Chua on the NEP in 1988
By Chua Jui Meng
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D. P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat from Bakri.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng (Bakri): Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow suit with my friend from Kuala Terengganu to debate the 1989 Supply Bill.
Mr. Speaker, as a Member of Parliament who won in the 1986 General Election, I’ve tried to ensure the fulfillment of all the election pledges I made. I view this as a moral responsibility for me. It is a matter of honour, principles and honesty. Mr. Speaker, this is why I’m disappointed when I read the ‘Far Eastern Economic Review’ dated 1-9-1988 of how the Minister of Finance responded to the question what will happen to the NEP after it expires in 1990. Our Minister answered as follows:
“We have discussed this amongst ourselves. Actually, we did this six months ago, the essence will be the same. Regarding the two key prongs of the NEP, eradicating poverty and the reengineering of society will continue to be implemented.”
Unfortunately, this answer is the same as the one given in Parliament recently, with all due respect I wish to remind some of the Ministers regarding the promises that the Barisan Nasional made in its manifesto ‘Barisan Nasional 1986’. Some excerpts:
“We promise the Malaysian rakyat that our policies after 1990 will only be implemented after we have come to a consensus at all levels of our community. The social justice program post-1990 will be the fruits of these rational deliberations.”
Mr. Speaker, have we indeed obtained a consensus at all levels of our community before announcing the principles of our national policy after 1990? As far as I know there has been no call for discussion in the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to obtain feedback and ideas.
Mr. Speaker, we in MCA hold fast to the promises in the election manifesto. Which is why we are pleased with the Prime Minister’s recent guarantee that all the promises within the manifesto will be kept.
Dr. Eng Seng Chai: (stood)
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat, Yang Berhormat from Petaling Jaya requests clarification.
Dr. Eng Seng Chai: Yang Berhormat from Bakri, I wish to know if your speech or the arguments you are making have been approved by the Barisan Nasional whip? I seem to be hearing a speech that complains about Barisan Nasional’s affairs. If you wish to make a complaint, come join Block “F”, what’s the point of sitting there, come here and complain. Please be clearer, more effective, it’s not effective over there.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Yang Berhormat from Petaling Jaya has found his tongue at last, congratulations to you. You do not understand the responsibilities of a backbencher Member of Parliament either in DAP or in Government, we represent the rakyat, we voice out what is in the heart of the rakyat, it doesn’t matter if they support or do not support Government policies. That is my responsibility. I will continue, Mr Speaker…
Mr. Sim Kwang Yang: (stood)
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat, Yang Berhormat from Bandar Kuching.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: No need, I have already made one explanation earlier, let me speak.
Mr. Sim Kwang Yang: Give me a chance.
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat from Bandar Kuching please sit.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: I will continue.
Mr. Speaker, today MCA is prepared to hold discussions in the spirit of striving towards national unity and social justice. In this same spirit, our party’s president Dato’ Dr. Ling Liong Sik has recommended experts in from our community to develop a plan and a vision for the country post-1990. This plan is called the ‘Malaysia Unity Plan’ and will be put forward for discussion by our party President soon.
Mr. Speaker, 1989 will arrive very shortly. This is why it is the appropriate time for me to air the feelings and frustrations of the millions of rakyat who are not bumiputeras regarding the effects and goals of the NEP and the national education policy.
With a humble heart I plead that these views be given rational consideration in the development of the ‘Social Justice Program’ that will be implemented post-1990.
Mr. Speaker, the two key prongs of the NEP is well known. The first is the eradication of poverty without regard to race.
Dr. Eng Seng Chai: (stood)
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat, Yang Berhormat from Petaling Jaya.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Please let me finish, this is a long speech.
Dr. Eng Seng Chai: Nevermind! Two hours also can…
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat, you can only say yes or no.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Yes.
Dr. Eng Seng Chai: Thank you. Yang Berhormat from Bakri. Earlier he mentioned that the MCA has a think tank that has made a plan or a proposal, which he hopes Barisan Nasional will consider. But what I want to ask and seek clarification on from the Yang Berhormat from Bakri is if all these plans and suggestions from MCA were rejected by UMNO and the Barisan Nasional, will MCA and its leaders dare to withdraw from the Barisan Nasional, please clarify.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: The Member of Parliament from Petaling Jaya is impatient, we have not yet reached that level, we will discuss this in the Barisan Nasional spirit, the spirit of agreement (Applause) and consensus, you asked for an answer – this is your answer.
Dr. Eng Seng Chai: (stood)
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat!
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: We have democracy in the Barisan Nasional, we practice democracy, unlike the emotional DAP, patience!
The two-pronged objectives of the NEP are well known. The first is the eradication of poverty without regard to race.
Secondly, the reengineering of society to reduce the economic imbalance and to ultimately eliminate the identification of economic function according to race. But then two intentions must be remembered. The first is stated in the first sentence of the Second Malaysia Plan. National unity is the most important objective in this country. This objective forms the essence of the NEP.
The second factor is recorded in writing in the Second Malaysia Plan, excerpt: “The achievements of the two objectives of the NEP rest on rapid economic growth, which provides additional opportunities to all Malaysians as well as additional resources for development.”
With that in mind, in the implementation of this policy the Government must ensure that no one group suffers loss of their rights or privileges.
Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the first intention of the NEP was to resolve the social-economic issues for all races fairly without any discrimination, to reduce and ultimately eradicate poverty by adding to the levels of income and to increase employment opportunities for all Malaysians without regard to race.
