Tawfik Ismail’s father was Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.
In 1970, the NEP was introduced as a response to the May 13 riots that took place in 1969. The NEP aimed to implement affirmative actions in favour of the Bumiputera, with wealth distribution being its primary focus. Even though the NEP was officially terminated in 1990, it still influences the policies of the country.
Mahathir instilled ‘crutch mentality’ among Malays through NEP
By New Straits Times – March 18, 2023 @ 10:31am
KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad effectively utilised the New Economic Policy (NEP) to instil a belief among Malays that they would always require a crutch or support to compete with other groups.
A former member of parliament, Tawfik Ismail said this approach was used to keep the Malays dependent and unable to succeed independently.
He noted that the NEP was originally designed by Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and (Tawfik’s father, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman) to provide temporary assistance to the Malays and not to create a long-term reliance.
Tawfik, when speaking to a news portal today, used an analogy of a golf handicap to explain about how the NEP was aimed at inspiring the Malays to work harder and improve their abilities.
He said the NEP’s ultimate goal was to allow the Malays to demonstrate better proficiency and skills.
“Dr Mahathir saw the Malays as being handicapped, in what the Malays call ‘cacat’ or disability, requiring lifelong crutches to get by. Also he isn’t a sportsman, and doesn’t know that winning and losing are part of the game of life, and hence he was a sore loser in the game of politics,” he said.
Tawfik is a former Umno member and was MP for Sungai Benut from 1986-1990. He also co-founded the Gerak Independent electoral reform group in 2019, which seeks to be a third force in elections.
He asserted that the main reason why Malays today think they cannot succeed without assistance is due to Dr Mahathir’s successful “indoctrination of dependence.”
“This is why the Malays have this ‘crutch’ mentality. Instead of competing and trying to get on an equal playing field, they are in fact being hobbled, which I think is the end result of Mahathirism.”