Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eyeing Naim's views on the Bumiputera Economic Empowering Plan announced by PM

Datuk Naim Mohamad
Deputy President MNCF
Vice President PERDASAMA

Thank God, ALLAH, the almighty. After 132 days when Malaysians decided on the Government of Malaysia and its Leadership, the winner has come out to thank publicly and loudly the loyal supporters. The Bumiputera Community was acknowledged rightfully for their undying support to continue with the Government that had given them peace, stability, progress and prosperity.It is also timely for YAB Dato Sri Najib to make the all important announcement before flying to Sarawak and Sabah to inaugrate the 50th celebration of Malaysia. Sarawak and Sabah being the heartland and strength of the ALLIANCE and later the BARISAN NASIONAL (National Front)  since 1963 and after 1965.

When YAB Dato Sri Najib propounded Gagasan 1 Malaysia on the 16th of September, 2010 with the intentions and objective of strengthening Ethnic harmony and National Unity, by making the citizens supreme and prioritising performance and delivery, he must have thought deep and long that this will be the formula to bring Malaysia to a developed status country by 1st January, 2020. His courageous and bold move which was easily misunderstood by many gave the impression that his centrist move to unite Malaysia as 1 Malaysia may erode the rights of the indeginous community, the Malays and Bumiputeras at large in favour of liberalised policies for Malaysians. So when the Honourable Prime Minister dissolves Parliament on the 3rd of April, 2013, his conscience is clear that Malaysians will give him the full support for what many may conclude as a betrayal to his race. With GOD's grace, the majority of his race stood by him and UMNO increased seats in Parliament by 9 seats to 88 seats. Bumiputera based parties in Sarawak and Sabah manage to hold their bastion whilst Non Bumi parties crumbled and lost their seats to the Democratic Action Party (DAP) who gained 10 Parliamentary seats.

The 13th General Election whilst not reflecting what happened on the 13th of May, 1969 do ring alarm bells that race based results are clearly glaring at Malaysia. The call for change is a democratic kudita to oust the party of the government that had fought for independence and the formation of Malaysia. They were blind to the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), they were deaf to the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), they muted the New Economic Model (NEM). The barrages of reforms that YAB Dato Sri Najib's government embarks upon like the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA), introducing a series of liberalisation policies in Key Startegic Areas and seriously looking into Corruption and also Public transportation became non issues to them.The loud message was CHANGE, for better or worse. 

The 55 years of service making Malaya free of Communist insurgents, planning and implementing 5 year plans, democratising education, building and developing a peaceful and progressive Malaysia, the New Economic Policy, the National Development Plan, Wawasan 2020 (National Vision Policy), National Transformation Policy and the other thousands of initiatives are not important. As citizens, it is their rights to receive and enjoy all the abovementioned. For some, it is their right for not being thankful (syukur), for some they can be irresponsible to the fruits of peace, security and stability that is the core foundation for Malaysia to develop.

Malaysia's development is inclusive and whilst eradicating poverty and restructuring society under the New Economic Policy, no other race was infringed. We are not apologetic and we do not have to apologise. Other races was understood to have gained from a lot of Government Procurements even though the Bumiputeras take the credit for obtaining the jobs. Projects were completed and human resource was engaged, equipments rented, materials supplied and services rendered not one hundred percent by Bumiputeras who were successful in their bids.The wealth was shared.

So once again the wealth sharing exercise is being renewed in the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment (BEE) Plan. Whilst it looks like the Bumiputeras are to gain, be rest assured that the pie will be shared. The plan is being implemented in a growing economy, an expanding economy where carve outs are executed from new projects and not past or present ones. Its only justified and fair that the 70 odd percent of Malaysians share the benefits and prosperity of their beloved country. A fact to be accepted is that Muslims and Non Muslims of the Bumiputera origin are 70% of the population.

In order for Bumiputeras to realise the BEE, they must behave like the bee. Bees, like ants, are a specialized form of waspAnts form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals.Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems. 
The Bumiputera Community must respond by Organizing themselves to act on the plan.

Be it in Education, Social or Economy. Bumiputera non governmental organisations must unite and act together to have their own blue prints in making the BEE PLAN a success. With the creation of Bumiputera Development Units in each respective Ministry and the formation of the Bumiputera Economic Council (Majlis Ekonomi Bumiputera) headed by YAB Dato Sri Najib himself, the beneficiaries or stakeholders must have an effective controlling and monitoring system to effect the deliveries efficiently. Majlis Perunding Melayu (MPM) and the Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu (MTEM) should get organised to take greater responsibility in coordinating Bumiputera NGO's. Its not time for bickering amongst themselves or to voice criticisms or suggestions. They must transform themselves to deliver the BEE PLAN. They should galvanize the movement energitically and professionally to map out the implementation of the plan and assist the Government and related Agencies in acheiving their key performance index (KPI). If for example the MEB meets once a month, than the Organized NGO's form together with their clusters should meet at least once a week. A solid agenda and system of communication should be established for this to be productive. They should be assisted by an Intelligence Unit and also Research & Development Unit created from their own members initiative.This can be funded by a special grant as a start up and later finance from revenue of the units.

