Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Opposition: Bumi push helps rich cronies, not poor Malays

Opposition: Bumi push helps rich cronies, not poor Malays

PARLIAMENT | Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and independent MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman have disputed whether bumiputera empowerment initiatives in the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP) will help those in need.

They contended that such plans would benefit political masters and “cronies” instead of the poor.

Debating the 12MP today, Anwar (PKR - Port Dickson) argued that the bumiputera equity ownership rule would benefit the rich and politically connected.

He pointed to how similar initiatives in the past had proven his point.

“If we look at what happened in history, (bumiputera equity policies) greatly benefitted a few family-run companies and cronies.

“This is undisputed,” he said.

For one, Anwar pointed out how nominee shareholding had been abused by the politically connected to surreptitiously own shares.

“Nominee (shareholding) is how big and very rich political leaders shield their names by appointing nominees.

“Is it proper to allow those with interest or decision-makers in the government, GLCs or GLICs to appoint a nominee so that their names and family members’ names do not appear? This needs further clarification,” he said.

Syed Saddiq (Ind - Muar) similarly said the bumiputera equity ownership rule would benefit “cronies and elites” but not poor bumiputera.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

“How will this policy help the poor in Malaysia?

“How will it help fisherfolk in Tanjung Piai? Or farmers in Alor Setar and Jerlun? Or small traders in Muar?

“The reality is this is a populist policy that does not help Malays who are suffering at all,” he remarked.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said bumiputera shareholding was at 17.2 percent, non-bumiputera at 25 percent, foreign entities at 45.5 percent and nominee shareholding at 12.3 percent.

Under the 12MP, he announced a new safety net framework to ensure bumiputera shares or companies could only be sold to bumiputera entities.

This was to raise bumiputera corporate equity ownership to a minimum of 30 percent.

New approach needed

As an alternative, Anwar proposed that the government effectively empower the bumiputera by investing in mass services like education, affordable housing and public healthcare.

“I think no bumiputera or non-bumiputera will dispute it if a big allocation was given to the education and public healthcare sector.

“If we give a big allocation to urban schools, the urban poor, suburban areas and those in rural Sabah and Sarawak; this will benefit the bumiputera and Malays,” he said.

Syed Saddiq also suggested that Putrajaya focus on broad policies rather than those that benefitted the select few.

“The way forward is not the easy way out where you give equity to the rich billionaires. The best way forward is capacity building.

“If you want to help the Malays, help the small traders [...] give poor youth scholarships and job opportunities,” he said.


  1. It takes 2 Malays to speak up? Mana Wee KHAT Siong?

    But then this continuing sapot of the Bumiputra agenda by MCA is no surprise. They have been sapoting it since 1971.

  2. This Bumi share is calculated based on par value or actual value?


  3. Wee KHAT Siong and MCA have been part of the problem for 51 years.