What is important for us to understand here is that the poverty problem in Malaysia is not limited to the Malay community. It is also faced by the other communities like the Chinese, Indians, Kadazan, Iban, Murut and other Malaysians who are not Malay.
If you assume each household have five members that would equate to more than 1.5 million non-bumiputera Malaysians suffering in poverty in 1976. At the same time there are concerns that these official figures have reduced the number of non-Malays living in poverty in the urban areas. That there is no data to explain how the Government derived the figures of the incidences of poverty in the urban or rural areas strengthen this concern.
There also exists official recognition that the issues of poverty within the non-Malay communities are as terrible as its impact on the Malays. I extract, “the social and physical sufferings experienced by the poor in the towns are worse than in the rural areas.” The creation of an urban economic environment with sufficient employment opportunities is the first step to reducing and finally eradicating urban poverty. Besides that urban renewal projects, public housing programmes, health and hygiene projects, recreation and youth projects will assist those in the low income category.
Mr. Speaker, even though the Government has pledged to help the poor non-Malays, its concrete policies and resources to overcome this problem has not progressed much in the last 15 years. Evidence of lack of commitment and concern by the Government to reduce the poverty levels of the non-Malays can be seen in the poverty groups recorded in the Malaysia Plan documents.
Mr. Speaker, many politicians have often remarked that most of the new villages are better than the traditional villages, because the new villages have basic facilities like water and electricity while most of the traditional villages have yet to have access to those basic facilities; however this is an inaccurate picture regarding the new villages.
The truth is that the basic foundations for healthy economic growth in the new villages are non-existent. This situation arises because:
- Lack of land
- Few employment opportunities
- Few employment opportunities
- No upgrading of education and skills
This causes the poverty rates in these new villages to be among the highest in the country. For example the Fifth Malaysia Plan states that only 37% of new village households have an average income above $400 per month. This means that 2/3 of households or 1 million new village inhabitants have income below the poverty line.
We have checked many Government documents including all the Malaysia Plans to find out to what extent the social-economic problems in the new villages have been resolved and the amount of resources that have been given to the non-Malays living in poverty in the rural areas.
Mr. Speaker, unfortunately we failed to find a single evidence that the Government has implemented the poverty eradication objective of the NEP fairly in regards to the non-Malay community, especially the Chinese in the rural areas. In the history of new village development under all five of the Malaysia Plans less than $75 million, including $25 million that was allocated for the years 1985 till 1990 that has not been distributed in view of the Government’s austerity drive. This shows that at its maximum only $75 million have been allocated even though their population has increased three fold.
On the other hand the Fourth Malaysia Plan has allocated more than $5 billion for water projects and Malay land development while the Fifth Malaysia Plan saw spending exceed $6 billion on similar projects.
At the same time Government linked organizations have been established to assist the Malays like FELDA, FELCRA, DARA, KETENGAH, KESEDAR, KEJORA, JENGKA, KEDA, MADA, KADA and many others. There is not a single organization that is responsible for the development of the new villages.
Mr. Speaker, the future of the new villages is still grim. The recent collapse of the mining and construction industries as well as the weak economic climate has caused the mass migration back to the new villages, even while the land issues faced by the original settlers have yet to be resolved in many cases. This has caused a lack of motivation amongst the settlers to repair the houses and infrastructure or lack of farming land for work.
At the same time many new villages already in existence have been denied more land to enable these new villages to be transformed into more effective units.
Our Deputy Prime Minister has said before that if these new villages wish to be enlarged they will have to buy land from the private land owners at market prices. This is a case of discrimination against the new villages since the Government either gives land or sells them at very low premiums to the traditional villages to expand their land.
Mr. Speaker, many rural non-Malays either do not have or have very little land, and in many situations are very poor and are oppressed by their employers. This is unlike the Malay poor who enjoy many benefits from the Government’s rural development programs. The Chinese and Indian poor hardly gain from the poverty eradication programs.
Mr. Speaker, one good example is in regards to the land placement and securing plan, where the reengineering objective of the NEP includes land, the non-bumiputera rural poor are systematically denied opportunities with regards to land causing an imbalance in landholding between Malays and non-Malays.
Of the FELDA population of over 400,000, more than 96% are Malays. This means that not only do the non-bumiputera poor not have any opportunities to own land, but many of them are forced to illegally squat out in the rural areas. Add to that the lack of non-Malay participation in the FELCRA program. Malay families make up 19.63% of FELCRA settlers while the Chinese and Indians make up 2% and 1% respectively. These racial discriminations in the allocations of farm land by the Government goes against the intentions of the NEP, which in the Third Malaysia Plan calls for fair distribution of additional land to all the poor in Malaysia.
Official neglect of the poor…
Dato’ Wan Abu Bakar bin Wan Mohamed: (stood)
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat, Yang Berhormat Deputy Minister requests a clarification.
Dato’ Wan Abu Bakar bin Wan Mohamed: Mr. Speaker, I wish to get clarification from the Yang Berhormat from Bakri, firstly how many Chinese who applied for FELDA were rejected. Secondly, the poverty eradication program in the rural areas especially hospitals, highways, new townships, industrial areas, won’t these things be enjoyed by the non-Malays as well? Are these only for the Malays? Thirdly, could it be that the locations of the new villages are too closed off such that their inhabitants cannot find work in other places causing this poverty?