Enhancing Bumiputera participation and success should be looked at from "Womb to Tomb" exercise. Welfare care, health and nutrition to a Bumiputera foetus in the womb is very important in delivering a healthy Bumiputera baby. Attention must be given during the critical formative years of the baby up to preschool. Than the Education system takes over to equip the Bumiputera to be a knowledgeable and useful citizen. The investment climate in which the Bumipoutera is to secure his or her carrer will need to be in place, for those venturing as entrepreneurs will likewise depend on a peaceful, stable and progressive sosio economic environment locally, in the country or internationally (overseas). Second and third chances offered for failures and that life long learning opportunities readily available for diversifications and minor or structural changes to vocation or activities. Some of these the Government can do, but most of these, the Bumiputeras themselves should organize and take up the responsibility for their future. They should not depend on others. Whilst time permits for others to render help and assistance to the Bumiputeras, there is no excuse for them not to buck up and start organizing themselves to better their future.

In organizing action for the future, the reality is to work within the eco system. Bumiputeras cannot survive on their own, they still have to interact with the other communities. The diversity of Malaysia is actually our strength. The action will include everybody and with that understanding Malaysia will develop faster where what is fair is fair, what is just is just and what is equitable is equitable. The harmony and unity amongst Malaysians will be key to the success.


Yours Truly: Naim bin Mohamad
Vice President Perdasama,
Bureau Chairman ICT & NGO's and Government Relations.

Writer can be communicated at:

Eyeing A Jalil Hamid's opinion on the timely move to uplift Bumiputeras

EMPOWERED: Najib’s Bumiputera initiative is to ensure sustainable growth with equity

SHORT of rhetoric, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday outlined a concrete action plan to push the Bumiputera community up  the economic ladder.
At a huge gathering attended by mostly Malays at UiTM, an iconic Malay institution, he unveiled five strategic thrusts to empower the Bumiputeras through education and in all sectors of the economy.
This comes at a very critical time. It was Najib and Umno's clear response to grumblings and grievances aired by the Bumiputeras on the ground of their struggles to keep up with the pace in terms of income, jobs, home ownership and businesses with other main races.
Some of these grievances are genuine and yet, they did not turn their back on Umno and Barisan Nasional in the 13th General Election.
They ensured that the BN remained firmly in power in Putrajaya despite the opposition onslaught. Najib acknowledged this in his fiery speech yesterday.
"We listen to your grouses. We also feel your pulses and your concerns. Yes indeed!!!... we hear you... we hear you, loud and clear."
He is aware that the government's gesture this time around through a myriad of initiatives will be met with scepticism by the Malays, some who feared that it could be nothing more than a smokescreen to reward party loyalists or selected businessmen rather than helping the deserving ones.
This has to be countered by showing some early results of the progress of the initiatives. There are also execution issues that his administration will have to contend with. These include doing away with onerous and time-consuming approval processes and paperwork.
Selecting start-up companies under the new scheme that will develop a core group of innovative and creative entrepreneurs, for example, should not involve a burdensome process that could take months.
Najib stressed the need to promote meritocracy in selecting the best Bumiputera companies to handle future jobs. For this to happen, there should be greater transparency and market-friendly approach to ensure that everything is above board.
At the end, the idea is to develop a new pool of Bumiputera entrepreneurs who are resilient, competitive, innovative and willing to take risks. The entrepreneurs, according to Najib, should be passionate in what they do.
We don't want to see a repeat of the old ways where Bumiputera businessmen choose to take the easy way out by selling out their contracts to other parties. In short, rent-seekers are just being dishonest themselves.
The whole concept of Najib's Bumiputera initiative is to ensure sustainable growth with equity. It is not about taking away the rights of other races. Rather, the government is seeking to grow the economic pie so that everyone, irrespective of race, will have a bigger share.
It has to be inclusive, too.
Empowering the Bumiputera economy does not mean denying other people's interests.
In a clear message to non-Bumis, Najib told the audience that what the government was doing was "fair, right and equitable".
Malaysia's social re-engineering, introduced since the May 13, 1969 incident, was meant at eradicating poverty and restructuring society.
That has been the well-accepted policy that has spawned great success especially in poverty eradication. The income gap between the Malays and the non-Malays has also narrowed sharply.
The Western press is bound to question the latest government initiative which could be construed as "entrenching Malaysia's race-based policies".
What they failed to realise is that no significant advanced country in the world gets by without affirmative action programme of some kind.
According to one economist, it is in human nature to take care of the weakest and most vulnerable in the society.

Read more: Timely move to uplift Bumiputeras - Columnist - New Straits Times