Political elite exploiting pro-Bumi policies, says economist
Robin Augustin -August 6, 2020 9:15 AM
PETALING JAYA: An economist has blamed the country’s political elite for the alleged failure of policies meant to raise the economic status of Bumiputeras.
Speaking to FMT, Barjoyai Bardai of Universiti Tun Abdul Razak said Malay politicians in power had been exploiting the affirmative action policies for political support and sometimes for their own financial gain.
He did not elaborate, except to say that this was why large numbers of Bumiputera businesses were still struggling.
Barjoyai was commenting on PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s call for a study to find out why Bumiputeras are still struggling despite their privileges.
In a statement yesterday, Anwar said pro-Bumiputera policies would continue to fail if they did not help those “truly in need”.
Barjoyai said the government should learn from mistakes made in the implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP) by strengthening the institutions that are supposed to help in the achievement of policy objectives.
He said Bumiputera institutions must not be allowed to sell off contracts awarded to them.
“If you resort to Ali Baba arrangements, you are running an institution as a business rather than a body to help build capacity,” he said.
Barjoyai also said affirmative action should be based on need rather than race, adding that Bumiputeras, whom he described as the people most in need as a group, would still be the main beneficiaries.
“It does not make sense for those who are rich to benefit from affirmative action as they will be denying opportunities to others, including members of their own race,” he added.