Monday, September 16, 2013

A New Plan for All, or still just for cronies

Happy (?) Malaysia Day and NEPII for Malays

MY COMMENT: Why Happy with a Q mark? Well, I know we celebrate the malaysiaday1350th Year of the formation of Malaysia. It is for me an unhappy occasion this year. For two reasons.
One, the NEP2 that was announced on Saturday September 14 is for Malays only. Maybe for those who support UMNO. Even then, not all. After 40 years of affirmative action to deal with poverty irrespective of race and promote national unity through social engineering, the government has to go back to taxpayers (the people who pay taxes are mainly non-Malays) to support NEP2.
It is an open admission by the Prime Minister that NEP1 has failed to achieve its objectives. It needs to be replaced. So the focus of NEPII is the economic advancement of the Malays, not the plight of the poor and low income Malaysians. Malaysians now have to give the government more money via taxes and time (perhaps another 40 years) to help the Malays.
Second, it is the state of our economy. It is slowing down at a time whenDM latest our fiscal position has weakened considerably because of wasteful spending for political ends by the Najib administration. Not much is heard about our national budget 2013-2014. NEP2 will divert our attention away from the real problems that have emerged as a result of our mismanagement of our economy.
Slow growth, unemployment, inflation and corruption must be dealt with as a matter of top priority. Until  we can have concrete plans to deal with and act on these issues, what is there to celebrate today. For me, September 16, 2013 is a day for sober reflection. Why have we as a nation come to this state of affairs?--Din Merican
September 15, 2013
Latest Update: September 15, 2013 08:26 pm

A New Plan for All, or still just for cronies

by The Malaysian Insider
Najib announcing a slew of new programmes to boost the Bumiputera economic agenda at UiTM in Shah Alam yesterday. The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, September 15, 2013.
The party never ends for Umnoputras. Never. It is one continuous gorge at the buffet table, funded by Malaysian taxpayers.
Sure, it is couched in the language of a national agenda; to help Malaysia achieve the target of becoming a developed nation by 2020; to help Malays obtain jobs, houses and narrow the income gap between the have and the have-nots. Blah, blah, blah.
Whenever the government splashes money on programmes and projects, it is the rich and connected who benefit most. The rest feed on scraps.
The New Economic Policy made millionaires of some pretty pedestrian UMNO politicians and their cronies. The continuation of the NEP under the name of the National Development Policy turned the millionaires into multi-millionaires and we can be sure that the RM9.2 billion to be spent by Datuk Seri Najib Razak under the latest Malay-only initiative or NEPII will make the plunderers into the super-rich class.
Yes, some Malays will be able to own houses under the affordable housing scheme but the interest-free loan or subsidised repayment scheme will be nothing compared to the obscene profits the politician and his property developer nominee will make from taking part in the housing project.
Similarly, some Malay graduates will become more employable after attending a crash course in English but their happiness will be outdone by the select few who will make millions from delivering the training modules and building training facilities.
There are so many things wrong about the government's decision to reward its loyal voters and constituents with this new Malay agenda. One, the funds to be used by Najib and gang are from all taxpayers, not from the UMNO endowment fund or from the annual Perkasa subscription. Chinese, Indians, Punjabis and others pay taxes and are entitled to reap the benefits when taxpayer funds are used for government projects.
It is dishonest for the government to say that non-Malays will not lose out under this new affirmative action programme. Of course, they will. You are essentially taking what Samy and Chua contributed into the common pool and only rewarding Abdul.
Two, the affirmative action plan for Malays and Bumiputeras assumes wrongly that Chinese and Indians and Punjabis and Eurasians are all living in the lap of luxury.
Just take a stroll around Kampung Medan on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur and you will find Indians in abject poverty.Go into Salak South and Jinjang and you will find Chinese families struggling to make ends meet.
Three, mediocrity should never be rewarded or excused so easily. And this is what the government is doing by cobbling together another Bumiputera-first policy.
Let us take the issue of making Malays employable. Who dumbed down the Education system? Who threw out English as the medium of instruction? Who chose the easy path and set up more universities, turning tertiary institutions into nothing more than degree mills? Who scrapped the policy of teaching Maths and Science in English?
And now, after a catalogue of mistakes and mediocre decisions, the government says it has a problem on its hands: Malay graduates who are unemployable. The troubling fact: the government that put the Malay community in this mess is now saying it has got the silver bullet.
Nothing irks intelligent people more than when government practises deceit. Yesterday was all about loading up the gravy train for the UMNOputras once again.
Along the way, the people really in need of help will feast on the crumbs.
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