In a Malaysiakini news article, the CEO of CIMB Bank, Nazir Abdul Razak, - who is also the brother of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak - has called for a thorough review on the controversial New Economic Policy.
Like my own commentary in the Edge roundtable on NEP held November last year, Nazir believed that the multiracial society of Malaysia will need the NEP “for a long time to supplement conventional economic instruments to achieve growth with equity”. This is because a capitalist system will inevitably create a disparity of wealth and access to opportunities for different classes people in a society. The rich will get richer and the poor get poorer.
Nazir wrote “But I also believe that a through review of the NEP and its implementation has become critical” in the most recent issue of financial weekly The Edge under a special focus on ‘How to make Malaysia competitive’.
On the financial market, Nazir commented “In our little corner, in the capital markets, for instance, if we have moved to free pricing for IPOs (initial public offerings), how dangerous is that we insist that bumiputeras have preferential allocation?” said Nazir.
"Potential issuers today are being courted by exchanges throughout the world; in its present form, the NEP discourages companies from listing on Bursa Malaysia; how helpful is that to the country or indeed the bumiputera community?” he asked.
Nazir is right about the need to restructure the NEP. This is the reality of globalisation and global competition. Morover the world does not owe us a living. If you are a bumiputera and wants to establish yourself at the world's stage, you will have to work as hard as another non-bumiputera to make it. The others out there are not going to give you an advantage, a privilege or a special pass to get through the gate.
Ask Zaid Ibrahim, the present Kota Bahru MP, about competitiveness and he will tell you the same thing.
The Malay community must wake up. NEP being used and interpreted as its form now by some politicians is akin to opium that weakens the Chinese in the 19th century. It will weaken your spirit, will power and desire to excel.
The survival of the Malays is dependent on the restructuring of the NEP and the removal of the clutches.