PETALING JAYA: MCA Youth says affirmative action policies should be colour-blind and implemented based on merit and needs.
Youth Chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong said while the party agreed to measures taken to assist poor bumiputras, it was important to strike a balance in a multi-racial setting.
“Affirmative action should be colour-blind regardless of race, religion and region. We should formulate policies that benefit all across the board because we are a government for all,” he said, stressing that MCA had no problems with steps taken to boost the competitiveness of poor bumiputra.
Wee hoped that the Bumiputra Economic Empowerment policies were drawn based on need to assist the needy groups.
“But, in the long run, whatever policy formulated must take all races into consideration,” he said.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had to face political reality by rewarding the bumiputras.
“But in the long run, the 1Malaysia concept is more durable and acceptable to all races,” he added.
As for the Opposition, PAS agreed with the aim to empower the bumiputra economy but it doubted the successful implementation of plans at grassroots level.
PAS central committee members Khalid Samad said the party was sceptical because such programmes had always benefited those who were rich and well connected.
“So what is new?” he asked, doubting the sincerity of the Government in initiating efforts to widen the benefits for Malays across the board.
Khalid said the Government should just give royalty money to the Kelantan Government.
“That will help the people of Kelantan, 95% of whom are Malays,” he said.
DAP election strategist Dr Ong Kian Meng said the bumiputra agenda was in total contravention of the new economic model.
“The new economic model talks about affirmative action. The agenda seems to suggest that bumiputra participation is needed in every sector regardless of need.
“There is no reason to set up bumiputra development units in every ministry. This is because whatever plan is implemented by the ministries, it should be able to reach out to the bumiputras because they make up the majority of the population,” he said.
Dr Ong also said it was inappropriate to launch such a programme two days before the Malaysia Day celebration.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua said it appeared like it was another exercise to pump money.
“The issue is not about how much money is pumped but on the success rate of the implementation and whether the authorities understand the root cause of the problem.
“The Government had never came up with an honest assessment on why the NEP (National Economic Policy) failed.
“To ensure the success of any new policy, we must know what is required to make the changes,” he said.