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Sakmongkol ak 47

ariff.sabri@gmail.com

Thursday, 23 July 2009

30% is ≠ NEP

30% is ≠ NEP

I am telling my fellow Malays not to be taken in by this argument that if the 30% rule on equity participation is done away with, the Malays are lost. There will no longer be protection. We need to ask ourselves, who protect us? If we are children, our parents do. If we are adults, we pull ourselves using our own bootstraps.

This argument that if the 30% is removed, we are lost is all hogwash. If you are a farmer, pak tani, penoreh getah, this talk about 30% is all Greek to them. You would be more concerned if the price of your rubber scraps is ok; you will be more concerned if the title to the small plot of land on which you have been working since 1970 will be granted to you. You will be concerned whether your children will be able to go to school, get financial assistance, books on loan, and after graduation, will they be able to get jobs. That 30%? It's of no concern to you.

You are more concerned with an administration that works. Your land application which you sent 5 years ago hasn't been answered. You go to the land office and inquire, you are stonewalled. That's more of concern for you. You want to know why big companies are allowed land to cultivate oil palm but you aren't. If the oversupply argument applies to you it should also apply on big planters. Indeed more so. You need and want to know, whether the government is serious about combating corruption. If it does, you would like too see ex mb's, ex ministers, ex top government officers sent to jail for a few years. Then you will accept that the government is indeed serious.

Therefore, over and above the 30% thing, you are more concerned to have an administration that is efficient, clean and dedicated and an economic policy that places wealth creating assets directly into your hands. Of course you are concerned if the abolition of the 30% rule is replaced with another wool over the eyes of a policy favouring the elite Malays.

You understand if that 30% is not secured, those lumpen aristocrats, the well connected will never be able to survive. You, like the majority of Malays, want capacity building, you want like what Amartya Sen says- development as freedom. You want economic freedom to get social and political liberation. Those surviving on the 30% thing, all they want are continuation of dependency.

The NEP was supposed to be the solution to Malay economic woes. It was launched in 1970 and ended in 1990. Since then, the policy was replaced by several other successive affirmative economic policies.

Essentially it involves the application and implementation of various administrative matters to correct economic imbalances. It was seen as a national policy to bridge the gap between the rich and poor so that once, it is reduced, national unity can be achieved. Nothing cultivates aggressive impulses more than economic inequities. In our country, the economic disparities assume a more sinister facet because it is identified along racial lines. The non Malay minority is seen as economically dominant while the majority Malays, the original inhabitants of this country are marginalised in terms of economics.

The staple explanation for this disparity has it that the immigrants, whom the natives have been kind enough to accommodate, became rapacious economic predators. It is they, say the demagogues, who have displaced us the natives.

But how, we ask? They didn't have the instruments of oppressive powers- did not have governmental powers, how did they therefore overwhelm the natives? Commercial cunning, competitive drive, usage of the material between the ears cannot be accepted as things or behaviour reprehensible can they? You can only marginalise people, if you have control over the oppressive instruments of power.

So your attention is turned to the question, who has control over the oppressive instruments of power? The answer is the government. Hence, if we were to ask who are the masters of this country, they are the elite who control the oppressive instruments of power.

Economic inequities are largely an economic issue. It becomes complicated when it's tied up to politics. Politics is essentially the employment of means to secure power and the one who has power can influence and configure the economic outcomes. If now, the question is asked, why disparities and therefore unhappy feelings are still in the air after almost 40 years of implementing affirmative polices, we can answer as follows. They continue to exist and increase because what was originally an economic phenomenon requiring economics solution has been turned onto its head to become a political issue. Yes, it's all due to politics.

Hence the race for economic prosperity becomes a race for acquiring power. Those who become economically better are viewed as a threat to power and accordingly, the economically powerful must be cut down to size. The Chinese who are economically more powerful are therefore seen as a security threat to holders of conventional political power. They must therefore be cut down to size so as not to upset the balance of power. Old school politics accustomed to muted submission assails the Chinese ingrates. In order to balance things up, the 30% rule must be defended and restored.

But then the 30% mustn't go into the hands of the riff raff, the hoi polloi, and the lumpen proletariat. If that happens, that will mean the end civilisation as we, the elites know of. We certainly don't want the hobos to inhabit and adulterate our pristine way of life here in the hallowed grounds of Bukit Tunku, Damansara Heights or Country Heights do we? So, the 30% must be confined to the same old network of cronies, elites and the select few. Otherwise, by demanding we take and retain the 30% only to see it fall into the hands of the plebeians, that decision would upset the balance of power within our class. The 30% must stay within the lumpen aristocracy.

Why hasn't the target of 30 % ownership of corporate equity been achieved? Answer, politics. Why haven't the economic configurations of Malays according to the guideline of 30:40:30 been achieved? Again the answer is politics.

Who is to blame of the NEP failed? The only party blameable is the government. They had the power, they legislated, they implemented and they failed. Again we repeat , the purpose of politics is to acquire power. To form the next government. The government sets the guidelines, provides for domestic and external security and upholds the rule of law. Governments do these things to varying degrees; hence we have democratic and less democratic countries.

