Tun Dr Ismail’s reminder ignored, says Raja Nazrin

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: No one will oppose the New Economic Policy if it was implemented according to the original plan, which neither enriches nor marginalises any group.

Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said if the spirit of the NEP as drawn up by its architects the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, had prevailed, no particular group would feel it was losing out or being deprived of its rights.

Speaking at the close of the 3rd Islamic Economic Congress here yesterday, Raja Nazrin said the NEP was formulated with the objective of restructuring society to even out the economic disparity between different races.

"Today, the NEP, which is fundamentally good and genuine, is criticised, with calls to bury it all due to the slip-ups at its implementation."

He said criticisms against the NEP had stemmed from the Malay community having ignored Dr Ismail's recommendations at the close of the 2nd Islamic Economic Congress.

"Tun Dr Ismail's reminder that beneficiaries of special rights (under the NEP) be modest and closely adhere to regulations in upholding the dignity of the community and Islam, was buried with him after his death in 1973.

"In ignoring that valuable reminder, the community has brought about this catastrophe (in relation to the NEP) upon its race and religion."

Raja Nazrin said whatever resolutions drawn up at the present congress could only be implemented if the community comes together in the interest of safeguarding its honour and the country's dignity.

It would also reflect on whether the Malay community was still too dependent on government assistance or was becoming strong enough to stand on its own.

"If the government's role is important to the community, then it is important that there is a strong and stable government.

"The government should also possess a background of high understanding and sympathy towards the community to ensure its continued progress."

Raja Nazrin also spoke on the importance of maintaining records of proceedings and resolutions of the Islamic Economic Congress and Bumiputra Economic Congress.