PETALING JAYA: Setting up a second Low Yat Plaza will only serve to further polarise communities, says Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pic).
The Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) CEO was responding to Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob's comment's about opening an alternative digital mall solely for Malay traders.
"There are two issues you need to tackle here. The first issue is to motivate Malay entrepreneurs and the second is that you need to enhance unity.
"If you want to help them, you need to develop a community of entrepreneurs where the Malays can learn from others," he said via telephone.
"In this context the Malays can learn from Chinese businessmen. What we should be doing is to promote smart partnerships between Malays and Chinese or with other non-Malay entrepreneurs," said Saifuddin, who is a former deputy education minister.
"It is a reality that Malays need to improve and it is also a reality that the Chinese and some non-Malay entrepreneurs are doing better. So in order to develop, we need to promote smart partnerships between the two," he explained.
He added that this would in turn achieve another objective, which is to promote unity.
"But if you promote the idea of a second Low Yat, you are not helping but further polarising the communities. I don't think this Low Yat 2 for Bumiputras is a good idea," he said.
On Wednesday, MCA publicity bureau chairman Datuk Chai Kim Sen also hit out at Ismail, calling him regressive for proposing the opening of a "Low Yat 2" plaza solely for Malay traders.
Chai said Ismail should recognise the multi-racial composition of Malaysian society and serve the needs of all ethnicities.
Ismail Sabri made the proposal for Low Yat 2 when he attended a Hari Raya open house on Tuesday.
Earlier in the year, Ismail on Facebook allegedly urged Malays to boycott Chinese businesses that refused to reduce their prices despite a drop in fuel costs.
The Prime Minister's Office later issued a statement saying Ismail's comment was targeted at unscrupulous traders and not at any particular race.
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