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Published: Tuesday March 30, 2010 MYT 9:32:00 PM

MCA welcomes New Economic Model

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has welcomed the New Economic Model (NEM) and its affirmative approaches to drive Malaysia to high-income status by 2020.

Its newly-elected president, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, said the MCA also had confidence in the Government’s political will in achieving the NEM’s goals.

“MCA is delighted to note that renewed affirmative action will be merit-and need-based, transparent and market friendly. Race should not be the main criteria in implementing economic and social-economic policies,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Commenting on the NEM Part 1 Report released on Tuesday, Dr Chua said the Government must show its political courage and wisdom in addressing the weaknesses of affirmative policies.

“And there should be no politics of patronage and tolerance for rent seekers,” he said, urging the Government to address several of the outstanding issues, especially in relation to foreign manpower.

He said the MCA fully agreed that price control and subsidy had distorted the market of goods and services, and hence made Malaysia less competitive, adding that there was a need to develop new sources of revenue.

“We have a good start in green technology and it’s time we tap into high-value green industries and services. We can never hope to be a world financial centre but we have great potential to be a hub of integrated Islamic financial services,” he said.

Dr Chua said there was a need for the Government to come out with a master plan for manpower requirement in the next 10 years as the NEM had not adequately addressed the issue of the country’s dependence on foreign workers.

“Until we are able to upgrade our workers to be highly- and multi-skilled, it will not be easy to phase out our addiction to cheap, unskilled foreign labour,” he added.

In addition, he said, the Government also needed to seriously look into the implementation of the minimum wage in some of the sectors where the growth potential and demand for foreign workers were high.

“The brain gain policy has not been successful because it is more on very minimal monetary gain for the individual involved. We have to attract not only the individual but also the family,” he said. -Bernama

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