Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Will NEM Fail Like NEP?

Judging by the targets set by the Government itself, that is to achieve 30% bumiputera equity, the New Economic Policy (NEP) has been proven to be a complete failure over the past 20 years as according to government data, bumiputera equity ownership has remained at 19.4% in 2006 compared to 19.2% 20 years ago in 1990, after hitting a peak of 20.6% in 1995.

The recent Government Transformation Programme (GTP) document has quoted and concurred with Tun Musa Hitam where he asked whether “our redistributive economic policies are indeed holding us back competitively... Race-based economic policies do not sit well with the realities of globalisation and free trade.”

In addition, the GTP Roadmap specifically highlighted the fact that

  • “another outcome of the NEP was a sense of deprivation, discrimination and even resentment felt by the non-Bumiputeras...”
  • “there has also been a widening of the income gap within the Bumiputera community, leading to rising discontent...”
  • “these factors have pushed many Malaysians, especially professionals, to work and reside overseas, in economically more advanced countries with attractive pull factors... there are signs that this brain drain has become increasingly serious.”

The above are clear admissions by the Government that despite the initial success of the policy during the 1970s and 1980s, the NEP has failed over the past 20 years, and hence there is an absolute need for a “New Economic Model” (NEM) as proposed by Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

Pakatan Rakyat and DAP has been consistent is seeking a new economic agenda which is founded on merit and competition, supported by affirmative action based on needs and not race, and we are pleased that at least on paper, the Government is finally coming around to these principles.

However, the perpetual delays in the proposed NEM since the end of last year has raised serious concerns that the policy will really become a transformative economic policy which will raise Malaysia out of the doldrums.

Over the past few months we are seeing increasing pressures from race-based vested interest parties such as Perkasa and Malay NGO Consultative council which has caused the Government to waver in its original goals of the NEM. In fact, Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir specifically pointed out that the NEM “would have the spirit of the New Economic Policy” earlier this month while many other Ministers have issued vague and conflicting statements on NEM causing further confusion.

We would like to reemphasize the fact that with an economic policy founded on merit and competition, supported by affirmative action based on needs and not race, is the best policy not only to revive Malaysia's economic fortunes, but also to uplift the plight of the poor of whom the majority are bumiputeras. We believe that any affirmative action policies based on race, such as the NEP will only result in the wealthy and more influential of that particular community benefiting from such policies, while the vast majority of the community would not benefit proportionally as proven by NEP's failure over the past 20 years.

Hence, we would like to call upon the Prime Minister to not allow his landmark NEM to become derailed into meaningless oblivion by becoming in essence the extension of the NEP, an fate suffered by the 2 previous policy replacements to the NEP, the National Development Plan (NDP) in 1991 and the National Vision Policy (NVP) in 2001.


Anonymous said...

The result of NEP was forseen. It was not the worst prediction but all the negatives that is seen now - the corruption, the stagnation, the waste, racial relations was predicted before the policy was implemented.

It was NEVER going to succeed according to plan. Even those who fought for it knew it was going to fail. They fought for it because of what they could get out of it, whether it succeeded or not did not matter.

Truth be told, the NEP lost its justification 20 years ago. Its only for political reason it was not ended, not a matter of social or economic policy.

There is no way to do NEM and NEP at the same time. Its simple as that. Race has got to be removed from the equation. There is no choice in the matter. Keeping the race component is going down together - simple as that.

homeless said...

it is the government that says bumi owns 19% of the pie, can we believe them?

Probably the share is more than 19% by now, it has been like that for many year, i have a feeling the gov is not telling the truth, coz if the total share is almost 30%, then they don't have any good reason to continue these sort of policy anymore.

lies, damned lies and statics.

Joshua said...

It amazes me how a relatively harmonious country like Malaysia in the 1970s could become a fractious and racially divided country that it is today. I think the main cause is not the constitution but the NEP.

UMNO’s supporters will reply: it was the newly implemented NEP that provided the balance to the rich-poor gap and it was the key to the racial harmony of the 70s. However, short-term results can/should never justify a bad policy.

Just take a good look today, the long-term effects of that bad policy have come to roost: the rich-poor gap are not distinguished by race as there are as many poor middle class Malays as there are as many Chinese and Indians who were not beneficiaries of crony capitalism and corruption money. Stagnant productivity, auto industry protectionism and domestic oligopolies have caused a slump in foreign direct investments.

More troubling is the recent tendency of politicians to divide society based on the need for religious fidelity, i.e. being more Islamic at the expense of women, other races, etc.

As I said since the political tsunami of 2008, only a true and sincere national repentance on the part of every Malaysian can save this country from the perfect storm that it is hurtling to.

Alternatively, we need great leadership similar to Nelson Mandela's or Ghandi's to steer the country and unite it against all odds. I recommend all Malaysians to watch Invictus to see how a country turns away from hate and racial disunity into forgiveness and renewed hope for the future.

Anonymous said...

Hello Tony,
NEM! NEP! NDP! NVP!etc.etc.cannot work one lah.Don't be so naive.With all the half past six ministers and top senior civil servants,do you seriously think or even ponder that the execution will be there? Corruption is still not discounted yet!

Anonymous said...

Dont you think that anything that starts with N always fail? NEP, NDP. etc.

Jayenjr said...

Of course, the NEM will fail. I don't need to be Nostradamus to predict that. And I'm not saying this just because it is an UMNO driven program. I'm saying this because as long as the big C - Corruption- has not been dealt with effectively, then no amount of paperwork/KPI/NKRA/Permata/ APCO image enhancements/tea with Facebook fans, is going to ever achieve reform. The key thing here is, UMNO is not interested in real reform. That, is the main thing. Not some window dressing program.

Anonymous said...

Whether it is NEP, NEM,NUT, CAT, DOG or POT, these guys at the top heirachy do not have a single clue on the effective method to implement them. You have somebody like Mukhriz who was a disgusting failure in his previous top management in MISC which floundered and had to be salvaged by Petronas (by his old man)and he has the decency now to comment about NEM. What a joke!

The simple fact that this country is run by half baked so called 'professionals' is a total mockery. The intellectuals have led for greener pastures left with the mediocre mob. After more than two decades they are still talking about the lack of bumiputra equity. Whose fault it is?

As long as the bumis depend on such handouts by the masters, they will never prosper, because it is not earned by hard work or relentless toil. No sweat, no pain lah! They should be marched into the open field of transparency, merit, excellence and learn to survive the hard way with pride.

By the way who are the lucky Bumis who form the 19% equity? The answer is clear enough for all to see.