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Beyond the entrapment of racial narrative: No sincerity in Bumiputera economy empowerment

Publish date: Tue, 05 Mar 2024, 12:24 PM

SHOULDN’T there be a prominent commission of inquiry established to objectively assess the success and failures of the government’s empowerment of the Bumiputera ethnic community?

In the past and the present, no government was willing to admit that policies to strengthen the economic resilience of the Bumiputera community might not have borne fruits.

Admitting the failure of government policies will be tantamount to saying that government policies have failed the Malays.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim might have been critical of the New Economic Policy (NEP) when he was in the opposition.

However, since he is head of the government today, he is unwilling to take the political risk of admitting the failure of government policies in uplifting the Bumiputera community.

In the past, it is a common knowledge that those benefitted from government policies and programmes were the political and administrative elite. Benefits by-passed the rank-and-file Bumiputera community.

The non-Malays were completely ignored in the struggle for Malay rights. The fact that the rights of the non-Malays were completely ignored was never an issue with the political elite.

It was as though the non-Malays had no choice but to put up with narrative of the special rights of the Bumiputera.

No genuine intention

The pressure was so high on the non-Malay political elites to succumb to the dictates of the Bumiputera or Malay hegemonic elites. This was how the non-Malay elites were tamed in the MCA and MIC.

This is precisely what is happening to DAP which was once dubbed champion of the non-Malays particularly the Chinese.

Class antagonisms were mitigated due to the presence of the non-Malays, particularly their economic success was politically interpreted as against the Bumiputera.

It was the racial and religious narrative that allowed the government to continue its pro-Bumiputera policies uninterrupted despite the fact that these had no intended effect.

The Madani government despite its boast of being different to the earlier governments is fundamentally the same. Under Anwar’s leadership, the government lacks the basic honesty to confront the elephant in the room.

After the recent Bumiputera Economic Congress 2024 (BEC 2024), the government announces financial allocations to assist the Bumiputera community. Such financial allocations were no different from the past allocations although the political rhetoric might have differed.

Given the stark fact of lack of Malay support, Anwar or the government is not willing to gamble with the existing Malay support.

Just a show

Questions like whether the Bumiputera community holistically benefitted from government policies, who were the real beneficiaries and how to rectify past mistakes were all pushed to the background.

In more fundamental sense, what are the effects of government policies on the non-Malays who are citizens of the country? Are the legitimate interests and concerns of the non-Malays factored into government policies and programmes?

It is clear that Anwar for all his talk of inclusiveness and critical assessment of pro-Bumiputera policies lacks the vision and leadership to push for policies and measures that will take account of the welfare and well-being of the country.

What has happened to his earlier frequent sayings that Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazan and Iban are his children? Malaysians hear less of these nowadays as political realities catch up with him and his political ruling coalition.

I don’t think Anwar or any other leader of the country would be able to transcend the imagined realities of race and religion. The temptation to stay in power is too seductive to think of out of the box of these twin considerations.

Race and religion are not immutable categories that have the same meaning and purpose over a period of time. The tragedy of this country is the abysmal failure on the part of the political elites not to transcend these concepts without minimising the democratic considerations. - March 5, 2024

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The bumis are purposely kept poor so that the elites can get richer at expense of the poor

1 month ago


The reality is, Malaysia lacks any good leadership.
The future is bleak.
UMNO have created bigots as next generation leaders.
The current leaders are waiting to book permanent resting place in cemetery.
I see pitch dark cloud gathering over Malaysia.
We have a generation of lower than mediocre talents and leaders.
It will be a miracle if it can stay afloat pre NEP level.

1 month ago


Betrayal to the country: The All-Mlay Felda, everyone loses, all lost:

When musangs are assigned to jaga reban, this is the end results: The staggering losses incurred by Felda in 2022, amounting to RM1 billion, nearly double the losses from the previous year, highlight the consequences of entrusting unworthy individuals with leadership roles. The auditor-general's report sheds light on the mismanagement and poor decision-making that have plagued Felda, ultimately leading to dire financial outcomes.

Firstly, the significant increase in losses reflects a systemic failure within the organization's leadership structure. When individuals lacking the necessary expertise and integrity are placed in positions of power, they may make misguided decisions that jeopardize the financial health and stability of the institution. This lack of competent leadership fosters an environment ripe for mismanagement and financial missteps.

Secondly, the mounting debt owed to external institutions underscores the repercussions of allowing individuals unfit for their roles to oversee crucial financial matters. Incompetent leadership can result in reckless spending, unsustainable borrowing practices, and failure to implement effective debt management strategies. As a result, Felda finds itself burdened with substantial debt obligations, further exacerbating its financial woes and hindering its ability to operate efficiently.

Furthermore, the slight decrease in debt owed from the previous year offers little consolation in the face of continued financial mismanagement. While the reduction may signal attempts to address the issue, it falls short of addressing the root causes of Felda's financial distress. Without fundamental reforms and competent leadership at the helm, the organization remains vulnerable to further losses and indebtedness in the future.

In conclusion, the alarming losses and debt accumulation experienced by Felda in 2022 underscore the dire consequences of entrusting unworthy individuals with leadership responsibilities. To safeguard the financial stability and prosperity of institutions like Felda, it is imperative to appoint qualified and ethical leaders who possess the expertise and integrity necessary to make sound decisions and steer the organization towards success. Failure to do so only perpetuates a cycle of mismanagement, losses, and indebtedness, ultimately compromising the institution's ability to fulfill its mandate and serve its stakeholders effectively.

1 month ago

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