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Challenge Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting To An Open Debate On MCA’s Support For The New National Agenda (NNA) To Include The New Economic Policy’s(NEP) Especially The Objective Of Ensuring 30% Corporate Equity Ownership

Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng  

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): I wish to challenge MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting to an open debate on MCA’s support for the New National Agenda to include the NEP, especially the objective of ensuring 30% corporate equity ownership. Two days ago, Ong had stressed that he refused to accept  the invitation by his challenger for the MCA Presidency, Datuk Chua Jui Meng, to debate on the impending party elections next month not because he was afraid to debate. But because "it is inappropriate for a a party leader to be involved in a debate concerning party election".

Since Ong had said that he was not afraid to debate provided it dos not involve MCA elections, then there should be no problem why he should not participate in a debate on MCA’s support for the NEP to be revived and included in the NNA and 9 Malaysian Plan. Even though Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had given assurance that the NNA and Ninth Malaysia Plan would give fair treatment to all races in the country, BN component parties had also agreed to revive the spirit of the New Economic Policy (NEP) to ensure Malays achieved 30 per cent equity participation in the nation's economy.


Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak even said: "They expressed their views...I observed the goal of 30 per cent equity participation of Bumiputeras was accepted and not disputed." Najib’s statement follows an earlier pledge by BN Youth, including MCA Youth, MIC Youth and Gerakan Youth, supporting the revival of the NEP. By breaking their promises and assurances in the Chinese papers opposing the NEP, MCA is practicing double-faced politics of saying one thing to the Chinese community but doing completely the opposite in BN.


An open debate on MCA’s support for the NEP is important to let the people express their views why the NEP has become a source of disunity amongst the people, corruption, economic inefficiency and social injustice. DAP opposes the NEP because it wrongly identifies race as the criterion when a needs basis is the correct and equitable choice. By lumping all bumis as poor and non-bumis as rich has created a distortion in economic policy and confusion in planning until rich bumis get scholarships and discounts for multi-million ringgit homes whilst poor non-bumis, especially the Indians, get nothing.   


DAP regrets that both MCA and Gerakan despite talking big in the newspapers failed to say that the NEP 30% equity target was actually achieved by 1990. The 30% target was unrealized because bumis given such preferential shares sold off their shares for short-term capital gains. Why should rich bumis continue to be given shares and preferential treatment at the expense of the poor? So long as the shares can be sold, the NEP can be extended 10 times for 100 years, the 30% equity target will still not be achieved. Further where is social justice when only a few bumis get shares or APs but not the majority of poor bumis including those from Sabah and Sarawak.


Before the NEP was introduced in 1970, Malaysia with its abundant natural resources of tin, rubber, oil palm and petroleum had one of the highest standards of living and GNP per capita, better than Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Principally because of the NEP, Malaysia is now worse off than Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

If the NEP was re-introduced and revived in 2005, Malaysia would not only be unable to catch up with Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea but may even lose out to Thailand. The government should learn that as far as allocative efficiency is concerned, competition and merit rather than ownership is the crucial issue in ensuring wealth creation and a fair distribution of wealth.



* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

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