What Does Najib's New Bumiputera Agenda Mean For Malaysia?

Najib's 'Malaysia Day present' for Malaysia, the new Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Plan (BEEP) is seen as a gift to the Bumiputra's, but was also described as "the worst Malaysia Day present" to the non-Malays. We make sense of what the new racial economic plan is and how will it affect the nation.

  • Najib introduced the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Plan (BEEP) on 14 September 2013 to aid Bumiputeras financially

    • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak unveiled a new economic policy a week ago aimed at increasing Malay participation and control of the economy. The so-called Bumiputera Agenda is expected to run into the year 2020 and beyond.

      asianewsnet.net
      • 6b20 Image via mkini.net
        Najib introduced the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Plan (BEEP) on 14 September 2013 to aid Bumiputeras financially
    • It aims to reduce inequality of income not only between Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras, but among Bumiputeras themselves.

      nst.com.my
    • Worth approaching RM30 billion, the BEEP will dish out loans for entrepreneurs, for instance, and will require every government ministry to carve out contracts from big projects to award to bumiputera-owned businesses.

      economist.com
    • The new plan includes a slew of economic programmes as well as cash aid which Putrajaya said was aimed at helping Bumiputeras financially.

      themalaysianinsider.com
    • Some of the highlights of this Agenda includes the setting up of a powerful Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Council, the announcement of an injection of 10 billion units of Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 (ASB2), demands on GLCs and GLICs to increase Bumiputera property ownership and to increase their respective Bumiputera Vendor Development Programs (VDPs).

      freemalaysiatoday.com
    • Highlights: ‘carve out’ policies to ensure Bumiputera participation in big projects such as the Menara Warisan and Rubber Research Institute (RRI) projects, the creation of yet another Bumiputera entrepreneurship fund entitled SUPERB and the creation of Bumiputera Development Units in all ministries to implement the Bumiputera Agenda initiatives.

      freemalaysiatoday.com
  • The emphasis of BEEP was fully on Bumiputras, a contradiction to Najib's existing NEM, ETP and GTP transformation programmes

    • "Najib should publicly state whether he has finally given up on the ghost of the NEM. It seems he lacks the political will and leadership to defend the NEM," Lim Kit Siang.

      themalaysianinsider.com
    • This agenda overturns nearly all of the key aspects of Najib’s transformation programs, namely the New Economic Model (NEM), the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) and the Government Transformation Program (GTP).

      malaysia-today.net
    • Najib’s Bumiputera Agenda makes no mention of targeting the bottom 40% of households in order to narrow disparities between the rich and the poor, the urban and the rural, the Bumiputera and the non-Bumiputera, this was a key focus of the NEM.

      freemalaysiatoday.com
    • What is more disappointing is the fact that Najib left out any mention the need to target the poor in Sabah and Sarawak, the vast majority of whom are Bumiputera as well as the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia. These groups were specifically mentioned in the NEM as well as the 10th Malaysia Plan.

      malaysia-today.net
    • Najib’s Bumiputera Agenda contravenes the initiative to increase competition and liberalise key service sectors by once again restricting the players who take part in the marketplace. It contravenes the initiative to reduce the government’s role in business by once again trying to influence the policies of the GLCs and GLICs.

      freemalaysiatoday.com
  • Najib's u-turn in policies is seen as UMNO's way of winning back the Malays after BN performed its worst ever during the GE13

    • Though the UMNO-led ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), won the election, its performance was its worst ever. The BN’s share of the popular vote fell to just 47%.

      economist.com
    • UMNO blamed what it saw as a near calamity on the defection of a large share of the Chinese vote to the opposition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, a political veteran—despite Mr Najib’s concerted efforts to woo Chinese and Indian voters.

      economist.com
    • The lesson that UMNO has now drawn is that the more inclusive and liberal style of politics promoted by Mr Najib does not work. So the party has reverted to the bad old ways of race-based politics to shore up the Malay base, at the expense of those who were ungrateful enough to vote for the opposition.

      economist.com
    • However cynical, these moves seem to have saved Mr Najib’s skin, at least for the moment. They have forced Mr Najib to shift direction. There is no denying the damage to Mr Najib’s credibility. To many Malaysians, even ethnic Malays, Mr Najib has sacrificed political principles to save his job.

      economist.com
  • Najib says this is to reward the Malays for supporting UMNO during the GE-13. By extension, it felt like a punishment to those who voted for the opposition.

