Friday, March 12, 2010

Malay business group wants Najib to continue doling out help

One of the country’s biggest and most influential Malay business groups wants the government to continue providing contracts and opportunities for Malay businessmen under the soon to unveiled New Economic Model (NEM).

The Selangor Malay Chambers of Commerce (DPMMS), which has the biggest number of Malay entrepreneurs in Malaysia, says continued government assistance was necessary for Malays to achieve more than 30 per cent equity in the country’s economy.

DPMMS chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail said that while Malay businesses continued to need help, they were more than ready to compete in a more liberalised economy.

“Our understanding of the 1 Malaysia concept is that everyone must be given equal opportunity regardless of race.

“With this in mind, Malays must continue to be helped by the Government to compete against other communities.

“But we must give to Malay and entrepreneurs who can genuinely perform and not to Ali Baba businessmen who would sell off the contracts they get.”

Rozali says it was this group of capable businessmen who would be able to gain more than 30 per cent equity in the economy on behalf of the Malay community.

“Liberalisation is not a problem. Malays can compete against anyone in any sector. But they need help,” Rozali told reporters at a DPMMS event here to welcome new members.

Continued help and preferential treatment for Malay businesses has been a clarion call for Malay rights groups who recently demanded that the Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (picture) administration extend such policies in the NEM.

Groups such as Perkasa have criticised the government for liberalising certain segments of the services sector which it did last year by abolishing Malay quotas. The groups claimed such moves would hamper Malay participation in those sectors.

Fearing that the NEM, which is to be announced by the end of this month, would further erase Malay quotas in other sectors, Perkasa is pressuring the Najib administration to protect Malay business interests in the new model.

The NEM is part of Najib’s efforts to steer the country out of the middle-income trap.

DPMMS’s Rozali was confident that the Government would continue to help Malay businesses through funding for small and medium enterprises and training for youths to enter business.

“We also hope that the Government focuses of infrastructure development to spur the construction and housing sectors,” he said.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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