Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ali Baba Economy

Malaysia's New Economic Policy (NEP) fails the Malays and bumiputeras it sought to assist. And it fails all Malaysians who have a rightful stake in the wealth of the country.

Finally, the Government has come up with statistics which we have known for the past 2 decades or so. An overwhelming bulk of contracts granted under the NEP scheme to bumiputera contractors are subcontracted to other parties, particularly non-bumiputeras, “Ali Baba” style.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself admitted that an astounding average of 85.37 per cent of projects secured by Bumiputera contractors goes to the other communities.
...the prime minister said this not only foiled the government's desire to empower Bumiputera contractors but also, in a wider context, undermined the more important Bumiputera agenda to ensure the country achieved progress and stability in the long term.
What does the above statistics mean?

It means that the NEP has failed to improve the plight of the bumiputeras, particularly the poor bumiputeras in picking up competitive skills to improve their well-being in the longer term.

It means that the NEP only provides short term lucrative financial benefits to politically-connected bumiputeras, particularly UMNOputras and does nothing towards enhancing the skills and performance of bumiputeras in general.

It means that the country's precious government resources are not allocated efficiently due to non-competitive tenders and biddings. It allows the politically-connected to acquire contracts from the Government at much higher prices than the Government would have had to pay under competitive conditions.

It is clear that is the case, as otherwise, other contractors would not have willingly taken on the subcontracts at substantially lower prices, leaving the main contractors with lucrative “commissions” for doing very little. At the end of the day, the tax payers funds from every community – the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians are wastefully expended on the 'Ali Babas'.

It is high time to scrap the NEP which has clearly failed so many, and benefited so few of the population it was designed to assist, both bumiputeras and Malaysians.

We need ironically, a new economic policy which will focus on helping poor bumiputeras and poor Malaysians and helping them build wealth generating capabilities. The new plan should also serve as a foundation for national unity, not one of national segregation and disintegration which the current policy personifies.


Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,
I've read your ideas and comments through an interview from Malaysiakini. I can feel that your comments are genuinely honest and sincere ones. I hope you can contribute much in making our economy better for everyone, not only Malays, Chinese or Indian, but for all Malaysians. Good luck in politics!!

Trashed said...

This statistic really shows that in this business sector, the New Economic Policy has been harbouring inefficiencies.

It requires a structural change for the benefit of all Malaysians. If the non-bumi community can get the job done for lower cost, why are the taxpayers being burdened to pay the middlemen ?

Anonymous said...

What's there to debate about the NEP. You and I know it will be around for the next 10,000 years. Please tell me what's new.

Jimmy L. said...

The NEP has been repackaged with a new name, but still similar in spirit to the NEP. Have the Bumiputras perhaps become truly convinced of their own inferiority, or perhaps truly comforted by the embrace of easy money? Despite what I consider a proud moment for the Bumis to have ASLI giving the "passing grade", it has been denied by a party who has claimed to have fought for the rights of the Bumis. If it had happened to any other self-respecting race in this world, it would have them made a laughing stock and compared to an ostrich who could not even admit its own abilities.

The various races in Malaysia are as divided, or perhaps more divided than the time 'The Malay Dilemma' had been written. People of various races smile when they meet each other and even in economic transactions. Back in their private lives, friends of the other race are treated as being the different other. Political parties are still divided by racial ideologies.

Anonymous said...

In the ;Ali Baba' arrangement, its Baba doingthe work but Ali getting free money!
An ideal symbiosis of destruction!

Anonymous said...

The NEP is not just about a failed diguised affirmative action policy. It is also about campaign financing and the structure of our UMNO/BN political patronage system. UMNO/BN would not survive without the NEP.

A socio-economic solution that does not have a political one is doomed to failure. Its just not a realistic one.

zewt said...

the NEP is a powerful tool for those in power to stay in power, but i am sure you already know that. that's probably the only reason why it will never be scrapped.

we can cry and scream till the cow comes home... but scrapping NEP is too wishful a thinking.

Anonymous said...

If you have money raining from the sky, will you want to work for it?

