KUALA LUMPUR: The failures and mistakes of the past can be wiped clean with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030), says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister told the Dewan Rakyat that these mistakes were why the New Economic Policy (NEP) and his own Vision 2020 did not achieve their aims.
“We will identify those who get the opportunities (this time) and make use of them.
“We only hope that the people will accept this new policy (SPV 2030) – which is not to provide instant wealth but something more comprehensive and (for the) long-term.
“This will be the way we manage SPV 2030, ” he said in reply to Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PH-Setiawangsa) who asked how the SPV 2030 would overcome weaknesses such as abuse of power that happened in the past.
Dr Mahathir said that the government would ensure that the policies introduced this time would be put to good use.
He said that previously, opportunities were given to people without taking into account their qualifications or capabilities.
“So many misused it. This time around, opportunities will only be given to those who not only show interest but also capability.
“If you don't have the experience or capability, we will provide the necessary training, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir claimed that the NEP and Vision 2020 failed due to a dearth in policy implementation by governments under the fifth and sixth prime ministers, referring to his own chosen successors Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
However, he did acknowledge some success in certain areas, noting that the number of professionals as well as the household income in the country had increased.
Dr Mahathir said that although there were improvements in terms of the economy, there was unfair distribution of wealth among races.
This, he said, was made worse by the abuse of power, corruption and leakages that were not contained by the previous administrations.
“The reality is nearly 50 years after the NEP was implemented, and Vision 2020, the income and wealth gap between the bumiputera and non-bumiputera still exists.
“This can cause tension among races, which could stunt the nation's economic growth.
“Therefore, we need to come up with a new approach. If the governments before focused on equitability of opportunities for the bumiputera – especially in the economy and the education sector – the focus now will be on the equitability of outcomes, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the government wanted to produce a new generation of bumiputera who have moral values such as integrity, dignity, a strong nationalist spirit, and are hardworking, to save the country and not depend on foreigners.
“However, the SPV 2030 should not be looked at something that will only empower the bumiputera.
“It is actually a guide to determine the policies, strategies and development incentives for the short, medium and long term.
“At the end, the government's job is to ensure all Malaysians, regardless of race, will reach a decent standard of living by 2030, ” he added.