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: In answer to Yang Berhormat’s first question regarding applications, allow me to be clear, the non-bumiputera households only constitute 2-3% of the number of settlers. And we know in my constituency there are many Chinese poor; we know there are problems getting land from the Government, big problems. I do not have the exact figures but what I do know is that many in my constituency have applied for land but failed. Several reasons have been given to them. Ultimately they didn’t get the land, that’s all. Like my friend from Kuala Terengganu said yesterday, “the facts speak for itself”.
Dato’ Wan Abu Bakar bin Wan Mohamed: (stood)
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: I haven’t finished.
Dato’ Wan Abu Bakar bin Wan Mohamed: Regarding FELDA. Have applications from Indians and Chinese to enter FELDA, have they been rejected by the Government. That’s what I want to know. If there is one, or two, or three, state them. Or maybe they don’t want to enter FELDA. If that is it, is it fair to blame FELDA for not taking in the Chinese and Indians, that’s the question.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: My response, in this budget $521 million has been set aside to open new land. As much as 33,000 hectares of new land will be opened by FELDA, FELCRA and RISDA will open 69,000 hectares. Open this up to all the races. From this we will accurately see how many Chinese and Indian poor want to participate in this land scheme. Open it to all without any regard to race. Earlier I said that I do not have the exact figures regarding applications that have been rejected but I understand that many in my constituency and other areas that have Chinese poor want land, are forced to rent ½ acre, 2 acres to farm. People who are that poor want land. If you offer them 7 acres, rationally do you think he will decline. Let us try 500,000 hectares in this budget to be given out without regard to race. From that we can be certain if the non-bumiputera poor wish to enter the FELDA and FELCRA schemes.
Official neglect regarding the non-Malay rural poor extends to the children of the poor, they do not get any education aid or given good education opportunities unlike those enjoyed by the children of the Malay poor. This kind of discrimination against children based on their race is a weakness of the NEP and cannot be accepted from a moral or social standpoint.
Mr. Speaker, while the Fourth Malaysia Plan review…
Mr. Abdul Rahman bin Bakar: (stood)
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): The Yang Berhormat from Marang requests a clarification.
Mr. Abdul Rahman bin Bakar: I request a clarification. I’ve been observing that Yang Berhormat’s speech and I view it as biased, prejudiced. The Yang Berhormat from Bakri speaks as though the Government discriminates against the Chinese in FELDA and others. I wish to ask, is the Yang Berhormat aware that more than 90% of new villages have electricity, water and others. This while only 75% of Malay villages have them. The question is, is it fair for the government to balance the situation. Secondly, I wish to have a clarification from the Yang Berhormat from Bakri.
We seem to be blindsided, we do not see the elephant in front of us, but we are able to see the speck across the ocean.
Regarding wealth, 90% of the urban Chinese are rich and belong to a special class when compared to the Malays. I want to know how many percent of Malays live in the urban areas and control the economies there. Why is this not considered? Why question FELDA, RISDA, why question the small things that seem to make the Government look unfair. Therefore, I want an explanation, regarding businesses, regarding shops, regarding businesses, regarding all of it which is said that 85% of all towns in Malaysia are under the control of the Chinese. Where is the rationale of your speech? Thank you.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: My friend from Marang, please don’t get angry. I agree that there are poor people; I agree that many Malays are poor. Earlier I mentioned that the non-Malay poor are 2/3 the number of Malay poor. I agree.
I will fight for the rights of my voters from the villages. Just recently I wrote a letter to the Menteri Besar of Johor requesting for $1 million so that the villages in my constituency will have access to roads, water, electricity and other such things. My friend from Marang, please don’t misunderstand me, I love the Malays. I love them, in the District Action Committee I always raise the problems of mosques, of suraus, of townhalls, allocations for schools and other such things. This is the meaning of being a nationalist, as a wakil rakyat from Barisan Nasional, we…
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): Yang Berhormat, the Member from Pasir Mas has stood.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Please let me finish Mr. Speaker. We need to look at problems of this country holistically, not from a racial point of view but from a nationalist point of view that loves everyone in this country without regard to race. That is what I mean, that is what MCA means. MCA doesn’t say that we only represent the Chinese – we also fight on behalf of the Indians, the Kadazan, the Murut and if the government neglects the rights of the Malays, I will fight for the Malays. That is my pledge to this august House.
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P Vijandran): The Member from Marang has stood.
Mr. Abdul Rahman bin Bakar: I request a clarification, Mr. Speaker. Is the Yang Berhormat from Bakri aware that the percentage of Malay poor is above 73%, and the percentage of the Chinese poor is less than 30% in Malaysia? Would you consider the actions taken by the government to reduce poverty via the New Economic Policy such as rearranging the social order by reducing the 70% percentage of the Malay poor to similar levels with those of the Chinese and Indians an injustice or discrimination? I want facts and proof, meaning it is pointless to speak of this only within this august chamber, it is pointless to say this or that, I want an explanation on why you consider the effort and reduction from the 70% level to a similar level of 30% of the Chinese poor be considered an injustice and discrimination against a race? Please explain. Not angry, just asking for an explanation.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Please don’t be angry anymore Yang Berhormat from Marang. Earlier I have mentioned that the numbers on poverty was obtained from the Fifth Malaysia Plan, Fifth Malaysia Report, which is the latest report, with your permission, the final report. This report stipulates that there is at least 1 million residents in new villages is under the poverty line, in the poverty group, with permission, 1 million. I have already agreed with my friend earlier, that the poor from the Malay race is more and we need to continue to fight for them. But we need to fight for the poor of the Chinese, Indian and other races in the city and in the new villages and in the countryside as well. A policy that implements the New Economic Policy both fairly and equally. That is my plea to this august chamber.
