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The NEP can no longer be sustained in the globalization era of the 21st century revolving around competitiveness, merit and knowledge or else Malaysia will end up like our public universities that are not amongst the top 200 in the world

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Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng

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(Petaling Jaya, Friday): DAP strongly disagrees with the Prime Minister that the New Economic Policy (NEP) should be accepted by all as it has benefited all Malaysians for the past 37 years. Whilst academics have provided evidence that the preferential policies, quotas, mismanagement and corruption by the NEP has shaved off at least 2% off our GNP growth, the future of economic prosperity and development definitely does not lie in the NEP.

The NEP is now synonymous with inefficiency, corruption and crony capitalism that allow the privileged few to benefit at the expense of many. Worse is that the privileged few do not feel any responsibility to return back such wealth to be shared with the people. The NEP can no longer be sustained in the globalization era of the 21st century revolving around competitiveness, merit and knowledge or else Malaysia will end up like our public universities that are not even amongst the top 200 in the world.

Last year, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), and Universiti Malaya (UM) made it to the top 200 in the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES)-Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (THES-QS). However this year UKM dropped from 185th last year to 309th whilst UM dropped from 192nd last year to 246th this year. The best university in Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia dropped from 277 last year to 307th this year.

The decline in standards of Malaysian public universities can be traced to the failure to implement the merit system and insistence on NEPís preferential policies based on quotas instead of qualification. Continuing with the NEP would only make Malaysia less competitive and less prosperous when compared with our neighbors without NEP-like policies.

Deputy UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin should stop using extremist positions to popularize himself. Khairy had called on the government to restructure the supply chain to avoid it being monopolized by one race, regretting the newspaper vendor ship going on holiday causing the UMNOís President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawiís speech not being published. UMNO has no one but their own to blame due to its stubborn insistence to hold the UMNO AGM during Deepavali, which has been a press holiday for as long as one can remember.

Why should the Prime Minister schedule his opening speech on the ever of Deepavali which has always been a press holiday? Khairy has shown his contempt for the Indian community, the same contempt that UMNO has towards Indian temples. Khairy should apologize to the Indian community for urging that their newspaper distribution network be broken up when the Indians are amongst the poorest and most marginalized economically in Malaysia.

Khairy and UMNO Youth practices double-standards by suggesting that the distribution network and supply chains dominated by one community be restructured but only those dominated by non-Malays but not by Malays. Malaysians would like to see whether UMNO Youth and Khairy are equally committed to carry out restructuring when the distribution network is dominated by Malays, such as the banking,

Similarly DAP opposes any proposed abolition of subsidies by Khairy unless they are accompanied by cash grants given by the government. Khaiy lamented that RM 35 billion is spent on subsidies annually, which represents about 25% of the countryís revenue - enough to build two Putrajayas, nine Penang Bridges and 600,000 low-cost homes.

Abolishing subsidies may be economically realistic but it is socially unrealistic if it ignores the hardships imposed on the middle and lower income groups. For that reason, DAP would support any abolition of subsidies only on condition that Petronas huge profits are distributed to every low and middle-income Malaysian family. Khairy complains about RM 35 billion lost to subsidies. What is RM 35 billion in losses from subsidies compared with the huge profits earned by Petronas of RM 76.3 billion in 2006 that no one knows where it has gone? Distributing Petronas profits is better than allowing Petronas profits to be lost from corruption, mismanagement and abuses of power.
                                                                                             

(9/11/2007)


* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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