Groups urge PM to prioritise new economic policy for Malays

Diyana Ibrahim

Malay and Bumiputera groups say the Anwar Ibrahim administration needs to come up with more comprehensive solutions for the demographic's economic issues. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, April 6, 2023.

PUTRAJAYA must urgently make changes and introduce new policies to empower the Malay economy, economic and Malay groups said.

They said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration has yet to show a clear direction and target on the Malay and Bumiputera economic agenda.

Although the unity government formed in November last year announced several efforts through Budget 2023, the groups said the efforts are short-term and do not indicate a comprehensive solution for Malay and Bumiputera economic issues.

Malay Economic Action Council senior fellow Ahmad Yazid Othman said his group is expecting Anwar to introduce a big policy on the Malay and Bumiputera agenda, adding that he hopes Anwar will carry out policy reforms that will benefit more Malays and Bumiputeras.

“It is not just about solving the problem of poverty; other aspects should also be focused on, such as economic dominance.

“The policy made should be better because we hope for reforms to Bumiputera Malay institutions that are more meaningful, not just allotments,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently criticised Anwar for not defending the plight of the Malays, especially those trapped in poverty.

Political analysts described Anwar as not presenting any major policies to attract the support of Malay voters.

They said Anwar is struggling to gain the backing of Malay voters.

Although Anwar announced many incentives and assistance to low-income groups, including cash aid for farmers and fishermen, it is still not enough, they said. 

Yazid said he raised the matter because his group’s expectations of the Anwar-led government are extremely high. 

His council supports this new government because of the principle of Anwar’s struggle, which promised comprehensive reforms for Malaysia, he said.

Political analysts say Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is struggling to gain the support of Malay voters. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, April 6, 2023.

He said he hopes Anwar will prove his development policy is not only better, but also in line with his struggle.

“We don’t want the status quo; we want a better policy because we believe this government is a reformist government, so we can’t stay as before.

“We are still waiting for the policies and strategy to be announced by the prime minister,” he said.

Yazid also suggested the government set aside the political element in the Malay and Bumiputera empowerment agenda because it interferes with the focus on solving problems.

The Kedah Consumer Association said it has not seen the major changes Anwar wants to make for the Malay and Bumiputera economic agenda.

Its president Mohamad Yusrizal Yusoff said Anwar’s efforts so far have not been as he expected.

“We don’t see any major changes, but the efforts are there, such as the government’s move to increase agricultural resources as an effort to lower the price of goods, but we hope for a more precise implementation effort,” he said.

Sekretariat Gerakan Tanah Air member Armin Baniaz Pahamin claimed Anwar’s government has not focused on the economic issues of Malays and Bumiputeras.

He said this is apparent with Putrajaya wanting to close and merge government agencies such as the Bumiputera Investment Foundation and the Bumiputera Property Trust Foundation.

“The merger of agencies should give more solid support to the development of Bumiputeras, but it now seems to minimise the scope and importance of Bumiputeras,” he said.

While tabling Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat, Anwar said the government will restructure government-linked companies and their subsidiaries. – April 6, 2023.

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  • In other words, these goons what to be king free loaders sucking on the blood of people who work!!

    Posted 1 year ago by Alphonz Jayaraman · Reply

  • During this holy month of Ramadan, you lot are still harping on race and religion. God did not create this world for just your ethnic group and religion. God meant it for everyone. Why can't you see this and ask for an economic policy for all the poor and needy.

    Posted 1 year ago by T E · Reply

  • I think you need to ask yourselves why you think the Malays and Bumis have not thrived given the fact that we have had Malay centric governments since the beginning and especially after 1969. You also need to recognise that our country right now is cash strapped because of all the extravance and other issues in the past. Can't expect Unity Govt create money out of nowhere

    Posted 1 year ago by Geraldine Jambu · Reply