Citing the New Economy Policy (NEP), the PKR president said the initiative failed to address poverty even among the Malays.
“Our policies have been proven to be wrong or have fundamental flaws. Abject poverty remains.
“There has been social mobility, but overall we need a major review.
‘’There is still grinding poverty, and it’s worse for the Malays, Indian estates and rural areas.
‘’We must acknowledge this and review fundamental programmes,’’ he said in his speech at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KLSICCI) 90th anniversary dinner on Saturday.
Anwar said the government, particularly Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and the Economy Planning Unit, should recognise these weaknesses.
‘’One of the greatest disasters are failures of policies when you get the diagnosis wrong. You have a bad injury in the left leg and you get the right amputated,’’ he said.
Citing the findings of United Nations human rights expert Prof Philip Alston who dismissed Malaysia’s claim to having the world’s lowest national poverty rate, Anwar who is the Port Dickson MP, said he was not surprised.
“I found great difficulty to swallow that too. In any village in Port Dickson you go, be it Malay villages, Indian estates or Chinese fishing villages and that of the Orang Asli, all of them register much greater figures of poverty.
‘’What Alston has done, notwithstanding some misgivings, is not shocking to me. It’s only shocking to those who have a clear disconnect.
‘’The caucus on reform is on the government,’’ he said, adding that one must learn from why the previous government was rejected.
“In our case, it was partly because of racist policies, condoning religious bigotry. We came out rejecting racial and religious bigotry.”
Anwar said Malaysia must move on to a new economic agenda based on need, which includes the need for the country to grow.
“Obsolete policies are based on race. We need new policies based on need,” he said, adding that chambers of commerce must undertake programmes transcending race.
KLSICCI presented awards to 48 outstanding companies, with Lotus Group CEO Datuk R. Doraisingam Pillai bagging the top Platinum Outstanding Achiever Award.
He said the Lotus Group diversified into hotel, property development and entertainment sectors as well as various community and charity programmes since its humble beginnings as a restaurant over 40 years ago.
“There are a lot of opportunities in our beloved Malaysia. One must work hard because nothing comes easy,” said Doraisingam.
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