it will suffice to illustrate my point.

    The breakdown of direct taxes for the Government of Malaysia in 2007 is as follows:-

    Direct Taxes (in RM mil)
    Individual Income Tax 12,154 (18.2%)
    Company Income Tax 30,821 (46.1%)
    Petroleum Income Tax 22,600 (33.8%)
    Cooperatives Income Tax 139 (0.2%)
    Others 1,197 (1.8%)
    Total 66,911

    If we only consider Individual and Company income, the breakdown would be:-

    Individual Income Tax 12,154 (28.3%)
    Company Income Tax 30,821 (71.7%)
    Total 42,957 (100%)

    As we all sort of understand and as argued countless times over here, we assume that the Chinese are high income earners and hence most of them are on the higher tax scale so let’s take a conservative figure by multipling their ratio of income tax paid to be double of the population (ie. 60%). Also, if we say that the Chinese owns 80% of the businesses out there then let’s make an assumption that they pay 80% of all company income taxes. In that respect, the figure now looks like this:

    Est. Chinese Contribution
    60% of Individual Income Tax 7,292
    80% of Company Income Tax 24,657
    Total 31,950

    Therefore estimated Chinese contribution to to the individual and company tax is around 74.34%

    Of course, the above is an estimate. There is no data available in MoF that shows a breakdown of individual and company income tax revenue by race.

    Like

    • Dogsick,

      On the tax figures, you said it yourself, mate – estimated. And if it is a personal estimate, it’d be highly questionable. Even the Merdeka Centre’s so-called “study” a few years ago claiming that the Malays had some ridiculously high equity ownership was thrown out of the window.

      I’m afraid I can’t trace the report stating the Ministry of Finance / Inland Revue tax figures 30:40:30 Chinese: GLCs: Malays etc. But I’m going by those until there are reliable information stating otherwise.

      Thanks for putting out verbatim the relevant Malay Special Position para.

      “to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence …”

      The operative words are “as he may deem reasonable”, my friend.

      I rest my case.

      Like

  36. Dogsick,

    As regards “The housing discounts and 30% equity are part of the NEP … introduced post-1969 … isn’t a “social contract” that the Malays and the non-Malayans agreed to pre-1957”, I really must check on the the other clauses of that Article 153.

    In the meantime I’ll go by the logic that that Article must provide the YDP Agong the discretion to employ any other reasonable measures in the protection and promotion of the Malays and Bumiputeras (natives) of Sabah and Sarawk.

    NEP was certainly a policy formulated to ensure that the 1969 racial riots do not happen again. But its tenure was again “estimated” and not “fixed” and nobody can estimate accurately how long the achivement of the NEP objectives would take because it was never tried before.

    In the absence of words, phrases or clauses in Article 153 prohibiting such measures as the NEP, it is concluded that NEP, which is promoting the Malays and the Bumis, is part and parcel of that Article 153. It is therefore protected under the Sedition Act and it had not been discussed, much less questioned, until at the end of Tun Dr Mahathir’s rule. It is also a part of the “social contract” and questioning the NEP deserves questioning the citizenship right of the questioner.

    Like

  37. Dogsick,

    My earlier comment containing the phrase “NEP, which is promoting the Malays and the Bumis, is part and parcel of that Article 153” should be read as

    “NEP, which is promoting the Malays and the Bumis, was cenceived from and is a part of that Article 153”.

    We would need to dig into the Archives of the National Operations Council / the Majlis Gerakan Nasional (MAGERAN) to know the discussions during the formulating of the NEP to have that point established fully. One is unsure if such records are available for public viewing.

    It must be remembered that the situation was tense for a significant period of time after the 1969 race riots and the NOC / MAGERAN was sensitive to it, hence the White Paper on riots had used very carefully chosen words and the NEP was explained away as “the elimination of the identification of race with social functions”, and such. Pointing out that the NEP was conceived from the Malay Special Position might have been interpreted as rubbling salt into the wounds at that time.

    The fact remains that the NEP is a sensitive issue. Questioning it has brought counter-questioning the citizenship right of the questioner. When criticising NEP implementation weaknesses, one should make it very clear that one is not criticizing the concept of NEP.

    Like

    • Dear Anons,

      Thank you very much for keeping our discussions civil. I really enjoyed the exchanges of different points of views.

      In my reply to LS, you’ll be glad to know that I had substantiated on how the NEP had worked spectacularly during the initial years. I’ve would also like to put on record that the NEP was the right thing to do post 1969 so I have no issues with the policy as intended by the National Operations Council. Like you, I want to study the policy as written but unfortunately I haven’t come across anyone or any website that has a copy of it.

      With regards to Article 153, my reading of it is that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong has the sole descretion to determine the number of public service jobs, places in education institutes, business permits and licences that can be reserved to safe guard the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak. I think that your reading of “as may deemed reasonable” needs to be read in total as the clause precludes the reservation of quotas beyond public service, education and business permits and licences. In that respect, I’m afraid that my expertise doesn’t allow to comment on this further as my competency in life is not one of a constitutional lawyer, so my friend, I rest my case on this as well.

      My intention in estimating the income tax is not to make my Malay friends feel bad nor to make my Chinese friends feel proud. It is to substantiate one of my arguments that even though the Chinese are relatively well off, they are paying taxes which get channeled to government programs. I wanted to use Tun Dr. M’s quote on “Chinese pays 90% of the tax” but I can’t trace it to any credible source so I had to estimate the number myself using some assumptions which I had openly stated . In this respect, I think that we have to agree to disagree as it comes down to numbers that the both of us can’t trace to credible sources.

      Like

  38. jmd,
    I am tired and sick everytime non-malay questioning NEP. What i am thinking is perhaps the gomen to abolish NEP and see what will happen. Maybe we will see another cycle of may69 OR maybe we will see the strong malay which I favour the latter.

    What say u jebat?

    Like

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  40. Pingback: Questioning the NEP? - Perak Today

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