Deputy Speaker, reviewing the Fourth Malaysia Plan…
Deputy Speaker (Mr. D.P. Vijandran): Honourable member, the member from Pasir Mas has stood seeking clarification.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: I want to seek a bit of clarification, Mr. Speaker. Does the Member from Bakri consider the New Economic Policy to be a good policy or is the member raising questions on the weaknesses of the implementation of the New Economic Policy? That is all.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: A very good and accurate question, Mr. Speaker. I represent the MCA by saying that we support fully the New Economic Policy but what I have mentioned earlier in my speech is about the deviation from the original intentions of the New Economic Policy. Regarding the policy to eradicate hardcore poverty in the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Malaysia plans, we need to eradicate poverty without consideration of race. That is my point, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Mr. Speaker, can I have a bit more leeway (to ask a question)?
Mr Chua Jui Meng: Please allow me to continue, I will give you the opportunity (to ask questions) later.
Mr Speaker, although a review of the 4th Malaysia Plan states that poverty in urban areas has been reduced, there exists a reasonable explanation – this is because government monitoring of poverty levels in urban areas is not satisfactory and the estimates are actually much lower than the reality. Instead, the poverty in cities is getting worse. The total number of households classified as poor actually rose from 93,800 in the year 1980 to 97,900 in the year 1983. From that year, the rate of poverty growth in cities has risen further. In Perak and Selangor, the closure of many tin mines has caused thousands of workers to lose their jobs. In addition, the recent decline in the economy has further worsened the situation in many of the nation’s urban areas. A large proportion of the total unemployed persons in this country today are from urban areas and from non-bumiputera descent. From the great majority of the urban Chinese who work in the sectors of mining, small-scale industries, construction, small retail businesses, transport and hawking with only a small portion who is involved in self employment and ownership does not need government help,
These small sectors, which number in the thousands and (although small) play an important role in the nation’s economy by helping increase local production and saving the nation millions of ringgit each year that may have been used to pay for imported goods, has an uncertain future. They should be within the scope of the New Economic Policy, requiring assistance to increase their income and to increase job opportunities in these areas. However, the New Economic Policy has neglected them from the government’s development program.
In the meantime, Chinese small businesses did not get any allocation of financial assistance. A for large proportion of the allocation has been given to the economic areas dominated by the bumiputera community. When development programs are prepared, such as low cost housing, hawking facilities, stalls and others there exist a one sided bias towards the Malays with only a small amount of assistance given to non-Malays. The failure of assisting non-Malay small businesses in urban areas and the bias towards Malay participation in urban development programs has sidetracked the objectives of poverty eradication in the New Economic Policy. What is worse is that these non-Malay small businesses are subjected to further bureaucratic controls and politics. It is almost that the objective of the New Economic Policy is to deny their right for a living.
Mr. Speaker, the MCA have been receiving many complaints from the Chinese community from all over the country regarding their unfair treatment by the government when they apply for taxi licenses, lorry (licenses), credit facilities, factory sites, business licenses, import permits and other facilities. They complain that this bureaucratic actions clearly shows a picture of neglect by the government and a clear discrimination of the non-Malay urban poor.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the recent general election results show that there is a clear rejection of non-Malays Barisan Nasional parties in the nation’s urban areas.
Please permit me to remind the government of the promises it has made in the Barisan Nasional manifesto for the General Elections of 1986. New villages, help for the urban poor, help for the poor in the estates and in all the land development programs all over Malaysia are part of the War against Poverty. Malaysia must be strong and persistent in its efforts to abolish poverty without considering Race.
It is unfortunate that in the implementation of the New Economic Policy, there has been many cases of abuses, deviation (from the objectives of the policy) and discrimination upon the non-Malays and this has created a picture that the New Economic Policy is implemented to bring Malay dominance in the economy.
Before I can present (to this house) some of the deviations, issues and discriminations caused by the New Economic Policy, it is very important for me to touch on the more consuming controversy on the issue of Bumiputera ownership in the corporate sector.
Bureaucrats who state that the number of total Malay ownership in the corporate sector has reduced its true number. There exists compelling proof that Malay ownership has surpassed 30%. Thus, it is more important that the Cabinet and the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to determine the exact achievement (of Malay ownership) under the New Economic Policy.
The bureaucrats who framed the Fifth Malaysia Plan stated that Bumiputera ownership in the corporate sector has reached 17.8% in 1985. This has been questioned by many experts. Amongst the reasons are:
- A review of the Fourth Malaysia Plan in 1983 states that Bumiputera ownership in the corporate sector is 18.7%, 1% higher than the number in 1985. The Fifth Malaysia Plan however states that in 1985, there is a rapid growth of ownership by Bumiputera entrepreneurs of around 32%. With permission, the fast rate of growth at 32% per year for the Bumiputera businessman. Thus, it is more logical that there would be an increase in the percentage (of Bumiputera ownership) in 1985; instead of a 1% reduction as alleged by the same Fifth Malaysia Plan.
- The percentage of nominee companies and local controlled companies accounts for 16.4% of the total capital ownership in Limited (Public) companies in 1985 has been attributed without reason to Non-Bumiputeras. This shows a deliberate ‘adjustment’ on the distribution of Bumiputera to Non-Bumiputera wealth by reducing the total number of Bumiputera ownership and at the same time (artificially) inflating the total ownership by Non-Bumiputeras. One example is the case of a Bumiputera Private Limited Nominee Company that has registered owner of more than 150 companies including many that is listed on the Stock Exchange. However, the true owner is the Fleet Group that is dominated by Bumiputeras. What needs to be explained is that expatriates and Bumiputeras are also a large shareholder in Nominee Companies.
