Zaid slams Perkasa call to boycott Petronas

The former law minister says Malays should start supporting political parties with a progressive and radical economic agenda that helps them.

(FMT) – Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has attacked Perkasa’s proposed boycott of Petronas, following the move by the oil and gas giant to select a non-Bumiputera company for a solar panel installation contract.

“Malays can usefully boycott Malay political parties and leaders who are not doing anything to help the Malays be successful,” he said on X this morning, adding that the economic model has to change.

He also noted that Petronas’s new contractor, Solarvest, has the money and the means to compete on its merit and thus requires less government funding, while there is no effective Malay competition in this market.

Zaid said this had been a historic problem, as former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob discovered with his attempt to empower the Malays with the short-lived Mara mall chain.

“Malays are expected to be able to compete and win contracts on merit, but the components in the supply chain and business environment are not under their control.

“With the status quo, Malay contractors and suppliers will never be able to compete on merit. What business can the Malays do now with success?

“How do you break the chain and allow Malays a chance to succeed on merit? We start by supporting a Malay party that has a progressive and radical economic agenda,” he said, adding however that no such party currently exists.

“Our current leaders have yet to announce a radical transformation of our economic policies. They are comfortable under the present system.

“The misfortune that befalls the Malays is that their political masters are not interested in economics. They are not interested in dismantling monopolies. They are only interested in socks and boycotts.”

Zaid also called for a return to the nationalised industries of the 1970s, saying the curse of privatisation had hurt the Malays for a long time.

“Cement, other manufacturing facilities, and strategic investments in technology should remain in the hands of the government,” he said.