KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is intent on nurturing bumiputra entrepreneurs who possess both skills and knowledge to excel in their business endeavours.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government would be providing opportunities to them based on merit and talent.
He said the move was necessary to strengthen the position of the bumiputra community.
Najib, told reporters after delivering the keynote address at the Malaysia Strategic Outlook 2004 conference organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (Asli) here yesterday, thatbumiputra policies were crucial to facilitate the equitable distribution of the country's wealth.
But, he said, the Government would ensure that this strategy would not hamper the community's resilience in any way.
He said businesses in Malaysia, particularly for the bumiputra community, had often relied on networks and relationships while paying insufficient attention to skills and knowledge.
“This needs to change. In this regard, the Government is committed to providing more opportunities based on merit and talent to build a more resilient bumiputra commercial, industrial and scientific community,” he said.
Najib said it was known that the combination of both knowledge and networking had ensured the success of communities, groups and nations in developed economies.
He said past experiences showed that some bumiputra businessmen, who won projects, were not able to be successful because they lacked the know-how.
On another matter, Najib said Barisan Nasional's status in the coming general election appeared to be promising.
“The general feeling is that; in terms of personal experiences from visiting places, there is optimism in the air,'' said Najib, adding that people who had drifted away from the BN were now back with the ruling coalition.
However, added Najib, the BN was not going to take things easy and be complacent as it expected some threats from PAS in predominantly Malay areas.
Najib said he was confident that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would lead the BN to a decisive victory in the coming general election as his sincerity and commitment were warmly received by all Malaysians.
“Umno is now united, stronger and more cohesive than ever before.
“I am confident the conditions are right for an overwhelming victory for the Barisan Nasional,'' added Najib.