(Deputy Speaker Chairs the Meeting)
- What is more important is the question of putting different importance on different economic sectors. For example, the Fifth Malaysia Plan shows that Bumiputera ownership is around 7% within financial institutions and banks compared to 20.7% by non-Bumiputeras. The financial sector is of great importance because it is the source of lending and funds for other sectors. In other words, with their lending facilities, banks have a direct and indirect influence in the development of other economic sectors. On the other hand, for Non-Bumiputeras, their ownership in the Retail sector exceeds 7%. However, we must note that this retail sector has a small influence on the economy when compared to financial institutions and banks.
Mr. Speaker, Parti Gerakan (Rakyat) has accused that in 1983 the average capital ownership in shares by Bumiputeras has reached the target of 3% equity. There exists numbers…
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: (Stands)
Deputy Speaker (Dato’ Haji Mohamed Amin bin Haji Daud): Honourable member, the member from Pasir Mas seeks to clarify.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Yes.
Mr Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Mr. Speaker, I would like to know where he (Mr. Chua) got the information and its sources stating that the participation by Bumiputeras has reached its target. This is because according to my numbers, in 1983, individuals and trusts owned by Bumiputeras only account for 18.7% of modern company stock. If we look on the overall, in which Malaysian residents own 47.7% and foreign residents own 33.6% and that the strategy of the New Economic Policy of which I asked earlier, to the Member from Bakri, this New Economic Policy which sets the target of achieving 30% equity ownership for Bumiputeras, 40% for Malaysian residents of which are non-Bumiputera and 30% for foreign residents. This is because I am worried that this play of numbers can be confusing.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Thank you, my friend; Not Barisan Nasional at the moment. If the honourable member would like to hear what I have mentioned in my speech earlier regarding the three reasons why many experts has said that Bumiputeras has reach 30% (ownership) in the corporate sector. I do not need to repeat it again. But I agree that at the moment we have conflicting numbers. And because we have such conflicting numbers in such an important issue, I agree that this is a very important issue.
It is an obligation for the government to open its database immediately to be examined by an independent authority so that a better picture on the ownership of the corporate sector can be obtained. It will also be able to address some of the Non-Malay’s suspicion that the public servants are manipulating the numbers, statistics and analysis by the government.
Mr. Speaker, I go back to speak on the implementation of 30% Malay equity that is not there at the level of each individual company. Like I said, 30% of Malay shares is based on the overall or at least based on each sector. However, in many cases, this target is wrongly translated by biased government staff to be implemented on each individual company. This is definitely a deviation from the spirit and intentions of the New Economic Policy.
This important deviation not only causes a sense of loss but it also does not encourage new investment and causes an outflow of capital. In addition to the restructuring of all activities at the company level, one of the prerequisite is to get government approval for expansion and other aspects of the implementation of the New Economic Policy - this action holds these companies hostage and prevents them from growing further. This is clearly against the spirit of the New Economic Policy. Even if some of the companies have achieved 30% Malay equity, they may then be further pressured by the New Economic Policy that requires them to further increase Malay equity.
One extreme example would be that of an international company that already have 30% Bumiputera equity. When the company applied to qualify itself as a tenderer for the government, it was informed that it must increase Bumiputera equity to 5% within 6 months for it to qualify. The government has repeatedly guaranteed that it would only require Bumiputera equity of 30% but this policy has been deviated by overzealous officials.
Mr. Speaker, other than violating the basic under basic understanding on the targets of the New Economic Policy that Malay equity should only be applied in general, the administrative actions that has been introduced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to redistribute the equity of new listing companies has deviated from the norms of fairness and economic effectiveness as stipulated in the original philosophy of the New Economic Policy.
Firstly, the ministry has practices double standards in the distribution of large foreign companies compared to local companies. The government has arranged large farms (estates) such as Guthrie via the purchase of shares at market price. Local companies however have to allocate special Bumiputera share at a price below market rate. This has caused large financial losses to local shareholders. At the same time, it encourages Bumiputeras that has been allocated shares at low prices to sell back their shares (immediately) to make a quick profit, disturbing the share market while implanting a get rich quick without effort characteristic without creating a class of Bumiputera entrepreneurs. There can only be one basic assumption that is valid while redistributing the corporate sector – Bumiputeras must buy their shares at market value.
Any deviation from this will cause a loss in the Non-Bumiputera shareholders and create wealth based only on speculation within the Bumiputeras. Other than that, the allocation of new shares in which 30% of new shares are allocated by lot to Bumiputeras, those who fail are given another opportunity in the draw for Bumiputeras and Non-Bumiputeras, clearly deviates from the spirit of the New Economic Policy. It is also an administrative action today for companies that have already follow the 30% equity to increase Bumiputera shares when the (original) Bumiputera (shareholders) sell their original allocation. This is again clearly wrong and a misinterpretation of the New Economic Policy because a public (listed) company is not responsible for the actions of its shareholders that is free to trade their shares. This problem is even more complicated as Bumiputeras are encouraged to sell shares from their initial allocation as they are obtained at a cheaper price.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: (Stands)
Deputy Speaker (Dato’ Haji Mohamed Amin bin Haji Daud): Yes, the member from Pasir Mas?
