‘Do away with race-based policies’

Gerakan Youth says a serious review of the NEP must be done so that it does not stray from the original intent of eradicating poverty and ensuring equal distribution of wealth

(Free Malaysia Today) – Race-based affirmative action in the form of the New Economic Policy is a thing of the past, admitted two Barisan Nasional youth leaders – Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Gerakan Youth Chief Lim Si Pin, today.

Lim, in his speech at the Gerakan youth conference, said: “If we continue to advocate affirmative action for the majority, who is going to take care of the minorities and the needy?

“It is time to question whether we still affirmative action based on ethnic lines. It will remain a noose around our necks if we do not deal with it (NEP) with decisiveness.

“If we continue to enrich the few who do not need it and ignore the poor, then we will create instability,” said Lim, and reminded the government it would face “dire consequences” if it failed to listen to the masses.

Though Lim said he was not calling for a total abolishment of NEP, but a serious review and refocus to go back to its original intent to eradicate poverty and equal distribution of wealth.

Khairy, agreeing with Lim, said that even now the government is looking at changing the policies in regards to affirmative action.

“It is changing, now we are making sure that our priority is the lowest 40% based on income. These are the groups we must help regardless whether they are Malay Chinese, Indians or other races. Najib has expanded this, within Umno too,” said Khairy.

“It is no longer about race. Within Umno we are supporting this, because we know those at the bottom 40% deserve assistance.

The change in affirmative action will help some of you understand that economic transformation is happening,” said Khairy.

Khairy added that reforms are alone not enough and merely repealing the Internal Security Act will not do.

“As far as the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the current changes are not enough. We have to go further, why are we scared of a free media, do we lack confidence that we can’t face the free media? Let the media regulate themselves. There’s no need for the Home Ministry and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to regulate,” he said.

‘Young voters returning to BN’

Khairy also called for a Freedom of Information Act that counters the Official Secrets Act. “There are certain things we cannot reveal to the public… but we must show there are no secrets within the government, ” he said, adding that Section 15 of the Universities and University Colleges Act, which prohibits student participation in politics also must be done away with.