Tuesday, March 16, 2010

DPM Muhyiddin: NEM will be fair to all

Muhyiddin receives a gift of a banner from the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall at the dinner. The Chinese characters mean ‘Honest, Incorrupt and Gentle’. — Picture by Jack Ooi

In a bid to regain straying non-Malay support, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin said tonight the government’s New Economic Model (NEM) will provide equal opportunities to all regardless of race.

The deputy prime minister said the NEM will focus on nurturing individual creativity and innovation on the back of reviving the ailing low-income economy.

“It must be ensured that all races will have the same role and equal opportunities to nurture their potentials fairly in the economic sector,” Muhyiddin said at a dinner held by the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall.

“I believe that when everyone, regardless of race and religion, receives equal rights, real racial harmony can be realised. Therefore the NEM is not just an economic model but a vital instrument to tear down the walls of racism,” he added.

Muhyiddin said the NEM was construed in line with the Najib administration’s all-encompassing catchphrase of 1 Malaysia, a slogan designed to heal and unify a nation frayed by communal politics.

The NEM will be launched by the end of this month but the government said full details will be outlined in the 10th Malaysia Plan after getting public feedback.

“Realising this, the government is always looking for ways to move forward to cultivate the spirit of unity, understanding and acceptance of one another,” said the Umno deputy president.

He claimed that the 1 Malaysia concept, a brainchild of the country’s sixth premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will not leave behind anyone based on race and religious differences.

But Najib’s 1 Malaysia is not selling well, particularly to the non-Malays, say opposition leaders.

His effort to revive the country’s once credible moderate image has been marred by ultra-nationalist sentiments from within his own party who, among others, are rejecting his NEM.

Unlike the race-based affirmative action-driven New Economic Policy (NEP), the NEM plans to open up the economy from widespread Malay largesse.

This spurred the growth of groups like Perkasa, which enjoys the backing of hawks from Najib’s own Umno.

The strong anti-Chinese sentiments within groups like Perkasa and its Umno link have further alienated support from the country’s second biggest race, says the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Najib himself has attacked the DAP’s Middle Malaysia slogan as another version of the Malaysian Malaysia concept that was first aired in the 1960s by the People Action Party’s Lee Kuan Yew, who brought Singapore to help form Malaysia and later cried when Kuala Lumpur ejected the island state.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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