Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Economic Policy Rhetoric

I'm kinda late blogging this issue, as the matter was discussed and a ruckus was created in Parliament last Thursday morning in Parliament. You would have read all about it here (Malaysiakini) or here (The Sun).

The question from REMBAU was:
...adakah kerajaan bercadang untuk mengubah polisi yang telah digubal berlandaskan semangat Dasar Ekonomi Baru, terutamanya yang menolong kaum bumiputera sejajar dengan desakan pembangkang untuk menolak dasar ini.
The replies from the Government, which has been asked numerous times on this issue in this session, of which written replies has been provided has been standard and rhetorical and does not at all address the issues at hand. To quote some of the standard replies provided, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Senator Datuk Amirsham A Aziz stated that:
DEB telah digubal pada awal 1970-an dengan matlamat utama iaitu untuk mencapai perpaduan nasional dan pembentukan negara melalui strategi serampang dua mata.

Pertama, pembasmian kemiskinan tanpa mengira kumpulan etnik dan kedua, penyusunan semula masyarakat bagi menghapuskan pengenalan etnik mengikut fungsi ekonomi. Semangat DEB kemudiannya telah diterapkan dalam dasar-dasar ekonomi selepasnya iaitu Dasar Pembangunan Nasional, Dasar Wawasan Negara dan Misi Nasional di bawah Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan bagi menangani masalah jurang sosial ekonomi antara dan di kalangan kumpulan etnik bandar dan luar bandar.
I won't quote the entire thing but you can read the rest of his "standard" reply here from the Hansard. The government has never responded to the issue that the problem and objection with the DEB doesn't really lie with the "noble" objectives but with its discriminatory practices and overzealous implementation.

Anyway, the whole episode got "politicised" when REMBAU asked in his supplementary question:
Ahli Yang Berhormat daripada bahagian yang juga Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang telah berikrar untuk menghapuskan Dasar Ekonomi Baru daripada pentadbiran Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang kerana DEB ini, “Breeds corruption, cronyism and systematic inefficiency”, dengan izin.

Saya hendak bertanya Yang Berhormat Menteri, adakah adil untuk Yang Berhormat
Bagan membuat rumusan umum seolah-olah rakyat yang mendapat faedah daripada DEB, yang miskin tidak kira kaum, berjuta-juta pelajar dan profesional bumiputera termasuk Yang Berhormat Menteri sendiri yang menjadi produk DEB, yang menjadi ketua pegawai eksekutif bank yang terbesar di Malaysia seolah-olah kita semua ini kroni dan kaki rasuah. Adakah ini kenyataan yang adil, Yang Berhormat Menteri? Adakah ini adil?
That was when the Minister started reading his 2-page prepared text which clearly demonstrated that the answer was prepared in advance, making a mockery of the parliamentary question time. There was obvious collusion between REMBAU and the Minister, to attack BAGAN on his statement to eliminate the corruption and cronyism associated with the New Economic Policy.

Datuk Amirsham started his reply with
...saya berpendapat kenyataan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang itu tidak tepat dan langsung tidak memahami objektif DEB... Kalau itu kesimpulan beliau tentang DEB, maka sesiapa sahaja yang mendapat bantuan melalui DEB sama ada dalam bentuk pinjaman, peluang pekerjaan, peluang perniagaan, biasiswa dan lain-lain itu adalah kroni dan kaki rasuah...
An answer like that from a so-called technocrat and professional Minister certainly deserves, in my opinion, the heckling from the opposition members he received subsequently. IPOH TIMUR rightly asked, "Panjangnya jawapan tambahan, siapa sediakan?" You can watch the video here.

I had stood to ask an additional supplementary question, but the opportunity went to BATU KAWAN [Prof Ramasamy]. I had wanted to ask the Minister:
Bukankah satu dasar yang memberikan tumpuan khusus kepada membantu golongan miskin jauh lebih berkesan membantu kaum bumiputera yang kurang berkeupayaan berbanding dengan DEB yang memberikan tumpuan mengikut bangsa, kerana ramai yang diberikan bantuan kerajaan bukannya golongan miskin kaum bumiputera, tetapi kaum UMNOputera yang telah kaya-raya, dan yang menerima manfaat yang lumayan sekali?
It's a question I hope to get the opportunity to ask one day in Parliament, as I would really like to hear the answer from the Ministers involved.


yapchongyee said...

I, on second thoughts, may have been out foxed by the wily and mighty Tun Mahatir. I think I must give Tun Mahatir more credit than I have does so far. I have to consider that he was shrewd enough to survive 22 years as President of UMNO so he must know moret than I give him credit for.

