Friday, April 07, 2006

Bumiputera This, Bumiputera That

.
If you have been watching the news lately, this is getting out of hand…

If you have noticed in the past few days on the Parliamentary session over TV3, there has not been anything except debates on Bumiputera and it’s relation to GLC and 9MP. Bumiputera this, bumiputera that and it is getting on my nerves. The issue is nothing new and at least it was not as bad as the time when one fanatic was waving a keris on the subject matter.

But what the clowns in the Parliament have failed to comprehend is that they have been elected as a MP to represent all Malaysians in their constituency and not a particular race. These clowns seem to be caught in a time warp and were debating as if the Parliament was a UMNO General Assembly, ignoring their election promise to fights for the rights & woes of not only the Bumiputera Malays but also the Bumiputera Chinese, Bumiputera Indian and other Bumiputera. Don’t the MPs have other important things to do? Passing better laws, closing down the loopholes in the existing laws and debating on other pertinent issue facing all Malaysians?

Hold on there. You may say that there is no such thing as Bumiputera Chinese or Bumiputera Indian but I have to disagree on that. We too sacrificed for the well being and progress of this country. What makes people like me, my Dad and my Grandfather who are born and lived in Malaysia for all their life to be less “bumiputera” from a Bumiputera Malay who the father is an immigrant from another country and yet can be appointed as a Chief Minister?

Bumiputera Malay make up 67% of the total population, so it is only fair that most of the nation’s wealth is used to ensure that they are at par with other races in the country. I have nothing against it and in fact, I support it in full. That is the right way anyway. What we want at the end of the day is for all Malaysians irregardless of race & religion to work together for the progress of the nation. Globalization is coming and if we are not prepared for it, it is going to whack us hard and fast. There is no 2 ways about it.

Let’s admit NEP has failed terribly. All it did was to make a few to be super-rich. The Government is consistently getting screwed in bailouts and injection of funds for this super rich – eroding the national wealth further. Those who call for the continuation of the NEP are just a bunch of people aspiring to be the next super-rich. They never had the intention of sharing the wealth with other Malaysians

There has been an increasing argument of some state owed GLCs competing with the local & small time Bumiputera companies. So what? What’s the point of doing business if you are not competent enough, lack of funding, had to rely on Government to give you an upfront payment and at end of the day, you do a shoddy work? If you are good enough, you should be able to wave the competition off – we do not need another “jaguh kampung”.

Then again, there are some GLCs making huge losses year in, year out. What is the cause? Poor management seems to be one answer. Instead of giving away to the privileged few, the well connected and people with dire lack of business skills, the Government should open up the management of GLCs to the one that truly dedicated and competent – irrespective of race, religion and even nationality. Let them turn around the GLCs, make profits and go out to meet the challenges on an international level. The people in AirAsia are doing just that. With higher profit, the Government stands to get more income via taxes and dividends. So, in the event that the GLCs failed to meet the social obligations required of them (unlikely if they are making good profit), all is not loss - there will be more money for the Government to meet its social obligation to the people.

But would this mean the 30% of Bumiputera Malay shareholding is difficult to achieve? Some zealots in the Parliament claim it will. Instead of getting individual to own up the shares and making themselves rich, the Government should just allow large corporations like Tabung Haji or MARA to take up 30% shareholding. Individual Bumiputera Malays can then invest or deposit their money in such corporations in return for dividends & interest. You will achieve the 30% of Bumiputera Malay shareholding target in no time. Further, this way all Bumiputera Malays irregardless of their economic standing can be benefit from the profits of well managed GLCs. The profit is well distributed. If you are well off and have the money & the capabilities, it should not stop you from buying shares from the remaining 70% on equal footing with other races. The rule of the game is fairness.

Ya, we Indians used to have one like the above – it was called Maika and it failed miserably. A number of my own relatives lost money in their investments in Maika. Not because the concept was flawed but the management screwed up big time on the investments. Classic case of Indians played out by other Indians. The concept however is run very successfully by unit trust companies and insurance companies these days. The Government should base on their success to implement the same to ensure 30% shareholding is achieved soon.

The solution is simple. It is there to be taken up and implemented. But why do the clowns representing the majority on the Parliament is making it seem so difficult? Are they trying to be the next super rich? From the way it is going now, it seems to be.

Letting out the steam, I feel better now!
.
(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Parliament)

No comments: