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Thread: Can We Trust UMNO? The NEP has morphed into a Never Ending Policy

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    Can We Trust UMNO? The NEP has morphed into a Never Ending Policy

    Now they blame it on the Chinese and the Indians.


    The Chinese and Indians screwed up


    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Tuesday, 19 March 2013 Super Admin





    There is some chatter going on in the Internet regarding the New Economic Policy (NEP) so I thought that maybe I would address this issue. Some readers, however, have said they are incapable of reading my 3-4-page articles. Some say they only read the titles and then start posting comments based on the title. For the sake of these people who want to read brief articles, today I shall try to be as brief as possible.

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    In 1981, Tun (then Dato' Seri) Dr Mahathir Mohamad took over as Malaysia’s Fourth Prime Minister.

    Soon after he took office he invited members of the Malay and Chinese Chambers of Commerce for dinner at the Equatorial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. He then placed five Malays and five Chinese at each table for ten and made us all sit alternate to one another.

    Dr Mahathir then told the Malays that the NEP had run for more than 11 years and had less than nine years to go before it ended. And, as promised, it will end in 1990 because it is not fair to the non-Malays to extend it beyond 20 years. Hence the Malays need to be prepared to face this day.

    Dr Mahathir also told the Chinese that they would need to work with the Malays and help them achieve the aspirations of the NEP so that the government can end the NEP in 1990 as planned. If the NEP ended far short of the target, then this might create a lot of dissatisfaction, which is not good for the stability of the country when one race harbours a grudge against another.

    In 1991, Dr Mahathir proposed that the Third Bumiputera Economic Congress be held at the PWTC where the various races, political parties from both Barisan Nasional and the Opposition, Malay-Chinese-Indian Chambers of Commerce, associations, societies, movements, NGOs, etc., could sit down for three days to discuss the ending of the NEP and how the government should face the post-NEP era and address the various short-comings in the social reengineering experiment of 1970-1990.

    (SEE MORE HERE: http://www.pmo.gov.my/ucapan/?m=p&p=mahathir&id=210)

    At this Congress, which was held in January 1992, the audience was shocked by the public quarrel between Anwar Ibrahim, the then Finance Minister, and Rafidah Aziz, the Trade and Industry Minister. These two Ministers plus the other members of the Cabinet could not agree on a common policy.

    The non-Malay members of the Congress, in particular the Chinese and Indians, did not put forward any proposals and attended the session merely as silent observers. They just listened to what the Malay participants had to say without contributing any ideas.
    Eventually, the Congress ended without any concrete proposals other than the 20-point Memorandum from the Malay Chamber of Commerce (which Raja Petra Kamarudin presented to Tan Sri Sanusi Junid), which the government accepted as merely an Addendum to the main Resolution from the Congress proper, which was that the Congress left it to the government to resolve the issue of what to do in the post-NEP era.

    For all intents and purposes, the Congress failed because the Cabinet Ministers, the non-Malay participants, the members of the Opposition parties, and the Chinese and Indian Chambers of Commerce, did not contribute any ideas and proposals that the government could consider and adopt as Malaysia’s new policy post-NEP.
    py

  2. #2
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    Conjecture, imagination and suspicion

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Wednesday, 20 March 2013 Super Admin



    Long before 1970, the Chinese, led by Siew Nim Chee, the economic adviser to Lim Goh Tong, approached the Finance Minister, Tan Siew Sin, to propose a sort of economic policy to help the Malays. The Chinese realised that sooner or later there would be turmoil in the country if the economic imbalance between the Chinese and the Malays were not addressed.
    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Yesterday’s article, The Chinese and Indians screwed up, was a good experiment in readers’ mentality, comprehension skills, and IQ level.

    Firstly, I cut my normal 3-4-page article to just one page in response to some readers who complain that they cannot understand long articles. If they feel that a 3-4-page essay is too long to understand, imagine what they would say if I wrote a 200-page thesis. This thesis would probably be lost on most of them.

    Apparently, even if the article is a short one-page article they still do not understand what I am saying, as most of the 146 comments have proven. Hence it is not the length of my articles that is at fault but the brain of the readers that is to be blamed. Short article or long article, they still do not understand what they read.

    Secondly, yesterday’s article was in response to the whining, moaning, bitching, grumbling, lamenting and complaining regarding the New Economic Policy (NEP). When I revealed what happened in 1982 and then what happened again in 1992, most readers were caught off-guard. They were not aware about the 1982 and 1992 episodes. However, not wanting to admit their ignorance, they started posting comments that were way off the mark.

    And most of these comments were not based on facts or eyewitness accounts but were based on conjecture, assumptions, guessing and speculation. I was there in 1982 and 1992 and was involved with what happened. Those who posted comments were not, but they still posted comments as if they knew what happened for a fact.

    Thirdly, everyone assumes that the failure of the NEP was solely and entirely the fault of Umno and the Malays. Now that I reveal that the Chinese and Indians had been given an opportunity to correct the faults in the NEP and even end it and replace it with something else, but they did not do so, the readers deviate from the issue and raise all sorts of lame excuses such as the fear of Operasi Lalang, about Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad being a dictator, that even if the Chinese and Indians speak up no one would listen, and so on.

