Media Statement by Tony Pua in Petaling Jaya on
PAS Youth is misguided over NEP's
30% bumiputera equity for publicly listed companies
PAS Youth's recent outburst against the
abolition of 30% bumiputera requiremetn for public listed companies is
misguided despite being well-intentioned.
PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said that the 30-percent equity must be
retained and defended "even if the target has been reached". According
to him, "before 1969, the equity of the Malays was almost nil and after
40 years, it is only at 19 percent. If this continues, we need about 20
more years to achieve the 30 percent target."
Firstly, as stated, bumiputeras have failed to achieve the target fo 30%
equity despite nearly 40 years of NEP only proves that achieving equity
through regulation will not achieve the objective increasing the wealth
of bumiputeras in the shortest possible time. In fact, the 19% wealth
ownership target, if accurate, has remained stagnant since the 1990s.
Secondly, for bumiputeras to achieve not only 30% of the nation's
wealth, but also a meaningful 30%, it is critical for the capital
markets to be liberalised to attract global capital and its
corresponding talent and economic effects. Our goals of becoming the
regional financial centre since the 1980s lie in tatters as we lose out
to many other financial centres in the region. The Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange as late as 1993 was the 2nd largest stock exchange in
Asia-Oceania region ex-Japan, but today we have fallen out of the top
10, losing to financial markets in Singapore, India, China, Taiwan,
South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
As a result, not only are foreign companies not interested in the
Malaysian stock exchange, Malaysian companies are similarly heading
offshore to more attractive financial markets. Ultimately, the losers
are Malaysians themselves.
Hence, taking progressive and deliberate steps towards liberalising the
financial markets will allow for a more dynamic economy accompanied by
greater wealth creation. It will ultimately benefit the bumiputeras as
they form the majority of the population. A more liberal market will
also catalyse a more productive workforce who will in turn be able to
compete on an equal footing in a globalised economy.
Similarly, PAS is misguided in its response to the appointment of Low
Siew Moi as the acting General Manager of Selangor State Development
Corporation (PKNS) as the Selangor Menteri Besar has stated clearly that
she is the most qualified person to fulfil the role at this point of
time. By that, it means that she will be able to manage PKNS is the most
effective and efficient possible manner, which will ultimate benefit the
coffers of the state.
Given the people-centric nature of the policies of Pakatan Rakyat
government, the poorest in the state, most of whom are bumiputeras will
benefit most from such gains.
The race of the general manager should not be in question at all. It is
disappointing that objections have come purely from a racial, and not
from a qualitative perspective. PAS in these instances, should not miss
the woods for the trees.
* Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP National Publicity Secretary &
MP for Petaling Jaya Utara