PENANG: The Government has made significant attempts in handling the economic and social disparities among various bumiputra ethnic communities here, said Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)s vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dzulkifli Abdul Razak.
He said the government had succeeded in introducing affirmative action policies to uplift the socio-economic status of bumiputras here when compared with countries such as Cuba whose indigenous groups were totally left out from the mainstream administration. .
He was speaking at the three-day seminar on The Bumiputra Policy: Dynamics and Dilemmas organised by USMs School of Humanities. Some 19 academicians and policy-makers nationwide attended the seminar yesterday. .
Organising chairman Dr Richard Mason said the purpose of the seminar was to reflect upon the achievements, shortcomings and ramifications of the New Economic Policy and the Outline Perspective Plan II.
He said the bumiputra ethnic groups together constituted 65% of the Malaysian population.
He added that when Malaysia became a nation in 1963, the bumiputra communities were socio-economically backward.
Malaysia, he said, had to start from scratch and plan its own affirmative policy plan yo uplift the indigenous communities.