The only fallacy is thinking that this NEP thingy can go for ever.

Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

First of all, Good Luck to you for joining the DAP.

Secondly,the DEB/NEP is a failure that only aims to enriched the cronies.It is NOT a hidden fact/s.
Only relatives and friends of the umnoputras will be able to secure contract/s from the DEB/ the rate of 85%?i am sure the rate should be at 90-94% of such contracts were sold to " lain-lain bangsa " by the bangsat Umnoputras.This is a clear case of the public or rates payer paying our hard earned money to such bangsats.Frankly speaking,if i knows how to make bombs.I will bomb the umno office today.

Anonymous said...

I just read Jocelin Tan article and don't get me wrong but the spin is pretty high. Are you sure you are not being set up for eventual dissapointment with comparison to KJ, and verbs like superstar etc?

How prepared are you for the viciousness of party and national politics?

Anonymous said...

If you go bangsar and damansara h, one can see equal numbers of malays and chinese owners,
but not the case in middle class neighborhood like USJ, KKmuning, D.Utama, B.Utama.

These clearly indicate that NEP has been abused and make rich quick many cronies and politicians, at the expense of mass rakyats benefit.

The establishment has clearly failed to provide safe living space, and quality education to the masses.
And I, definately, do not foresee improvement in near future,not even another 50 years, as there is no chance that political regime can be changed, even the middle-class cities voters initial change in coming elections, as city folks' vote in parliment system carry only a fraction weighting versus kampong folks, that are contented and not going to change.

The rule of election games has been manipulated, no longer a fair single person single vote weigting!

In short, this is not a bright place for future generations.

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Anonymous said...

Alamak, Mr Pua, why are you joining DAP? Why not join MCA? You can get fat contracts, ma.

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Meng said...

With PM Abdullah's admission of Ali Baba contractors it is no wonder the NEP has failed its objectives. There is really no way out and no soultion in sight as the political leaders require the patronage of these pseudo entrpreneurs and businessmen. Contracts will continue to be given out to them so that the BN can continue its existence.

Anonymous said...

To many non-NEP gifted tycoons, this is not a concern at all, as they just add-up the costing, like extra 30%, to satisfy these greed, and they all the ability and resources to make a move else, anytime.

While Middle-class folks in this land is the segment that has to pay the most price instead, as inefficiency divert the public resources. And middle classes have to resort to private education, private clinics, private transport etc. for reasonable life quality and services.

Bennyloh said...
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Bennyloh said...

Ali ba ba..

Anonymous said...

Tony, I find it "wasteful" that you decided to join a political party to pursue your personal socio-economic objectives. Why joined DAP when you can do it better on another platform devoid of political patronage?

Your Oxford credentials are enough to make heads turn when you talk about the social and economic malaise of Malaysians. You don't need a DAP platform to do it. Just take a look at Lee Lam Thye, who is doing well in promoting social harmony among Malaysians.

The fact of the matter is you, already a rich man by Malaysian standards, want POWER to complement your monetary prowess. Please don't deny this because you know that your current shortcoming is a lack of power to control people. And the DAP is a perfect platform!

Anonymous said...

And who is worried about this situation? Umnoputras? YTL? Berjaya? Lee Kim See? Tew Nai Nam?

Anonymous said...

In Singapore, instead of NEP, there is a agency, which is Mendaki, managed by the Malay or Islamic community within Singapore. The agency focuses more on Education and social problem of the community, and it was impressive when PM Lee shared that in their 25th aniversaries speeches.

Truly, the Malay community has benefitted when Singapore moved ahead, as about 93% of the married couple owned houses, and many of them have jobs, and willing to take own initiatives and put good emphasis in their children education, and if they can move up to university, it will be fully funded by Mendaki as part of the promise by Government.

NEP, and many policies in Malaysia is handout, if things are given free, there are fews that would treated it seriously, and therefore funds wasted.

I, truly believed that we should put serious effort, competing against others failry, and the best won the place. In that sense, the Mendaki has able to achieve that for Malay community in Singapore, where else, we see more hand out in UMNO, where only people connected to this group is benefitted.