How about looking at the big picture, LIKE MAHATIR NOW SEE THE ERRORS OF HIS PREVIOUS LIFE AS PRESIDENT OF UMNO, and now would like to correct it for the good of Malaysia ? This is one way of looking at the issue. Therefore ask yourself the question, “IF I WERE MAHATIR WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORATNT THING THAT I HAVE TO DO TO PUT MALAYSIA ON THE WORLD MAP ? DO I WANT A MALAYSIA THAT IS DIVIDED & FOR EVER FIGHTING ONE FACTION AGAINST ANOTHER OR DO I WANT A MALAYSIA THAT IS UNITED AND PEACEFUL; with all the races living side by side and in harmony, like the Malaysia of the OLD DAYS when Malays, Indians & Chinese mixing as friends and neighbours ? I like to use a turn of phrase that Mahatir often uses to denigrate Australia; COLOUR BAR ! Is it good for Malaysia to have a system of COLOUR BAR ? I don’t think so but that is what Ketuaan Malayu means ! Therefore since Mahatir is so disapproving of COLOUR BAR, will he not want to do away with colour bar ?

Therefore looking at all these issues that Mahatir will not approve is it therefore not conceivable that Mahatir want to change these evils that dogs our society ? In the perpetration of all these evils WHAT IS IT THAT PERPETUATES THESE PROBLEMS ? It is in truth the perpetuation of the single problem THE PROBLEM OF WHAT REALLY DIVIDES THE PEOPLE & CITIZENS OF MALAYSIA; THE EXISTENCE OF THE IDEA OF KETUAAN MELAYU. Therefore for me to see this as a problem, what will make this evil cancer go away ? This cancer will only go away if those who lead UMNO will also go away and how to achgieve this, IS TO WEAKEN UMNO SO THAT THIS CANCER CANNOT FIND SUPPORT.

I believe this is the objective of Tun Mahatir in doing all he can and did to weaken UMNO. The Malaysian political scene today has destroyed the obvious dominance of UMNO. That is the truth on the ground whether the leadership of UMNO will accept it or not; Malay dominance is gone for good ! The rationale for this opinion is simple maths. Malays = 68%, Chinese = 24% (swinging voters) and Indians = 8% but Malay voters is divided into 2 camps that reduces their vote bank to 34%. No matter what the Malays do they will not be able to dilute the Chinese swing votes, because the Chinese do not trust MCA and rightly so. The Chinese must never ever trust MCA again because for 50 years MCA was in fact UMNO side kick, bloody Malay cock suckers !

lan said...

yeah,make sure u ask the question YB! its a good one

Bunda said...

Dear YB Pua,

I'm no economist, but any idiot can see or feel that the Malaysian economy is tanking. Whatever the reasons, the BN government is not looking into this issue seriously.

We are all living day-to-day on plain inertia. That will run out sooner or later. Yet, we have to bold strategies to bring us further in economic development.

The current focus is too much on populist policies like subsidies and infrastructure development. What we need are policies that encourage capacity building so that we can reap the future rewards of such capacity.

You were a former businessman, and I'm sure you understand the pulse, or the lack thereof, of the economy on the ground. People are suffering, with lack of quality jobs, crippling inflation, and a couldn't-care-less government.

Johnny Ong said...

hahaha tony, looks like they will have a prepared response again by the time u ask this question in parliament bcuz they cld be reading yr blog here

Jason ANG Kian You , 汪建佑 said...

From Dr M resignation to a nation Economy and politic problem......I worry Malaysia future

Dr M resignation will further weaken the Malaysia political stability, from the economic point of view, as a normal citizen we are worry about the current global problem like commodity price is raising , obviously the Oil is the main issue. USA have a sign of economic downturn already, this will be impact to Malaysia sooner or later. The former Deputy PM of Singapore Dr Tan had warned Singaporean to be get ready for the next economic turmoil.

Lets look into above matter added the instability of Malaysia political issue, would Malaysia will hit by both issue ? This is the worry, if both Economical and political issue hit our beloved Malaysia, are we strong enough like 1997 to solve the above both problem.

Today i just got some Singapore dollar from Singapore to exchange to Malaysia Ringgit, surprisingly SGD1 is equal to RM2.363. This should be the highest in this year.are this the sign of economy turmoil is coming?................

Further to this , the global natural disaster in Myanmar and china also further worsen the world economy. as a IT and Businessman , i have a feeling that the economy nightmare is coming............... be ready.........

Anonymous said...

The standard answer to the question is that the richest people in Malaysia is still not bumiputeras and there are still less than the number of non-bumis considering the population of the country..

Of course people like Zakaria Mat Deros, Daim Zainuddin, Muhiyiddin, Mat Taib, Najib does not declare their assets, the answer is pretty weak...

Anonymous said...

Tony, probably you'd drop the use of "UMNOputera" (which is emotionally said from you right?) or risk wasting half an hour over silly arguments from BN side and unnecessary so called Point of order requests. Then your question will never get to be answered too anyway.

Anonymous said...

Tony, thank you for continuing to highlight issues and asking hard questions to the current govt.

You're doing a fantastic job!