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We urge the Prime Minister to formulate a more attractive strategy to increase the part played by the private sector in national development.

Press Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): Yesterday, Abdullah says that any policy made by the Cabinet had to be supported by every component party since they reflect the country’s multi-racial make-up.

“All the policies that have been made whether it is the New Economic Policy (NEP) or a decision on vernacular schools, has been made by all of us (in the BN),” he added.

The recent call by UMNO to re-implement the NEP has made people from various walks of life sit up, waiting for explanation from the Prime Minister about the motive. In the past 35 years, the Government has not stopped pursuing the twin objectives of NEP, that is, eradication of poverty and restructuring of society.  The Government interprets the statistics for Malays in the corporate sector as 18.7% equity, whereas others maintain that it is over 30% as mentioned in the NEP. There are different perceptions.

Since Malaysia has ratified the agreement with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the private sector understands that the organization stresses free trade and no restrictions or quotas. The recent UMNO stand on NEP puts the private sector in a quandary.

Now, the Prime Minister emphasizes the principle of Cabinet consensus. We hope that he elucidates what UMNO means by the re-introduction of NEP, and the definitions of the 35-year-old parameters in the context of WTO and ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). He must draw up a more attractive strategy to make sure that the private sector plays a more crucial part in national development. As it is, the Government is using part of the national revenue such as over RM99 billion for 2005, to finance development projects. In 2003, Government-linked companies like Petronas, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Tekekom Malaysia Berhad allocated RM35.4 bilion as development expenditure. The private sector must be more active to achieve the goals of national development towards a developed state by 2020.


* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong

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