    • When announcing the new policy, Najib made no bones about the purpose of the Bumiputera Agenda, namely, to reward the Malays for their support of the UMNO-led BN in the 13th general election that saw UMNO's hold in Parliament increase from 79 seats in the 2008 elections to 88 seats.

      asianewsnet.net
    • This is nothing short of punishment of non-Malays for voting opposition, and an attempt at large-scale political bribery of the Malay community.

      malaysia-chronicle.com
  • Chinese and Indian community leaders say the marginalization of non-Malays is against the 1Malaysia policy Najib himself championed

      • Wan Saiful Wan Jan is the Founding Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs.
      • Chinese and Indian community leaders say the marginalization of non-Malays is against the 1Malaysia policy Najib himself championed
    • The Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Plan is a sad commentary on the dismal failures of Najib’s 1Malaysia Policy predicated on the basis that the principles of 1Malaysia with Malaysians regarding themselves first as Malaysians and by race, religion, region or socio-economic status second are woven into all aspects of Malaysian nation-building policies and social fabric of society.

      limkitsiang.com
    • The Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Plan must be faulted on two grounds: the marginalisation of the non-Malays in Malaysia and the continued hegemony of Umno-putras to be the main beneficiaries of the RM31 billion BEEP as during the years of New Economic Policy (NEP) creating fortunes and wealth for the UMNO few.

      limkitsiang.com
    • “With this sort of policy, there will be no longer be a 1Malaysia spirit and the Malays can be entrenched as the privileged group,” said Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEA) CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

      freemalaysiatoday.com
    • “Before elections, he was championing for the 1Malaysia spirit through his transformation programme and now that he is back in power, a new set of direction has surfaced to empower the bumiputeras,” said Wan Saiful.

      freemalaysiatoday.com
  • Lawyers go one step further and say the new economic plan is unconstitutional as it exceeds the quotas stated in the Federal Constitution

      • D50b Image via umno-online.my
        N Surendran, Human Rights lawyer, Animal Rights activist, Member of Parliament for Padang Serai, Co-founder Lawyers for Liberty.
    • All these benefits are solely for bumiputras! This new racial economic plan is unreasonable, unlawful, unconstitutional and racist. Such racial discrimination is not only in breach of our laws and Constitution, but also international human rights standards.

      malaysia-chronicle.com
    • Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which allows very specific and limited quotas for Bumiputras, does not permit wide-ranging race-based economic discrimination as set out in this new plan.

      malaysia-chronicle.com
    • Nothing in the Constitution allows the government to set up massive funds, share schemes, housing developments and contracts, for the benefit of one race only.

      malaysia-chronicle.com
    • "The object of the Bumiputra Economic Empowerment plan is thus completely illegal, racist and criminal in nature," concluded PKR vice president N Surendran.

      malaysiakini.com
  • Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor denies any racial sidelining with the Bumiputra Agenda

      • 050c Image via theposto.com
        Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor denies any racial sidelining with the Bumiputra Agenda
    • Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor today hit out at those Chinese newspapers which try to turn the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment agenda into a racial issue.

      thesundaily.my
    • "We don't want to see newspapers, particularly the Chinese newspapers, to create the impression that the government is ignoring the Chinese community with the launching of the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Programmes by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak recently. It is not true.

