PUTRAJAYA, Oct 29 (Bernama) — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said elements of the New Economic Policy (NEP) would not be abolished at this time but liberalisation would be undertaken in stages.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said although the NEP had been replaced with the National Development Policy and now the National Mission, there were provisions in the two policies which still mirrored the NEP spirit, such as the quota allocations and certain considerations which are still practised in order to achieve a fair distribution of wealth.
“When I spoke (about the NEP) in an interview with Bloomberg recently, I did not mean that everything in the NEP would be abolished now.
“I said that when the Malays and Bumiputeras have attained success and the confidence to compete at the domestic and global levels, then they would no longer need quotas or special considerations,” he told reporters at an Aidilfitri do hosted by the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.
Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and chamber president Syed Ali Alattas.
Najib, when interviewed by Bloomberg TV’s ‘Voices’ programme, had said he was confident that elements of the NEP which ended in 1990 and replaced with the National Development Policy in 1991, could be removed in stages.
He said it (abolishment) was not something that should be done in haste but the changes to take place required consensus.
To achieve consensus, the matter must be discussed indepth before it is abolished or undergo a major change.
“What I mean is gradual liberalisation, not saying that tomorrow we will do away with every single provision.
“This concept of gradual liberalisation…I think it is something that can be accepted by everyone,” he said.
Earlier, in his speech, Najib did not deny that there were Malay entrepreneurs who had the confidence to compete and succeed at the global level.
“I reiterate that the NEP elements would be replaced by the process of liberalisation in a gradual manner or in stages, and not overnight.
“I understand that this has caused concern, especially among the Malays,” he said.
Najib said the liberalisation he meant would use a formula that would not burden Malay entrepreneurs and would be based on the principle of fairness for all groups.
“We will take the views of all quarters so that whatever we implement will be accepted by the people.
“As I had said before, we will be fair to all, we will not take away or deny the rights of the other communities.”
Najib said he would also ensure that nobody would deny the Malays their rights.
“I will continue to champion the Malay agenda. Let there be no one, whether in or outside this convention hall, question this,” he continued.
Najib also said that he would be announcing several government measures to overcome the effects of the global economic crisis in his speech in Parliament on Nov 4, as well as the real economic problems of the Malay and other Bumiputera entrepreneurs that could worsen due to the crisis.
“They are vulnerable and may have to fold up their business. We want to avoid this,” he said.
Source : Bernama