Dr M says fixing wealth inequality priority to prevent violence
Dr Mahathir believes that the root cause of the problem stemmed from the fact that for some people, they were not culturally suitable to be entrepreneurs and the answer to this problem lies in education.
(MMO) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said his Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s topmost priority is to mend the economic and financial gap among the races and between the urban and rural people.
The prime minister added that it was a potential tinderbox for violence unless dealt with now.
“We noticed that the distribution of wealth in the country is not even or fair. There is a great disparity between the urban and rural areas. We need to correct that. Some states are rich, some are poor. We need to correct that.
“We have a problem with the performance of some ethnic groups, for example the Bumiputera here and in Sabah and Sarawak. They are relatively poor compared to people living elsewhere.
“We need to repair this because if there is a great disparity, there will be antagonism that can lead to violence,” he said in an interview on BFM’s morning show the Breakfast Grille while explaining his government’s Shared Prosperity Vision policy.
He added that this was part of the social contract agenda and that there are certain parameters that the government needs to reconsider, saying that when PH was the Opposition, it was not aware of the high costs to achieve certain goals.
Dr Mahathir noted that the rich-poor gap can be very big in certain areas and that matters became further complicated because the urban-rural divide was also along racial lines.
He pointed out that there are more Malay and Bumiputera communities in the rural areas with a different set of economic activities that does not net them an equal amount of wealth compared to the Chinese living in an urban environment where they can make more money.
“The disparity is sometimes very big. That isn’t easy. There is divide between town and country. That makes things worse because the people in town are made up of different people from the country.