Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stand firm! DAP grandmaster Dr Chen Man Hin tells 'fickle' Najib

There are signs that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is weakening and submitting to pressure by Umno and right-wing Malay group Perkasa to retain the racial concepts of the NEP in the New Economic Model (NEM).

Describing this as unfortunate, DAP's life adviser Chen Man Hin said Najib is “vacillating” and hence postponing the launch of the NEM.

Underscoring the importance of holding an open debate on the NEM, he noted how the NEP was pushed through Parliament in 1971 without a full discussion.

“Only the cabinet and government under the then prime minister were privy to the details, and it was rushed through Parliament,” he said in a statement.

Highlighting how the NEP failed, Chen, who is in his 80s, said the original aim was to restructure society, to rescue the Malays from poverty and to give them access to all strata of the economy.

While there are more middle class Malays now, the DAP veteran however said the vast majority of them still live in grinding poverty and many others below the poverty line where families subsist on RM1,500 a month.

“The wealth which was supposed to be transferred to the Malay poor was hijacked midway by Umno cronies. They have become rich beyond their wildest dreams.

“The NEP obstructed and destroyed the entrepreneur spirit of the people. Foreigners avoided investing in Malaysia. Many skilled and talented Malaysians migrated to greener pastures like Singapore, Australia, Canada and US.

“The government has made the public admission that 300,000 Malaysians left the shores of the country in 2008. The government also admitted that one decade of economic progress was lost after the Asian financial crisis of 1998,” he added.

PM must wake up

Chen said Pakatan Rakyat urges Najib to stand firm and scrap the NEP policies and its place, implement an economic policy which will provide the push for the economy to progress and prosper.

“At independence, Malaya had the second highest per capita income in Asia, after Japan. After 1971, with the NEP, the GDP of Malaysia began falling behind that of the four Asian tigers (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore).

“In 2009, while the GDP of Malaysia stood at US$8,000, South Korea and Taiwan rose to US$19,000, Hong Kong to $32,000 and Singapore to US$34,000,” he said.

Chen said the NEP caused Malaysia to lose four decades of economic progress and inflicted economic pain and loss on two generations of young Malaysians.

“Najib must wake up to the dangerous and retrogressive policies of Umno and Perkasa which will condemn Malaysians to a life of hardship due to low income and poverty,” he added.

Chen said the prime minister should call for a national conference of economists, entrepreneurs, businnessmen, bankers, small and medicum entrepreneurs, NGOs and political parties to discuss and agree on a new blueprint for the new economic model for Malaysia.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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