DAP supports the suggestion of not only retaining the EOC in the New Economic Model(NEM) as suggested by National Economic Advisory Council member Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam Mohd Yusof but also an Equal Opportunity Act to allow us to maximize human talents and stop the flow of 2 million Malayisan who have left the country since Merdeka in 1957.
Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance President Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said that such a law would allow equal chances to all and develop sustainable economic policies. Increasingly many Malays are also leaving, just look at Dubai. The terrible cost we are paying can be seen by the failure to realize our full economic potential causing Malaysia to lose out to other countries that were far behind us previously.
For instance, Gross national income (GNI) per capita of South Korea in 1970 was below that of Malaysia (US$260 versus US$380), but by 2009, South Korea’s was three times larger than Malaysia’s ($21,530 versus $6,760). By 2020 Malaysia’s targeted GNI per capita of USD 15,000 would not even exceed South Korea’s GNI per capita now.
In 2010 Singapore overtook Malaysia as South-East Asia’s third-largest economy, after Indonesia and Thailand. Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 was US$210 billion as compared to Malaysia’s US$ 205billion.
We have failed as a country to grow the size of our economy and lost out in the race towards economic competitiveness. Singapore is significantly smaller in size and in terms of population, compared with Malaysia. Malaysia is 478 times the size of Singapore and our population, at 27 million, much larger than its tiny neighbour’s 4.8 million.
In addition, Singapore is not blessed with as much natural resources as Malaysia. And yet, Singapore has been actively transforming its economy over the years and it now stands as the easiest place to do business in the world and an important regional financial hub. Can Malaysia catch up when last year, Singapore’s GDP per capita was US$36,537 (up from US$512 in 1965) compared with Malaysia’s US$ 6,975 (US$ 335 in 1965)?
How Can Malaysia Reform Itself Into A High-income Economy With Per Capita Income Of USD 15,000 By 2020 If The NEM Is Determined Not By Learned Economists But By Ignorant Racists Such As Perkasa.
Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam revealed that a performance based system and EOC was dropped after the Federal Government caved in to extremist groups such Perkasa, meant that the cabinet had failed the test on reforms. How can Malayisa reform itself into a high-income economy with a GNI per capita of USD15,000 by 2020 if the NEM is determined not by learned economists such as Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam but by ignorant racists such as Perkasa?
Datuk Dr Zainal also said that the appointment of former Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad as Felda chairperson sends the wrong signals in reference to Mohd Isa’s track record of graft. UMNO had barred Isa from contesting in the UMNO elections in 2005 for being involved in money politics.
For Malaysia not to be left further behind by other countries, the time has come to ensure that appointments to top positions are based on competency and integrity. No political crony should be appointed just because he is well-connected or by ignoring his corrupt background. There is no point having the most competent person if he is corrupt. Similarly there is no point having the cleanest person if he is not competent.
There are many Malaysians who possess both qualities of competency and integrity but many have left because they do not enjoy equal opportunity. If the government does not want another 2 million Malaysians to leave, quick action must be taken to ensure that the content of our character and our level of expertise is more important than the colour of our skin and our political connections.
LIM GUAN ENG