DPM: Govt to protect Bumiputeras’ interest

(BERNAMA) – Assisting and safeguarding the interest and welfare of the Bumiputera remains the main agenda of leaders and the government today, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said

“So, the Bumiputera need not worry if the word Bumiputera is not used or repeated numerous times when implementing policies or the New Economic Policy,” he said when closing the two-day convention “Empowering the New Economic Model: A Bumiputera Economic Jihad”, organised by the Gagasan Badan Ekonomi Melayu (GABEM) at Universiti Teknologi Mara, here Saturday, Aug 20.

Muhyiddin said that though the interest and welfare of all races would be taken into consideration when implementing the country’s economic development policy, the interest of the Malays and Bumiputera would not be denied or forgotten.

“I myself am not be willing to see a situation whereby no efforts are made to help or assist the needs of the Malays, as long as they are needed,” said Muhyiddin when commenting on recent speculation and perception by some that the leaders and government was not giving importance to Bumiputera.

He added that was a group of Malays who want to distance themselves from Barisan Nasional (BN) as if “We are not championing their rights and interest.”

“There is also perception that Bumiputera are not given priority or importance in the awarding of contracts and the worth of such contracts were not lucrative enough.

“This included the awarding of projects under the Government Transformation Programme since questions were raised by some,” he said.

Muhyiddin said maybe capable Bumiputera companies can compete among themselves and be selected to participate in the government transformation projects through the tender system based on meritocracy or qualification.

He said the government was serious in assisting Bumiputera entrepreneurs, and the Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (Teraju) was formed to assist Bumiputera to play an active role in the corporate sector.

“The role and main objective of Teraju is critical to lead, coordinate and drive Bumiputera transformation and participation in the economy to reduce the economic gap that exists between Bumiputeras and other races.

“Within a year Teraju had identified 1,100 potential Bumiputera companies that has the potential to be listed in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange,” he said.

Muhyiddin said he had also received 25 resolutions proposed during the convention, to be submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

25 resolutions to empower Bumiputeras 

The functions of Gagasan Badan Ekonomi Melayu (Gabem) as the driver and monitor of Bumiputera economic performance is to be continued and further enforced — this was among the 25 resolutions taken at the the New Economic Model (NEM): Bumiputera Economic Jihad Convention held here Saturday, Aug 20.

The two-day convention jointly organised by Gabem and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), had become a platform for Bumiputera to discuss economic issues and opportunities in the implementation of the government’s NEM and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin who officiated the closing ceremony of the event said that the list of resolutions covered just about all the important issues for the future of Bumiputera economy.

“I am confident and believe that the Bumiputera economic community present at this convention had taken an active role in giving their views, advice and positive input to produce the best of resolutions towards the entrepreneurial development and economic progress of Bumiputera,” he said.

Gabem’s Chairman, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik, who had presented the resolutons said Gabem will be the main channel for the coordination, development and guidance for all Bumiputera or Malay economic bodies and entrepreneurs.

“To carry out its functions effectively, a credible research and development mechanism will be established under Gabem,” he added.

Rahim said Teraju will also be ensured of implementing with immediacy all programmes planned to achieve the agenda of helping Bumiputeras.

In terms of administration, Rahim said there was a need to position a Teraju representative in each state to ensure smooth operations, especially for the small and medium sized enterprises.

Among others, also covered in the resolutions was the need to see a significant transformation for government linked companies together with Teraju in the efforts to help the Malays and Bumiputera.

“GLC also should have procedures in tenders where it can ensure that Malay companies also get reasonable opportunities,” he said.

He said GLCs should also avoid competing with existing Malay and Bumiputera companies, and instead venture into overseas markets.