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Only deserving bumiputras should be promoted, says PM

Any affirmative action to help bumiputras should be based on meritocracy to ensure only the deserving ones are promoted, said the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, citing a criticism he had often made that the right people had not been promoted in the past, added that bumiputras should no longer depend on quotas to advance.

“If you give them quota, what will happen is that they will rest on their laurels and eventually they will not gain expertise and management skills,” he said at a dialogue session at the closing of Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2011.

Najib said promoting the right people to help them succeed was important. “If the right bumiputras are promoted, they will succeed and the non-bumiputras will not begrudge them,” he added.

However, he stressed that the assistance given to the bumiputras must be in a way that will allow them to grow from small medium entrepreneurs to something bigger.

Najib also said that giving bumiputras the 30% quota (of shares) would not be effective as at the end of the day, they would only end up with a small percentage.

This, he said, was because they sell down their stakes in order to repay the bank loans they took to buy the shares in the first place.

“Now we have to find a good bumiputra, tested bumiputra and dedicated bumiputra who can succeed.

“We can support them and make them more competitive. These are some of the initiatives that we have identified,” he added.

The Prime Minister also said a slew of new legislations as well as amendments and the repeal of several existing Acts would be made in the coming Parliament meeting.

He said the Government would decide today on the timetable for the new legislations or for the amendments or repeal of Acts to be made.

“The recent announcement I made was to reflect the Government’s commitment to ensure greater civil liberties in the country. We want Malaysia to be a modern, functioning democracy,” he said.

He added that the Government would also look at best practices that were already in place, be it in the region or internationally.

On Sept 15, Najib announced the abolition of the Internal Security Act and the Banishment Act. Two new Acts would soon be in place to look at terrorism and subversive activities.

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