Whatever levels of democracy are practised, the ultimate accountability rests with those who control the levers of politics. If we now ask, who is to blame for the state of affairs in which we find ourselves mired in- the answer is the UMNO led government. You hold the power, you answer why we have not achieved economic fairness and justice. We have been independent for 52 years. Almost half and more than a third of the period was headed by Tun Dr Mahathir.

We have had almost 40 years of command centre economics and arbitrary picking of winners. We have now realised, certain aspects of what was a workable economic solution have failed. The stupid aspects of history will certainly repeat themselves, if we choose to repeat them.

The PM is now trying his approach to find an economics solution. He is being reasonable not to fall back on the aspects of the NEP that have failed.

18 comments:

CYC,  23 July 2009 at 10:32  

PM is not trying to change the status quo of NEP but merely repackaging it to look better artificially. It is same in all other non economic aspects where he only make announcement for changes but accelerate the momentum of brutality by scheming from the dark. This modus operandi can be very attractive only to those who have bad eye sight.

Equality can only be achieved through economic prosperity which creates or enhance confidence of all the stakeholders simultaneously. Depoliticize economic, education and religious issues with a clear mind shall save our country.

PM 23 July 2009 at 14:59  

Thank you for a refreshing writeup. It is pleasant reading your blog.

I pity the poor good malays who have been taken for a ride by their own ppl whom they have trusted for so long.

Will the PM have the support of the warlords??

In finding a solution, will the PM take steps to eradicate corruption and straighten the performance of the various agency.. the Police, MACC, Judiciary and others...these agencies are the prelude to good governance hence the NEP.

Many a times I have heard statement the malays are poor it is because of the chinese..spoken by rubbish umno members. I have countered many a times how can the chinese stop the malays from becoming poor when the malays controlled practically every enforcement and administrative agencies.???

Anonymous,  23 July 2009 at 15:36  

Dato I think it is not to UMNOs (and UMNO-putras) interest for messages like yours to reach the Malay masses - hence better they cannot read English papers and blogs (real reason for reversal?). This is classic 'Mushroom Strategy' of Government - keep the people in the dark and feed them shit. Maybe you should have a Malay version of your blog :)

telur dua 23 July 2009 at 16:05  

'Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results is insanity' ~ Albert Einstein.

TDM said that the Malays have to compete with people from 4000 year old civilizations, implying the Malays are 4000 years behind and therefore can't compete.

This is gross under-estimation of the Malays without empirical proof.

Anonymous,  23 July 2009 at 16:33  

Great article, you have cleared the smokescreen. 'If you are almost in total control and you do not achieve the 30%, who to blame?' Must have channeled into somebody's pocket.

Ree,  23 July 2009 at 16:42  

Spot on! The obsession with the 30% Bumi equity is a waste of time. I have argued with you before that, as a measure of wealth, this 30% is meaningless.

Maybe there are better ways to measure the "success" or "failure" of the Malays? For example, let us look at the percentages of

- home/land ownership
- car ownership
- share ownership (actual value)
- bank deposits/investments
- taxpayers
- graduates
- unemployed
- convicts
- drug addicts

We can probably get a better measure to answer these questions: Where is the Malay now compared to 40 years ago? Where is the Malay compared to other races?

Free of the 30% obsession, the government can then concentrate on the real need of "capacity building".

Anonymous,  23 July 2009 at 17:27  

Salam, Datuk Sak,

Good write up, but the target readers of this article are Malays.

Shouldn't a translated page be made available ?

Let the humble kampung folks know how our leaders are using them as fodders and nothing else.

NEP is just a sandiwara and we are all its extras.


catro...

Anonymous,  23 July 2009 at 17:53  

For 22 years, he fed his cronies billions of ringgits,people like Tajuddin,Saad, Samsuddin,,Mirzan-all thieves and corporate failures.And he still wants more. Greed to the highest extent.

Anonymous,  23 July 2009 at 20:18  

Clear headed analysis.
I used to ask my bumi golf kakis (sorry, strictly no offense meant) why if the govmin is sincere in helping bumis , why can't all the APs, Taxi permits, Bus permits, telco licenses, etc etc be given to institutions like MARA, LTAT, Tabung Haji, PNB DIRECTLY instead of giving it to 'preferred' individuals? That way it would be helping ALL Malays.

Rotten Egg 23 July 2009 at 21:38  

This is really what NEP is about. Providing the capacity to the Malays to stand on their own two feet. Instead the NEP has been hijacked for the purposes of the few and has shackled the Malays for over 40 years. When I asked my Malay friends why they took a Singapore or Australian PR, the answer is that their children will most likely end up on crutches and with a low self esteem. Go back to the original ideal of the NEP.

romerz 23 July 2009 at 23:29  

Dear Sir,

I hope you don't mind but I like your article so much that I've mentioned it in my blog with a reverse link to your article.

Kindly let me know if that is OK with you.

