I know I said I won’t blog during the World Cup but when the 10MP was announced, I can’t resist the temptation to write a few words…
On page 04 of the Sun’s June 11 2010, the titled screamed “Inclusive socio-economic growth”, and the box on the right entitled “Policy Instruments – Before and After " listed among many, the following:
“Promoting bumiputra representation in high paying jobs through supply-side and market-friendly demand side measure”
For Unit Trust Schemes, “Expansion of this successful concept to other types of wealth”, e.g. Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputra.
I can understand UMNO dominated and led administration’s need to preserve and consolidate their power base through rewarding and retaining their power base but at least just be honest about the semantics. Perkasa has clearly made an impression with Najib and NEAC, with individuals of great intellect and acumen and experience as author of NEM, might have been maneuvered to play second fiddle in the back scene. Ironically NEM's 200 ++ pager calls for political courage and will to make real change.
Page 1’s column “10MP highlights” summarized the above as “measurement of bumiputra participation in economy will include financial and non-financial assets, such as real estate and business premises as well as professional employment”
- Since when professionals need government assistance? Professionals are called professionals because they should be able to manage on their own like any hawkers, small time business proprietor, taxi driver etc.
The above contradicts another salient point of 10MP – attracting the 700,000 capable Malaysians overseas to return. This is not a new initiative and has not been successful previously. No root cause analysis has been done or at least findings disclosed to the public. Many capable Malaysians have left for overseas exactly because of what other countries would call discrimination or restriction of trade (which I accept as a practical and necessary social re-engineering to a certain extent).
This will throw up serious management and implementation issues…on 1 hand Malaysia needs to attract ambitious, capable, worldly, demanding, fast pace individuals but these returning Malaysians may find the positions or ambition they are aiming for are subject to direct competition from other individuals having the backing of the federal government on the basis of race qualification.
Go ask these individuals who have won competition overseas base on capability, know how, track record, experience and achievement to stomach this and their answers may be a wee bit interesting.
Najib administration has taken a step forward by removing 30% bumiputra quota requirement on 27 sector in 2009, and now 10MP openly states that 30% bumi equity target remains so do the 27 sectors revert back to its old self or other sectors have to make up for the “lost numbers” in that 27 sectors?
I remember Rafidah Aziz once commented that bumiputras are quick to sell off their allocation to have immediate capital gain and perhaps BN administration should consider implementing a restriction of sales of bumi allocations by bumiputra to bumiputra only, just like the concept of Malay reserve land, so that the allocation to bumi remains with bumi as NEP wanted bumis to hold 30% shares, not cash. Otherwise, NEP will become Never Ending Programme if there are unarrested leakages.
(Yes, I imagine professionals in financial markets calling me names now but hey, you guys can think of something better?)
This restriction should not be imposed on bumi shares acquired in open market though.
It was also critical for MCA President to show results to the Chinese community and it is interesting to read from Sin Chew Jit Poh that RM100 million from Bank Simpanan Nasional shall be given as soft loan to pay land premium and finance renewals of leasehold land.
I wonder how much land premium the respective state or federal government earn to the extent that Chinese new village dwellers have to borrow money to pay for the land they dwell on. Pakatan’s Perak state government seemed to operate a less costly model for these dwellers if I remember correctly. For all MCA’s power as the second major component of Barisan Nasional coalition, this accomplishment in “fighting for Chinese” compares unfavourably to Nizar’s infant and robbed administration.
While Najib talks about 52 high impact projects worth RM63 billion and also “market base acquisitions by institutional investors like PNB and Ekuinas”, missing is any concerted action on reducing operating expenditure, national debt and moving towards open tendering system. NEM talks about reducing government participation and letting private sector to drive economic growth so what sort of “institutional acquisitions” and resultant CIMB-led debt raising exercise are we talking now?
An inclusive thrust in 10MP? Reads more like centralization of development and projects to Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar Malaysia only.
Most of the development work seems to be in Kuala Lumpur like the Sungai Besi airport project, with Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, Malaysia Truly Asia Tourism Centre (the Tourism Ministry fund usage has attracted discussion whether it was under Azalina or Ng Yen Yen’s watch) or rail transit in KL.
One wonders how this benefits majority of Malaysians accross the nation. Mega projects do not have immediate, direct and far fetch in terms of sharing the wealth of nation. Certainly the contractors would be the first to benefit, then some Indonesian construction workers and hardware suppliers as well. .
What is there for other parts of Malaysia? Families in Malaysia are torn apart by the younger generations’ need and desire to work in Kuala Lumpur (or even overseas) and abandoning their respective hometowns like Alor Setar, Ipoh, Seremban etc and the associated travelling problems during festive seasons.
There are a great number of old lonely folks across Malaysia who lost close company of their young ones due to lack of competitive and fulfilling employment and business opportunity across the country (note we have universities and polytechnics all over the country though), at the same time resulting in congestion and overburdening of land and unequally social and economic development across Peninsular and Borneo subcontinent. In the end, so many warm and wonderful homes across Malaysia that once hosted happy wholesome families and childhood memories ended up as a quiet old folks home or vacant.
And I wonder why most of the MPs across Malaysia did not sound off against this centralization and concentration of development focus at the expense of their own constituencies.