Ibrahim Ali wants NEP continued despite abuse

(The Malaysian Insider) – Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali has admitted that the pro-Bumiputera New Economic Policy (NEP) has been abused but pushed for its continuation, saying the government should be stricter in the future implementation of the policy.

The Pasir Mas MP also repeated his call for the private sector to play a greater role in ensuring the success of what he called the Bumiputera agenda.

“Since independence, for the past 50 years, the government has been introducing several measures including the New Economic Policy as an initiative to balance out the economy with an affirmative action policy and the introduction of quotas as a strategy,” said Ibrahim (picture) in a speech at a gathering over the weekend on the future of the Malays which was published in full by Utusan Malaysia today.

“The policies may not be perfect because of leakages in implementation, but the success has been significant. But those policies must be strengthened, expanded, made to be more efficient and be diversified to address various future challenges,” the independent MP added.

The NEP was introduced in 1970 to restructure society by giving economic privileges to the Bumiputeras to enable them catch up with the other communities.

Critics of the policy, however, claimed that the NEP has been subjected to abuse benefitting only Bumiputera businesses with ties to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had previously announced his administration’s proposal to replace the NEP with a needs-based affirmative action policy through the New Economic Model (NEM).

In 2009, Najib did away with regulations requiring a 30 per cent Bumiputera stake in 27 service and financial sub-sectors, and limited the purview of the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) that oversees Bumiputera equity.

Last week, Najib however launched a new unit called Teraju which will lead, co-ordinate and drive Bumiputera economic participation, a move which was described by his critics as backtracking from his pledge to reform the economy.