      thesundaily.my
    • "When we assist the Bumiputeras, we are not sidelining the Chinese and Indian communities. This has never happened in the nation's history. Racial economic balance is important to preserve unity and harmony in this country," he said.

      bernama.com
  • Several Malay leaders are also worried, saying not only will this make Malays "lazy", economic aid must be distributed equally

      • 659d Image via blogspot.com
        Dato' Mohd Zaid Ibrahim is a prominent Malaysian lawyer turned politician and is a former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of legal affairs and judicial reform.
    • Already, there are Malays in Malaysia who are voicing out against the policy. One negative belief is that every successful Malay who reaches the top of his career achieves it not through his own ability, but through the special assistance provided by the state under the race-based policy.

      asianewsnet.net
    • As former UMNO minister Zaid Ibrahim wrote in his blog: "Today after many years of being 'special', the Malays who are successful are never accepted for their ability; they must have received 'special treatment' from UMNO."

      asianewsnet.net
    • Zaid described race-based policies as an "addiction" which makes Malays lazy. He told a news website: "The idea of helping one particular group is no longer necessary... Instead, you should start on the premise that everyone should be treated equally and fairly and help those in need, and not just the Malays."

      asianewsnet.net
    • It is not right for any economic aid to be chanelled to the bumiputera community alone, but rather, must be distributed equally across all races, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said today.

      malaysiakini.com
    • "It is understandable that the bumiputera community has the most amount of people who are being left behind (economically). But at the same time the concept has to be equal for all," he added.

      malaysiakini.com
  • Other Malay business groups believe the BEEP can help entrepreneurial Malays if the government start facing the challenges of corruption

    • Putrajaya's controversial Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Plan (BEEP) may not be perfect but it can help needy entrepreneurial Malays if the government addresses cronyism, corruption and leakages in businesses, says a public-funded Malay business group.

      themalaysianinsider.com
    • MTEM’s records of Malay-run businesses show that while there are many Malay companies, over 99% are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Nizam also said that there are many young Malay entrepreneurs who strive to be competitive but are facing roadblocks due to the lack of opportunities.

      themalaysianinsider.com
    • “Our policies do not support failure. There’s no second chance. Once you fail, you can’t get funds anywhere else. The Chinese usually have other support systems like relatives. But the Malays rely on banks since they don't have other forms of financial backing.”

      themalaysianinsider.com
    • “If you look at the richest people in Malaysia, it doesn’t matter who they are, they all have government support from either licensing or contracts. There’s a lot of social segregation. Monopoly in terms of race and class.”

      themalaysianinsider.com
    • “The government should focus on the outcome of the plan instead of dumping more money. It just creates negativity between races,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

      themalaysianinsider.com
  • What is the future of Malaysia with the BEEP in place?

      • 3c9a Image via blogspot.com
        What is the future of Malaysia with the BEEP in place?
    • The New Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda will further make the community dependent on the government and hinder the spirit of the New Economic Model (NEM), said Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEA) CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

      freemalaysiatoday.com
    • He added that Najib had lost his sense of direction and this could create a disparity among the races and widen the gap between the rich and poor.

      freemalaysiatoday.com
    • The agenda will threaten to hurt Malaysia's interests in the long run. The new policy will not only breed more cronyism and corruption, but also accelerate the brain drain of minority Chinese and Indian professionals.

      asianewsnet.net
    • The new agenda, seen against this backdrop, would imply that the UMNO-led administration would no longer reach out to the Chinese community. The danger is that racial polarisation will remain acute. Chinese and Indian Malaysians, feeling marginalised, will vote with their feet in future elections.

      asianewsnet.net
    • Meanwhile a stuttering Malaysian economy will somehow have to raise the necessary billions for the new BEEP. A brain drain abroad of talented Chinese- and Indian-Malaysians, disgusted by the overt racism of it all, will continue. And the country’s stated goal of becoming a prosperous economy by 2020 will recede further.

      economist.com
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