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: I ask for a little leeway. I am very dissatisfied when there is too much mention of bumiputera, bumiputera, because I know that the majority of bumiputeras are in hardship and is economically tight. (Are you talking about) specific Bumiputeras or Malays or other individuals? I seek clarification, with permission, bumiputera (in general) or specific Malays?
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: In Peninsular Malaysia, bumiputeras are the Malays as there are three major races in Peninsular Malaysia which are the Malays, Chinese and Indians. However, in East Malaysia, we have Murut, Kadazan, Dayak and the rest. The principle is, when the conditions of the New Economic Policy regarding Bumiputera shares is followed is only one…
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: (Stands)
Deputy Speaker (Dato’ Haji Mohamed Amin bin Haji Daud): Member from Bakri, he is not satisfied (with your answer).
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Mr. Speaker, I think the member from Bakri did not catch the gist of my question. What I asked, asking for clarification when the member from Bakri seem to imply that everything has been seized by the bumiputera, bumiputera. That is why I feel discontented, I say if it is because of bumiputeras or specific groups of individuals so that we have the correct picture, as it seems to be that all Malays have been portrayed to have benefited.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: That is correct, not all Malays have benefited from the implementation of the New Economic Policy. I understand and my friend also understands. Yes or no?
The principle of once-complied-with New Economic Policy condition of Bumiputera shares is forever complied with, with permission, must be followed. Buying it at the market price is the only way to arrest the feeling of loss (by the Non-Bumiputeras) and unchecked greed. The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange is always there for Bumiputeras to trade shares. If it is really important for bumiputeras to obtain 30% capital ownership in the corporate sector, there is no reason why they cannot sell their land and change their land wealth into corporate wealth via the stock exchange.
As early as 1978, Bumiputeras have, in ownership, 65% of the 7.5 million acres of land that has been delineated to the non-corporate sector and if they are willing to sell part of this land, they will have more resources to buy shares in the corporate sector.
Mr. Speaker, even though the target of the New Economic Policy to redistribute jobs should be practiced in general, there is pressure exerted on companies to force them to adhere to the target of the New Economic Policy regarding jobs.
Many international companies has been pressed administratively to increase the number of bumiputera workers as a precondition to obtain approval for work permits, expansion plans, tenders and others. This condition has cause many Public Non-Financial Enterprises (PABK in Malay) including PETRONAS, MAS, MISC and other government owned bodies to interpret arbitrarily the objectives of the New Economic Policy and formulating policies, allocations, self-governing rules to reach these objectives even though their only function is (running) the economy. For example, PETRONAS uses its contractual relationships with other oil companies to force them to adhere to the quota of bumiputera workers at all levels if they intend to do business with PETRONAS. In many of these cases, these targets are way above the targets of the New Economic Policy and are discriminatory to Non-Bumiputera workers in those companies.
From these cases, it is clearly shown that not only the job objectives of the New Economic Policy has been exaggerated, not only in the over target that is to be achieved but also targets to specific companies to ensure that choice positions are reserved to Bumiputeras who does not have the necessary qualifications. In the same way, this is extended to the Public Services in which Non-Bumiputera officers are often bypassed from promotions on the name of the New Economic Policy.
Mr. Speaker, since 1984, the government has begun a large privatization exercise. Amongst the activities that the government has privatized is the turnkey project to lay cables for Telekom (Malaysia). In the case of this project, with a value of RM2.5 billion, is shared between four bumiputera companies without tender. Subcontractors that was announced from these companies must have a bumiputera majority…
Deputy Speaker (Dato’ Haji Mohamed Amin bin Haji Daud): The member from Bakri, please sit down for a while. We are to discuss the matter below Rule 18 (3), the honourable member can continue thereafter.
I would like to invite the Member from Kampar to discuss the matter under Rule 18 of the house and I will allow 30 minutes for the proposers and at 6pm the government will answer for 30 minutes as well. The member from Kampar, please proceed.
Mr. Speaker: Yang Berhormat from Bakri.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Mr. Speaker, privatization in the simplest form, with permission, with permission, such as parking areas are also restricted to Bumiputeras only. Other examples include :-
(a) The Kelang Container Terminal that has been given to a subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Berhad with foreign involvement only.
(b) All three licenses for the road transport of containers in Peninsular Malaysia has been awarded to companies fully owned by Bumiputeras.
(c) The first private TV station in Malaysia – Sistem Televisyen Sendirian Berhad – that is fully owned by Bumiputeras with a small involvement by Indians.
The award of these privitasation projects without tender and without the involvement of Non-Bumiputera is a clear deviation from the spirit and intention of the New Economic Policy as well as the constitutional right of Non-Malays.
There is nothing in the formula of the New Economic Policy that says that all redistribution of equity including the award of tenders is for one race only. This new policy is not only unrelated to the redistribution of equity but it also violates the very principles of free market competition. This is clearly proven with the monopoly of one race in the container industry where its high rates are detrimental to exporters and importers in this country and with that reduces the competitiveness of the national economy.
In order to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s economy, it is very important that all deviations of the New Economic Policy be overcome and all privitisation projects be opened to free market competition to all Bumiputera and Non-Bumiputera companies.
Mr. Speaker, I now more to another topic which is education. The biggest problem that worries Malaysian citizens of Chinese descent is education. Discontent and anger of the Chinese is increasing with the development in education cannot be understood without an assessment of the perceptions of the Chinese people in their right within the field of education.