Thank you and Regards,

romerz

http://romerz.blogspot.com/2009/07/30-is-not-nep.html

vinnan,  23 July 2009 at 23:45  

So long as the Industrial Co-ordination Act exist, Najib will always be able to turn around and f''' the non-Malays with whatever f'''k;'; quota that serves UMNO's interest. The so-called removal of the FIC which finds its legal existence in the ICA is another cruel joke played on the non-Malays. Najib's/UMNO's circus neither impresses nor convinces the non-Malays. We see UMNO for the greedy, power grabbing bastards that they are. As for the Malays being oppressed by UMNO, still they are the ones keeping UMNO in power.

In human history there is a truth which has transcended time and all cultures:

If the oppressed do not fight their oppressors then they deserve to be oppressed for only they can release the shackles of their slavery.

Do the Malays have the balls/brains to do so? The Malays have so far shown no such courage/intelligence.

UMNO Boleh.

monsterball 23 July 2009 at 23:45  

I got your blog from Romerz..."The Middle Road" blog owner.
Yes....NEP is no more for it's true purpose....supported by every Malaysian.
UMNO..is using it for political and selfish reasons.
Majority Malay Malaysians are not impressed nor believe in UMNO anymore.
Race and religion...with NEP..are all out-dated.

Anonymous,  24 July 2009 at 01:52  

Excellent write up!

I've never come across a post that so succinctly point out WHY the 30% is of no use to ordinary malay folks.

I can only see the 30% 'helping' the handful of connected tan sris and datuks.

PM 24 July 2009 at 02:34  

telur dua

Mahathir is stupid for "implying the Malays are 4000 years behind and therefore can't compete."

I have a malay friend whose daughter came back from Harvard, looking for a job in malaysia but finally landed in job in Singapore.
Now she is with the Singapore strategic institute.

Does this prove a point??

What mahathir said perhaps applies to his own children who made their fortune during his duration as PM.

monsterball 24 July 2009 at 07:42  

We already know...under Mahathir 22 years...corruptions..race and religion dirty politic....plus using NEP to enrich the chosen few and his cronies...and his leadership with the worst examples you can ever thing of...so much so...a crop of liars...cheaters..con men/women .arrogant fellas..sprung up...that we are still seeing them...up to today.
Najib is the blue eye baby of Mahathir...a sort of adopted son.
Go trace ..what have Najib contributed as a minister..for 22 years.. under Mahathir.Almost nothing...yet the biggest corrupted act..involving RM500 million....now legalized as commission...not corruption...and the Monoglian lady murdered by C4...the worst murder case in the history of Malaysia..with his name linked to him...still unsolved...unless you believe those two police officers are the real killers..and not willing falls guys..just as Anwar false charges on sodomy...linked to Mahathir...making.. teacher and student..are one with same characters and agendas.
I write the above...plus his 100 days as PM..with a divided Perak State...few murder cases under police....so many false arrests..most unacceptable police performances...all under Najib as PM..so clearly showing..Malaysia is at his worst on human rights...with a government..finding ways ad means...how to govern forever...or risk going yo jail for few. Police playing politics instead of protecting Malaysians...so clear..as some many are so rich too. How come?...where did they get the money. Daylight robberies..thieves..with crime rates...increase so much....with no police good results. To ensure..voters support UMNO is most important...to protect themselves too...for UMNO ..loosing governing the country.so many are bound to go to jail....if ever UMNO looses the 12th GE....ministers past and present..from BN...sure to jail.
That's a fact..if PR governs.
Lump all these up...Malaysians have no confidence that Najib is sincere at all.
Therefore..your last sentence in your message...is not accurate ..but we do pray he will deliver some good...before his time is up. That's all we can do...pray.
With the death of Teoh Beng Hock...Najib can show his sincerity and real sympathy..and submit to people's demand..for justice.
Now look at the Royal Commission approved...to so call meet the people demands. Instead of investigating on the death of Beng Hock...it is to check on MACC management ..sums up..who Najib is.
NEP ongoing...guarantees UMNO win votes.
You go and dream...it will be scraped off.
UMNO will think hard of another name...doing the same thing..making sure UMNO members are happy being spoon fed......makan gaji buta...long holidays...plenty sick leaves...almost non productive workers..all OK..as long as they vote for UMNO.
That is all...what UMNO is..a political party who thinks they own Malaysia..and Malaysians.

Khun Pana aka johanssm 24 July 2009 at 23:26  

You're making the common Malays to think. This is very dangerous to umno.
All the while the common Malays do not know whats the real meaning of the 30 %.
But they do know that without the 30% , the non malays will be their master . This type of doctrine was and is still sow by umno leaders and they made it look and sounded legit as per according to the constitution.
To make it more interesting , without the 30 % also means that Islam will diminish and the sultans will loses their daulats.
The above are not really my words.

I make it short, it is all hogwash.

monsterball 26 July 2009 at 01:30  

UMNO have been promoting race and religion dirty politic....from a period of acceptance to extension after extension...making it for people to think like what Khun Pana have written...sound logical to some Muslims...but it is totally not true.
The bridge of have and have nots of the Malays is wide open...and that sums up what UMNO is.
Fearing the minorities ..especially the Malaysian Chinese is all bullshit.
It is during these 35 years .we see more race and religion politics drummed into people's brain... by UMNO.
UMNO is the root of all evils.

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