PETALING JAYA: Economic policies should be needs-based instead of race-based, says Gerakan.
Selangor Gerakan chairman Datuk David Ang Chin Tat said policymakers should treat social poverty or income disparity as an issue affecting all Malaysians, away from racial lenses or prejudice.
“I agree with the continuation of affirmative action because there are Malaysians who need help to uplift their lives.
“The Government should help them because they truly need and deserve help, especially those who belong to the lower and disadvantaged group,” he said in a statement.
He described Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statements, calling for the prolonging of affirmative actions to avoid conflict between “poor Malays” and “rich Chinese” as “extremely regrettable”.
Ang said Pakatan was supposed to deliver hope and the aspirations of Malaysians who wanted a change and build a fairer society.
“As DAP and PKR leaders have been very outspoken against race-based policies before the polls, so I hope they have not lost their courage to speak up since they are a part of the new Government,” he said.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also criticised Dr Mahathir for wanting to continue with race-oriented policies.
Meanwhile, Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia said scholarship opportunities should be offered to all needy and high-achieving students.
“Scholarships need not be given based on racial lines as there are non-Malays who are in need too.
“Affirmative policies are good to help correct extreme economic imbalances for the peaceful coexistence of future generations, but policies have to be clear and transparent,” said its chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim when contacted.
National Union of the Teaching Profession president Kamarozaman Abd Razak agreed, saying scholarships should be made available for any student wanting to pursue higher education.