Nol Aug 22, 08 4:31pm
It is important for Malaysians - Malays, Chinese and Indians alike - to recognise that the most important ingredient for Malaysia's dramatic growth in the late 80s and till the 1997 crisis was large foreign investments.
A critical success factor that was clearly in Malaysia's favour was the stability that the country enjoys. The stability was the making of all races recognising the need to co-exist as stakeholders of Malaysia.
It is important to recognise and appreciate the difficult (and sometimes awkward) balancing act that the government has to make. The challenges that globalisation poses through free trade agreements with trading partners represents a clear threat to any affirmative action policies in Malaysia.
These challenges brought about new realities for the bumiputera community and the need for the bumiputera to prepare themselves to meet these challenges brought about by the force of globalisation, primarily the ability to compete in a fully-liberalised environment.
It is forthcoming that globalisation could mean less room for nationalistic policies and fewer government interventions especially when we can readily acknowledge that affirmative action programmes are seen as fundamental barriers to free mobilisation of trade, capital and human that globalisation promulgates.
It is imperative to recognise that the government will forever hold back a politically suicidal step to fully liberalise without first ensuring the readiness, the willingness and the ability of all races in Malaysia to survive this threat and turn them into opportunities for every segment of the society.
For this to happen, it is equally important for the non-bumiputera to take a step back and not push the bumiputera into a corner. Non-bumiputeras should engage in more productive inter- ethnic relationships and promote more meaningful partnerships with bumiputeras beyond the Ali-Baba mechanism.
The sincerity of the non-bumiputera to share a slice of the economic cake with their bumiputera counterparts without any government intervention has to be clearly evident to earn the faith of the bumiputera community in that the NEP is redundant.
Employment opportunities in the private sector have to be more reflective of the racial composition of the country. Until this can happen in the private sector without any government intervention, the bumiputera will always feel threatened on their ability to stake a fair claim in the economic pie without any government intervention.
If all stakeholders of this country genuinely accept this reality, we can agree that whilst there are one too many opinions, theories, hypotheses, questions and too many answers and essentially too many versions that claim to represent the truth, on the part of bumiputera, there is a need to honestly and critically evaluate their situation.
To clearly understand what challenges lie in the future for them, to clearly define how they should respond to these challenges and to align attitudes and behaviors to yield improved results and outcome.
There has to be a ‘Clear’, ‘Concise’ and ‘Common’ idea about the vision of the New Bumiputera for:
Individual relevance - a formula to help the bumiputera help themselves;
National relevance - a need to understand their co-existence with other races, to harmonise their plan and honestly integrate their vision and plan and objectively work with other races (not robbing Peter to pay Paul.) and;
Global relevance - a model for bumiputeras and Muslims in other countries.
It is in the interest of everyone that we formulate a Bumiputera Agenda that is not in conflict, but rather complementary to the overall objectives of the progressing of the Nation. Everyone, regardless of race, is a stakeholder in this respect.
Source : Malaysiakini