NATIONAL ECONOMIC POLICY -AN ANALYSIS
The national economic policy which the Barisan Nasional government in the past had harped and was proud of bred rampant corruption, abuse of power, in competency and ali-baba dealings. It was a policy that had failed and in which had created a greater wedge between the haves and haves not. Those who are rich are only handful people in the corridors of power who got their riches at the expense of not only of their blind followers, but, at the majority of the people in the nation. The New Economic Policy was supposed to help the bumiputeras, but, only those handful people in the corridors of power could really enjoy its benefit over the rest of other bumiputras. The people in the corridors of power took advantage of the New Economic Policy (“NEP”) and with their acquired riches, one thing for them to know is that all of us only eat three meals a day and this was a norm imposed by God on us and we should be happy of this. Even if one can be richer and could enjoy the acquired wealth with the help of the NEP, that wealth could not be brought to the graves.
Those who benefited and became rich should also be told of what the doctors had used to warn us of over eating. The more meals you eat, the faster you go to medical centres for treatment! This is because excessive meals cannot keep us fit and healthy! What a waste and the bills from private medical centres are not cheap either!
To those who get rich with the help of the New Economic Policy, please do not forget the people and the down trodden people that need your help. Do not think you are Lord because with your unjustified wealth, God’s willing the wealth can be robbed from you!
The New Economic Policy had failed as we here still have people who robbed, steal and cheat and it was a shock when a father had to steal to make a living for his family and when arrested, he suffers the embarrassment of arrest in the eyes of his children! His shame will be very unbearable and his liberty will then be left at the mercy of the law.
The New Economic Policy also had caused widespread unhappiness among non-muslim Bumiputeras.
In the civil service, we could see widespread discrimination in promotion of civil servants involving non-muslim bumiputeras in East Malaysia. Despite being the majority numerically in both states they had been treated as “third class” when it comes to government help. They were also treated third-class by being denied discounts when buying property in West Malaysia. I have also heard constant complaints by non-muslim bumiputeras their unhappiness on such as matters touching on job opportunities in the civil service, Public Services Department scholarships overseas, business licences and government contracts. The majority of non-muslim bumiputeras will remain poor and it would therefore impossible to see them able to compete with other races.
These showed that the New Economic Policy which ended officially in 1990 was a failure and when there were cries that this policy should be corrected or changed, people from the Barisan Nasional was too protective of this. When the Policy was replaced by the National Development Policy, many of those in the Barisan Nasional also refused to recognize this. Why? Is it because they were all afraid that they no more will enjoy what you had enjoyed under the NEP. They may also be afraid that other people who are poor out there will share part of what you had all these while enjoyed?
When the New Economic Policy, has failed to shape the society to a more equitable distribution of wealth which had caused the gap between the poor and the rich became wider and where better harmony and peace could not be achieved, why should we cling to such a policy? The Barisan Nasional government has come with the National Development Policy in 1991 and this new policy was supposed to correct the imbalances or evils created by the New Economic Policy. It was also designed to narrow down the gap between the poor and the rich of all races, then why still shout of the New Economic Policy?
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his maiden speech as United Malays National Organization (UMNO) president in the UMNO general assembly in 2004 had stated that “Let’s not use the crutches for support all the time, the knee will become weak”. The Prime Minister also went to say that the continued use of the crutches would eventually in need of a wheelchair instead. This is because those who acquired wealth this way will never learn the ropes of business well as their survival was too dependant on the government and they were so used to it, making them “subsidy businessmen” and this may cause them not to have the skill to compete at global stage. Their acquired wealth in this way if invested outside Malaysia will see them collapse and once collapse the only way to float will be to seek the government to bail them out. In the end caused by these bail-outs, the country’s economy will also collapse. This was what was meant by the Prime Minister that the continued use of the crutches will eventually lead to the use of wheelchair.
The warning by the Prime Minister in 2004 should be taken seriously and if we are not careful, it will create more social ills and can spark into civil unrests. Civil unrests may follow if only a handful of persons could really benefit out of the New Economic Policy. The larger population who do not benefit from the NEP may take their grievances to the streets and this can cause the fall of our social order.
The NEP had somehow or rather scared away foreign investments and had made the rich non-malays shifted their investments overseas and now many have went to China, where the market is too huge to capture. We must not forget that in 2005, foreign investments fell by USD4 billion, or 14% and we should not deny that NEP has something to do with the decline of foreign investments.
Those who have been left out of the NEP has kept on growing and being left out, they will have no choice, but, to join hands with those who opposed this policy to no more support their allegiance to the BN government. The time is now near that BN government will see that the evils of the NEP will cause the BN government to collapse and be taken over by the Opposition. Come next parliamentary election, if BN will not be lucky, their seats may fall one by one like dominos.