Younger bumiputra prefer meaningful participation, says Rafidah

PETALING JAYA: The new generation of bumiputra is more inclined to be recognised for his own capabilities and effort, rather than merely accepting “handed down” equity without any meaningful participation, says Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

Rafidah, 78, the former International Trade and Industries Minister from 1987 to 2008, and Wanita Umno chief until 2009 commented on the requirement for 51% bumiputra equity in freight forwarding companies, that racial and political dimensions should not have been dragged into the picture.

“Why do we want to go racial on this? This is a critical service along the value chain.

“We are a trading nation, we import and also export.

“Now you want to play the fool with logistics shares and equity and so on, where for umpteen years and decades, we have been doing well?

“I think the bumiputra themselves will be embarrassed if we start saying, ‘Hey you can get 51%’. The young bumiputra will say, (sic) ‘What the hell are you talking about?’

“This is 2021, not 1990. It’s not about taking from Peter and giving to Paul.

“This is what’s wrong with our understanding of the New Economic Policy,” she said on a virtual talk show on Facebook hosted by prominent journalist Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.

In the interview which also included veteran newsman, Tan Sri Johan Jaffar, Rafidah noted that the young bumiputra have come to their senses, and are not fond of “handouts”, without the accompanying hard work.

“I’m happy to say that most, if not all, the new generation of bumiputra, are like that.

“They have got credibility – most of them would like to be there because they have the professionalism, capacity, willingness and motivation to work for whatever they earn.

“They are trained and they understand the world out there. IT, business and even journalism know no creed or colour.

“We have our own dignity. The young bumiputra have friends who are non-Malays.

“So, don’t plant the seeds of animosity among the young people,” she said, adding that the era where someone who “knows next to nothing” is given plum appointments just because they are bumiputra, had passed.

“(If) we talk about the racial aspect of everything in this country, we will never move forward. We will either be stagnant, at best, or we move backwards,” she said.

Rafidah also slammed the country’s obsession with Nur Sajat, saying authorities should focus on things that really matter to the country, and to leave Sajat alone.

“To me, it shouldn’t be an issue. Let people live their lives. Be real, there are people like this in this world, they are not disturbing you.

“I’d rather you go after a criminal like Jho Low until the ends of the earth, but it didn’t happen. Nothing, although public funds were squandered,” she said.

Rafidah said God made humans in so many shapes and sizes, and with various inclinations.

Nur Sajat, whose birth name is Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman, was detained by Thai immigration authorities in Bangkok last month for possessing an invalid passport.

On the other hand, Malaysian police are calling on Nur Sajat’s family to convince him to return to Malaysia, stating he is wanted for multiple offences here.

“Let’s not cast stones on people who have done no harm to anybody. God will take care of all this.

“God will understand if they have led a good life or not; not for us to determine.

“Let him or her live his life, as long as he’s not hurting anyone.

“It’s nothing to do with being liberal or not, just being real, this is the real world.”

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bumiputra , Rafidah Aziz , equity


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