Not sure how 30% NEP quota came up, says Daim

(FMT) – Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin today said he was unsure where the 30% figure for Bumiputeras under the New Economic Policy (NEP) came from.

“I am not sure if there was a proper study done,” Daim, who is Putrajaya’s chief adviser, said at a talk on poverty here, organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute.

“And originally, it was only shares.”

Under the NEP, the government aimed to raise Bumiputera equity ownership to 30% as part of its efforts to increase Bumiputera participation in the economy.

The 30% target was formed after the events of May 13, 1969 due to the economic disparity between the races.

Bumiputeras currently account for some 64% of the population.

Last month, Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 would continue with efforts to achieve the 30% Bumiputera equity ownership target.

However, Daim said it was more important for all Malaysians to live well and to earn a good income.

“Then all this talk about you and I will end. We Malaysians have no problem,” he said.

He added that it would be better to focus on improving education for Malaysians which he said would be the best investment for the country.

“We teach the young to think, and to be able to compete,” he said.

Adding that he did not understand the concept of Bumiputera superiority, he said there was nothing to be proud of if one was still struggling.

“So how can you be superior? Nobody is superior. We are equal under the constitution and in the eyes of God.”