PM: Break away from Bumi quotas

(Bernama) Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak said today that there was a need to “run away” from quotas for Bumiputeras but they must continue to be supported to grow.

“You must run, go away from quotas. But you must support them (Bumiputeras) in a way that will allow them to grow from small and medium enterprises to get bigger and to become even regional champions,” he said at a question and answer session at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2011 here.

The Prime Minister said that quotas could hamper capable Bumiputera entrepreneurs from developing their abilities.

He feared that “if you give them quotas, they will rest on their laurels and eventually will not gain the expertise to manage businesses.”

Najib said that one past criticism he had of the quota system was that the right kind of people was not being promoted. The affirmative action must now be based more on meritocracy.

“So, you must promote the right Bumiputeras. If you promote the right Bumiputeras, not only will they succeed, but the non-Bumiputeras will not begrudge them,” he said.

Najib alluded to the Bumiputera Agenda Coordinating Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department which had identified more than 1,000 companies that would be assisted to grow.

The Prime Minister also said the cabinet will decide tomorrow on the timeline for the proposed amendments to security and press laws to enhance civil liberties in the country and make Malaysia a more modern and vibrant democracy.

In his Malaysia Day message on Sept 15, Najib said the government would repeal the Internal Security Act 1960 and the Banishment Act 1959 and review other laws, including the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

Stressing that the government was serious about carrying out reforms, he said: “This coming Parliament session, you will see a slew of new legislation or actions.”