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The K-economy is the way for Malays to wealthy. The NEP way has not and will not

Media Statement
by Dr Chen Man Hin


(Seremban, Sunday): The NEP way was to increase Malay wealth by ‘restructuring society and reducing the economic imbalance between Malays and non-Malays.


It was claimed that there was an economic gulf between Malays and non-Malays, and that this could be balanced out by redistribution of wealth through the NEP formula of 30% quota for Malays in all fields be it political, economic, educational and cultural activities.


37 years have passed since NEP was launched in 1971. The target of 30% corporate equity was reached in the early nineties according to Malay researchers at the University of Malaya. In the early nineties, the Asia strategic research institute claimed actually the Malays have acquired 45% corporate equity.


The government claimed only 18% was achieved, because they valued the company share at par value and not market value.

Presently, UMNO has taken the stand that the NEP shall be extended indefinite until all sectors of the economy have struck an equitable balance for Malays and non-Malays.

Meanwhile, from research into World Bank records, it was discovered that the NEP has actually harmed the national economy because it slowed down economic activities and progress. The NEP could not increase the national economic cake. The small national cake had to be distributed among Malays and non-Malays resulting in the marginalization of poor Malays, poor Chinese, poor Indians and poor indigenous tribes.

World Bank statistics bear out this analysis.

At independence the GDP/per capita income of Malaysia and Singapore were at about the same baseline level.

Since then, in 2006, the GDP/per capita for Malaysia rose to US$5990 compared to Singapore’s GDP/per capita of US$32,900, S Korea 19,300, Hong Kong 29,100 and Taiwan 17,000, the four Asian dragons.

The slow down in the Malaysian economy began after 1971, the year the NEP was launched. In other words, the NEP was a millstone that hung around the neck. Causing the economy to advance at tortoise pace.

The NEP has failed to raise living standards and has marginalized poor Malays, poor Chinese, poor Indians and poor indigenous tribes.

The NEP is flawed as its basic philosophy was unsound because there were too many regulatory laws and racial preferences. Without economic freedom, the economy stagnated instead of galloping like the economies of the Asian dragons.

The NEP philosophy of improving Malay economy by imposing restrictions on the non-Malay economy is flawed. It evoked a backlash, as it provoked investors, both local and foreign to stay away. The economy stagnated and both Malays and non Malays are the poorer as shown by the low GDP/per capita income of Malaysia.

The same holds true between a poor nation and a rich nation. A poor nation to become rich cannot do so by compelling the rich nation to help.

The poor nation has to help itself by dint of hard work, good planning, good governance and an open, liberal economy. This way it can attract rich nations to invest and make he economy grow are the poor nation becomes rich.

The World Bank has proposed poor nations to adopt a K-economy, meaning a knowledge based economy with economic freedom and good governance.

The Malays have the intelligence and ability to do it. There is a substantial Malay middle class (well over 60% Malays are middle class). There are highly specialized heart surgeons, engineers, lawyers, bankers and corporate businessmen. Malay farmers are among the successful Malays.

These Malays have achieved. There is no reason why young Malays cannot be successful entrepreneurs. The answer lies in due diligence, integrity and dedication.

To retain the NEP is to prolong the agony of seeing Malaysia as a corrupt, lawless and handouts dependent country.

Reject the NEP proponents, because they allow poor Malays to be handouts dependant. While they enrich themselves with contracts and licenses. No true loyal Malaysians would want to see their Malay brothers suffer a lifetime dependent on economic crutches.

Poor Malays, empower yourselves through education, knowledge and due diligence. You can make it.

The non Malays want you to be successful they want all Malaysians to be successful, and to be wealthy.


*Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP Life Advisor

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