ABOUT 500 academicians, professionals, government officials and Umno members attended the Urban Malay (Melayu Bandar) Convention that was held at the Grand Bluewave Hotel in Shah Alam last weekend.
Jointly organised by Selangor Umno and the Malaysian Malay Chamber of Commerce Selangor Chapter, the convention was an effort to ensure that urban Malays do not lag behind in economics, politics or even in social issues.
The one-day event, which was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, provided an avenue for participants to address what happens after Selangor has attained Developed State status.
Also present was Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo.
Batu Tiga state assemblyman Datuk Salamon Selamat presented a paper on politics, entitled The Urbanisation Process in Selangor: The Effects on Malay Geo-Politics, while Tan Sri Rozali Ismail touched on How to Boost the Malay Economy.
Prof Chamhuri Siwar of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia touched on social issues under a topic entitled Urban Poverty and Social Problems among Malays in Selangor while Datuk Dr Fadzilah Kamsah delivered a paper on Urban Poverty and its Effects on Malay Identity.
Najib urged the Malays to change their business culture by not going in for easy money.
“Some of them prefer to be brokers and sell projects that are given to them,” he said.
Najib suggested that the Malays drop their dependency on the Government for project approvals.
He said though there were many Malay millionaires, professionals and scientists, their number was still few.
Dr Khir said that though Selangor had less than 2% hardcore poor, the state had to ensure that they, too, were not left behind.
“There are still some urban Malays who are staying in squatter houses,” he said.
Dr Khir later accompanied Najib to visit booths that were set up by Selangor's Malay entrepreneurs as part of the convention.
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