AFFIRMATIVE action that is not race-based may help improve the well-being of the B40 group, but such a policy will not effectively close the economic gap between the races, said the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM).
It said the recent declaration by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim that the New Economic Policy (NEP) is no longer sustainable and should be replaced by a policy that is needs-based is troubling to the Bumiputera community.
“MTEM is aware of the weaknesses in NEP’s implementation in the past, but it is wrong to undertake an affirmative action policy without considering the dimension of race, as suggested by Anwar,” it said in a statement today.
The council highlighted Barisan Nasional’s failure to close the economic gap between the races despite the pact having been in power for six decades, and called for a review of the affirmative action policy to be implemented in the future.
It said affirmative action in Malaysia must be evaluated in a way that takes race into account so as to ensure unity, and that people need to “understand the history of a certain policy” before making suggestions.
“As such, it is easier for us to reach an agreement on improvements to be made to NEP, which, in MTEM’s view, is relevant for the future.”
It said Anwar must understand that Bumiputeras expect him to “renew” NEP, not abolish it.