Saddiq questions why M'sian equity holders punished for not being born Malay
PARLIAMENT | A lawmaker has questioned why the government's plan to increase bumiputera equity ownership is at the expense of other Malaysians.
Citing figures where 45.5 percent of equity is foreign-owned, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar) said it was unjust to take away equity from non-bumiputeras.
This is as foreign-owned companies are also given bumiputera equity exemptions, he said.
"The government's solution (to increase bumiputera equity) is to take equity from non-bumiputera Malaysians and to give it to bumiputeras.
"Where is the fairness? We prioritise foreigners more than our very own Malaysians because they (non-bumiputeras) were not born Malay and Muslim," he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
The 45.5 percent foreign-owned equity as of 2019 was cited by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob while tabling the 12th Malaysia Plan yesterday.
Bumiputera equity is at 17.2 percent, non-bumiputera 25 percent, and nominee ownership is 12.3 percent.
The issue of bumiputera equity ownership had become a hot issue since last week amid plans to require local freight-forwarders to have 51 percent bumiputera ownership if they want to be involved in international services.
The Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders (FMFF), which protested the rule, said it was difficult to find bumiputera companies that wanted to buy freight-forwarding shares.
They also said this would put local companies at a disadvantage, as foreign-owned freight forwarders are exempt from bumiputera equity rules.
Implementation of the rule for freight forwarders has been postponed to the end of 2022, pending a review.
Meanwhile, the government also outlined yesterday a plan where bumiputera shares can only be sold to other bumiputeras.
Syed Saddiq said the plan would only benefit "cronies" and the rich, and not actually help poor bumiputeras.