Najib flanked by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir (left) and Taiping Umno chief Datuk Ahmad Shalimin Shaffie at the launching of the Rumah Umno Taiping building on Thursday.
TAIPING: The “race” column in official government forms will be retained, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday.
He said though discussions on the matter were held, the Cabinet had made a decision to not drop the column.
He said the column was still needed by the Government for statistic purposes in order to help ethnic groups.
The prime minister said the statistics by race was necessary to facilitate government monitoring of the progress of every community in the country.
"It could be hard for us to obtain certain figures if the information and data are insufficient.
"Should certain ethnic groups have fallen behind, it is the Government's responsibility to help do the necessary through fair sharing of the country's wealth," he said during the opening of the Rumah Umno Taiping building here.
Najib stressed that the column was not to widen the gap between races.
"Each ethnic group will get fair consideration.
"No one will be left behind in terms of development and assistances," he said.
"We must be positive towards the Government's decision to retain the existing policy on the column," he added.
Najib also said that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun was expected to issue an apology on the matter for his error.
Entulu had said that omitting the column would be carried out gradually.