Basically, the Chinese and their children as citizens of Malaysia, must be given a fair treatment in all fields, in particular education. While they hope that the government is responsible to give them a fair and equal treatment to all communities in education in line with the principle of equality in the cultural and all communities that has been enshrined in the constitution. Therefore, they support all national education policies that emphasizes on unity, merit, diligence and builds a society that is skilled, liberal and tolerant.
This is basically why the Chinese support the 1957 Education Ordinance (Ordinan Pendidikan 1957) which states that the Federal Education Policy is to establish a national education system that can be accepted by all the people and is able to fulfill their needs while increasing cultural, social, economic and political needs with an objective to make Bahasa Malaysia the National Language while preserving language organizations and the culture of non-bumiputeras in this country.
Mr. Speaker, other than that, the above statement also supports Article 152 of the Federal Constitution and the 1961 Education Act (Akta Pelajaran 1961) on the following basis :-
(a) Based on the principles of equal qualifications in the national education system to all our youth;
(b) Recognizes the need, care for and preserve language organizations and culture of non-Malays in this country;
(c) Urge the government to found and build National Type Primary Schools (Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan) in which the mother tongue to non-Malays are used as the lingua franca.
When the New Economic Policy was implemented in 1970, the Chinese has the guarantee of the government that in the field of education, like in the field of the economy, they will not feel at loss or deprived of their rights. Unfortunately, the policy and actions of the government, especially since the New Economic Policy, has shown that many promises regarding education to Non-Malays including the Chinese is all talk (and no action). Not only is the attitude of the government towards non-Malay languages has spurred anger, their anger is directed at the general policies of the government that divide our youth into two distinct groups – bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras with all actions of the government basing on this division.
Mr. Speaker, it is well known that the government has tried to establish education institutions that only take in bumiputera students and is not open to non-Malay students. For example, the Maktab Rendah Sains Mara and the full boarding schools that has been established since the implementation of the New Economic Policy.
According to the Fifth Malaysia Plan, thirty boarding schools has been established with an intake of 16,073 Bumiputera students. For the Maktab-maktab Rendah…
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: (Stands)
Mr. Speaker: Honourable member. The member from Pasir Mas has risen.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Can I seek clarification?
Yesterday I have asked the Member from Bakri for clarification when I asked him if he supports the New Economic Policy or just (unhappy) with the implementation of the New Economic Policy and now the Honourable member is bringing up matters concerning the intakes of students to the institutions of higher learning or especially in the institutions that has been mentioned earlier. Does the Member from Bakri realise that during the entire implementation period of the New Economic Policy until today, the Bumiputeras in particular the Malays is still very far behind in terms to reaching the quota (we have set), especially in the professional fields, in medicine, architecture and so on, of which are but some examples. I think that the matters brought up by the Member of Bakri just shoes that racial politics is still being brought up by the MCA component of the Barisan Nasional
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: My answer yesterday to the Honourable Member (from Pasir Mas) is very clear. MCA fully supports the New Economic Policy but we do not support the deviations that exists in (the implementation of) this policy.
I would like to mention one article only in the Constitution that will explain what is being questioned by the Honourable Member (of Pasir Mas) earlier, with permission :-
“12. Without prejudice to the generality of Article 8 – it equality article – there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth –
In the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and, in particular, the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees”/
That is the Constitution of our country which clearly answers the question from Parti Bebas. As for the question on professional…
Mr. Speaker: Honourable member…
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: …I have not finished, the question has not been answered. Regarding the ‘professional’ question that is commonly mentioned as a factor of showing the lack of Malay participation in the professional sector, I would like to emphasis here on a report by the Department of Statistics in 1983 that is within the last five years that the Bumiputeras has already reached a satisfactory level such as in the field of Surveyors reaching 35%, in Engineering of 33.5%, in Architecture 30% and with a provision of a large number of scholarships of which I will address later. This is why many bumiputeras after 1983 has been given scholarships and training to make them into professionals.
Mr. Speaker, under the Fifth Malaysia Plan, MARA obtained $1 billion…
Mr. Mohd. Tamrin bin Abdul Ghafar: (Stands)
Mr. Speker: The Member from Batu Beraendam has stood.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: I am sorry Mr Speaker. I want to continue as my speech is quite long.
Mr. Mohd. Tamrin bin Abdul Ghafar: If there is a lot of time, I would like some clarification.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: I want to continue, I am not yielding.
Mr Speaker: He is not yielding.
Honourable member from Bakri, I am currently considering if your speech violates Order 36 (10) (c).
I suspect that if I allow such words, many other members will have the right to answer that way. In that case, it will violate 36 (10) (c).
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Mr. Speaker, I understand what you are saying but…
Mr. Speaker: Honourable member, wait for a minute. In the past we have not allowed a speech that has been so audacious. This is because such matters will precipitate a feeling of angst…
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: But Mr. Speaker, the matters I have brought up earlier is the matters that are worrying the Non-Bumiputeras in this country. If I do not mention these sentiments here in this august chamber which is based upon the practice of democracy, where else can I bring these matters up? It is to the benefit of the government if we overcome these issues. That is my hope. All the facts I have mentioned has been obtained from the estimates given by the government and the Malaysia Plans that is readily available from the Department of Statistics and others…
Mr. Mohd. Tamrin bin Abdul Ghafar: (stands)
Mr. Speaker: The Member from Batu Berendam. Do you yield?
