KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has chided the Opposition for abandoning the economic agenda of the bumiputras.
The Prime Minister and Umno president said he had looked through their manifesto which contained 60 promises, but only one of them touched on bumiputra economy.
"Promise number 30 doesn't have anything substantial to improve the economic standing of the bumiputras.
"At the most, they promised to table a report in Parliament about the equity held by bumiputras. That's all. What do the bumiputras get from this?" he said in his speech at a gathering with bumiputra entrepreneurs on Friday (March 30).
During the event, Najib announced 11 new incentives worth RM2.9bil for bumiputra small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to make them more competitive.
These incentives will be distributed through various agencies, programmes and funds.
Among them will be the continuation of the Bumiputra Facilitation Fund, with an allocation of RM2bil starting from this year.
There will be another RM500mil to intensify the involvement of bumiputras in the retail and distribution industries.
The Prime Minister said that RM50mil will be set aside for companies listed on the Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform while another RM40mil will be allocated for the Local to Global Corporation Ascend 800 programme.
He added that RM60mil has been allocated for the Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputra (Bumiputra Youths Budding Entrepreneurs) programme while the allowance to encourage the rise in SME exports will be extended for another two years until 2020.
In addition, RM50mil each will be allocated for the SpeedMeUp programme, Skim Pembiayaan Mudah Jaya (Easy Success Financing Scheme) and incentives for the WIRA eDagang Digital Free Trade Zone initiative for the next three years.
Najib also said that the Government’s Bumiputra Agenda Steering Unit will be empowered.
He said that he wanted to continue the legacy of his father Tun Abdul Razak, the country's second Prime Minister, who introduced the New Economic Policy.
"I will continue supporting the bumiputra agenda as a national agenda. This is my promise," said Najib.
The event was organised by the International Trade and Industry Ministry and SME Corp.
Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and his Deputy Datuk Ahmad Maslan.