The NEP Should Be Replaced By A Malaysian First Economic Policy

The NEP Should Be Replaced By A Malaysian First Economic Policy That Guarantees Equal Economic Opportunity And Socio-Economic Justice Based On Merit And Needs.

DAP welcomes the comments made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak during an interview with Singapore’s Straits Times on his intention to dismantle the National Economic Policy (NEP) because ethnic quotas had damaged Malaysia’s competitiveness and ran counter to global trends. Najib had clearly come around to DAP’s contention over the past 40 years that the long-term benefits of ending the scheme would outweigh the “pain” involved.

Even though such comments had come 40 years too late, it is a case of better late than never. This clearly shows the impact and effectiveness of people’s power during the political tsunami of the 2008 general elections that can force the spring and bring about change towards democratic and good governance.

Just like Najib’s “One Malaysia, People First, Performance Now”, DAP has no objections to Najib copying from DAP’s handbook of ideas, ideals and principles of nation-building and Malaysian Malaysia. Instead of helping the poor and marginalised sections of society, especially the Malays, the NEP has become a huge gravy train of cronyism, corruption and nepotism where public interests are sacrificed for private benefit.

Instead of wiping out poverty and hard-core poverty amongst the masses, the NEP has created millionaires out of UMNO politicians and several other lucky non-UMNO BN politicians. The NEP should be replaced by a Malaysian First Economic Policy that guarantees equal economic opportunity and socio-economic justice based on merit and needs.

The time has come to create wealth by developing and retaining our human talents instead of the continuous brain drain to Singapore as well as distribute wealth equitably from the huge Petronas oil revenues. Giving RM 35 billion annually which allows each middle-income family earning less than RM 6,000 monthly to receive RM 6,000 annually would only come up to 1/3 of Petronas annual profits.

DAP hopes that Najib is committed to dismantling the NEP as he had described his move in combative terms, describing himself as a “warlord” who would face down opposition from smaller chiefs in his party. For the sake of our country’s future, DAP is willing to set aside political interests and ignore partisan differences to save the nation from the excesses, inefficiencies and malpractices endemic in the NEP.

Using Police State Mentality To Arrest Those Holding Candles As A Threat To National Security Is Detrimental To Democracy, Basic Human Rights And Freedom.

DAP unreservedly condemns Selangor police for continuing to arrest peaceful and law-abiding citizens exercising their democratic rights in candlelight vigils demanding fresh elections in Perak to allow the people to determine the government of their choice. The latest Ampang Jaya police action, where sixteen people including DAP Teratai state assemblywoman Jenice Lee were remanded for two days for allegedly holding a candlelight vigil, makes a mockery of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s calls for greater freedom and democracy.

Using police state mentality to arrest those holding candles as a threat to national security is not only making Malaysia an international laughing stock but also grossly detrimental to democracy, basic human rights and freedom. It is ridiculous that the 16 were arrested when they were also for lighting candles celebrating the birthday of Lim Swee Kuan who is DAP leader Lim Kit Siang’s assistant..

Home Minister Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn should intervene immediately and instruct the police to focus on its job of fighting crime by stopping the arrests of law-abiding and peaceful demonstrators. No wonder crime is getting worse every day when the police is not doing what they are paid for.

LIM GUAN ENG

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