    Let me tell you something else that most of you are probably not aware of.

    Long before 1970, the Chinese leaders, led by Siew Nim Chee, the economic adviser to Lim Goh Tong, approached the Finance Minister, Tan Siew Sin, to propose a sort of economic policy to help the Malays. The Chinese realised that sooner or later there would be turmoil in the country if the economic imbalance between the Chinese and the Malays were not addressed.
    Siew Sin, however, did not take up the idea and when May 13 erupted in 1969, those Chinese who were in the know and who had tried to do something actually blamed Siew Sin for the race riots.

    That’s right, while you blame Umno and Tun Razak Hussein for May 13, the Chinese who had attempted to avoid such a thing as May 13 blamed Siew Sin for not listening and for not doing what the Chinese had proposed.
    Ironical, don’t you think so?

    When Dr Mahathir took over as Prime Minister, he tried to get the Chinese to ‘take over’ the job of reducing the economic imbalance between the Malays and the Chinese so that the government could end the NEP in 1990. The Chinese, however, thought that this is not their job to nurture the Malays. Let the government worry about the Malays. Why should the Chinese worry about it?

    The Bumiputera share of the ‘corporate pie’ in 1970 before the implementation of the NEP was just 1%. Hence the target was set at 30% although the Bumiputera population was 60%. By the time Dr Mahathir took over in 1981, the Bumiputera share had grown to 4% -- or 19% if you include the 15% share of the trust agencies and GLCs. By 1990, it still remained at the same level as in 1981. In short, it had stagnated mainly because of the economic slump of 1985-1987.

    The main question and bone of contention then was can the 15% share of the trust agencies and GLCs be added to the 4% personal share of the Bumiputeras considering that the trust agencies and GLCs belong to the government and therefore to the nation? For example, does Petronas belong to the country or to the Malays?

    That was one main disagreement between the Malays and the government. The government says that the Bumiputeras own 19% of the corporate pie while the Malays insist it was only 4% -- since what is owned by the nation does not belong to the Malays individually.

    Nevertheless, while the argument was about whether it is 4% or 19%, whatever the case may be it was still short of the 30% target.

    In 1991, the Malay Chamber of Commerce wanted to organise the Third Bumiputera Economic Congress to discuss the NEP. Dr Mahathir summoned the Committee to his office to inform us that the government will take over the organising of the Congress.
    I was in that delegation to the PM’s office and was appointed as the spokesman. I was told to protest the move by the government to ‘hijack’ the Congress. However, there were no two ways about it. The government will take over and there was to be no further discussion on the matter. Furthermore, we were told that the government was going to invite everyone to participate in the Congress.

    When we were told this we protested. I stood up to argue that how can we call it the Bumiputera Congress when the non-Malays were going to be part of the Congress and would decide on what the new post-NEP policy was going to look like? But Dr Mahathir’s decision was final. The government will be organising it and the non-Malays were going to be part of it. Accept that or the government will proceed without the involvement of the Malay Chamber of Commerce.

    We were mad as hell but could not do anything about it. Clearly the Malay Chamber had lost its monopoly on the NEP. The non-Malays were now going to have a say in what happens post-NEP. And that was when many of us in the Malay Chamber swung over to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s Semangat 46.

    Dr Mahathir and Umno had ‘abandoned’ the Malays and had opened up the new policy post-NEP to the non-Malays. This was a betrayal of the Malay cause; the way we saw it then. And Dr Mahathir was no longer regarded as the trustee of the Malays.
    Surprisingly, Dr Mahathir had ‘given the non-Malays a knife’ but they did not use it. Dr Mahathir was in the mood to end the NEP and replace it with something else. We did not know what that something else was going to look like but surely with the non-Malays having a say in what it was going to be could not be something favourable to the Malays.

    But the non-Malays did not pick up the knife offered to them. Dr Mahathir was clearly very angry. His response was that the government had given us the opportunity to sort this out amongst ourselves and since we had failed to do that then we have given the government no choice but to unilaterally decide what the new post-NEP policy was going to look like.

    In 1990, Barisan Nasional won only 53.4% of the votes and 70.55% of the Parliament seats (and lost Kelantan to PAS-Semangat 46).

    In 1992, the Third Bumiputera Economic Congress was held.
    In 1995, Barisan Nasional won 65.2% of the votes (the highest ever: even better than in the 'historical' 2004 general election) and 84.38% of the Parliament seats.

    The ‘message’ from the 1995 election result was that the people were happy. Hence I decided to leave the Malay Chamber of Commerce. It was futile to continue if the people were happy with the government and all our effort regarding what to do with the NEP, or post-NEP, had gone to waste.

    Now you know why I get very vocal and abrasive with people who shout and scream about the NEP. And don’t even try to give excuses as to why all this happened. I know what happened. I was there. You were not. And all your comments and views are based on conjecture, assumptions, guessing and speculation.
    py

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