Mr. Mohd. Tamrin bin Abdul Ghafar: I ask for a little leaway. Firstly I would like to thank the Honourable Tan Sri who has given us some explanation on the point of order 36 (10) (c). The matters that are being mentioned are very sensitive and has been answered by the Member from Bakri that this is the place to bring it up. I want to know from the Member from Bakri and his friends would be willing to listen to the words from us backbenchers especially from UMNO to overcome the issues mentioned by the member from Bakri.
Secondly, the manner of speech by the Member from Bakri is so audacious as if it is from an opposition party, as if the party he represents does not have representation in government, which is in Cabinet. I want to know what has been done by the MCA representatives in Cabinet? This prove that if the representatives in Cabinet is doing their jobs as required by the party, matters such as this do not need to be discussed here but in the Cabinet instead. So, I would like to ask for suggestions from the member from Bakri on what to do with the party’s representatives in the Cabinet – whether to act more firmly with them or replace them, the Member from Bakri can take over one of the spots in Cabinet later. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker: Member from Bakri, I would like to urge that before you continue with your speech, the matters of we are afraid are not mentioned. I hope.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Mr. Speaker, point of order 35 (7) that is Mr. Speaker can restrict the time given to a member to speak. It is time for us to debate on the budget…
Mr. Speaker: I am doing so now.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Mr. Speaker, because…
Mr. Speaker: Don’t. I am doing the work which is being requested by you.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: So that if every member of the Dewan if allowed to speak an hour each, I also request to speak for the same amount of time as the others. If not, after this we are only allowed to speak for 10 or 15 minutes, this is not fair. Thus I ask for Mr. Speaker’s discretion. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker: The member from Bakri, can you refrain from using words that go against 36 (10) (c)?
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Mr. Speaker, if Mr. Speaker makes a decision that whatever I quote from the Malaysia Plans and from the estimates given by the government cannot be mentioned, I will respect your decision. However, I would like to impress on all that is present what we see in the Malaysia Plans, policies that is distributed according to race and if I cannot speak about the lack of allocation to non-Bumiputeras, where is the democratic right for members of this Dewan. If I speak of the estimates…
Mr. Speaker: Honourable Member, I did not make up the Standing Orders which in Standing Order 36 that mention that speeches that may upset the relationship between the races may not be brought up in this chamber. So, I am only utilising the powers vested in me.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Can I as a Member of Parliament in this Dewan present the allocation given to one race and another race. Do I have that privilege?
Mr. Speaker: If it does not cause grief it would be okay. I urge you to continue as there is a more to your speech.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Mr. Speaker, under the Fifth Malaysia Plan, MARA obtained an allocation of RM1.8 billion and plans to establish 45 MARA Science Colleges (Kolej Sains Rendah MARA) and 14 vocational institutes. So…
Mr. Mohd. Tamrin bin Abdul Ghafar: (stands)
Mr. Speaker: The Member from Batu Berendam has stood.
Mr. Mohd. Tamrin bin Abdul Ghafar: Mr. Speaker, I have already asked for an explanation by the Member from Bakri as I want to know what the function of MCA representatives in the Cabinet is. What if MARA is allocated RM1.8 billion as mentioned by the member from Bakri and maybe the new villages have less, I believe that if this matter has to be brought up, what are the MCA representatives doing in the Cabinet, why is it not objected there, why do you want to be champions here while keeping mum over there? This I ask the Member from Bakri to offer an explanation.
Mr. Lee Kim Sai: (stands)
Mr. Speaker: Wait a moment, who are you (Lee Kim Sai) seeking clarification from? If from the member of Batu Berendam you cannot as he is asking for clarification.
Mr. Lee Kim Sai: Seeking clarification. Giving clarification to the request by the member from Batu Berendam.
Mr. Speaker: You cannot do that, because it is not to the person that is speaking. Member from Bakri, please continue.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: There is no need to answer the question?
Mr. Speaker: Up to you Honourable Member.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Continue?
Mr. Speaker: Up to you as well.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Thank you Mr Speaker. It is also estimated that around 109,000 bumiputera students will be admitted into MARA vocational institutes and 18,700 other bumiputeras students sponsored by MARA will continue their education overseas. In the meantime, until 1985, the public allocation for bumiputeras increased via JPA to the Off Campus University Program (Program Universit Luar Kampus). Under this program, 20 universities in the United States under the West University Consortium for International activities…
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: (Stands)
Mr. Speaker: The member from Pasir Mas stands.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Just a little leeway?
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: I am not yielding.
Mr. Speaker: He is not yielding.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: … will be sending more than 100 American professors to Malaysia to prepare these students to follow bachelor programes in literature, science and engineering. Under this program, the students are also prepared to enter universities in Britain, Australia and Canada. This program is only open to one race and an amount of money totalling 300…
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Mr. Speaker, point of order…
Mr. Speaker: Honourable member, I believe that you are not respecting what I have said earlier. I urge that you do not continue with such a speech.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: Mr Speaker…
Mr. Speaker: I have already asked, that’s it Member from Pasir Mas.
Mr. Haji Ibrahim bin Ali: No, I want to state 36 (c) even though Mr Speaker has mentioned. I want to tell the Member from Bakri, that if he want to fight for the rights of the non-Malays you can but don’t bring up race, bring up the Malay Rights. If that is not satisfactory, I propose that MCA can leave the Barisan Nasional.
Mr. Speaker: Member from Pasir Mas, That’s enough. Member from Bakri, please do not touch the matters I have mentioned earlier.
Mr. Chua Jui Meng: Mr. Speaker, these are examples of unfair and inequitable implementation of policy that has caused a feeling of frustration and anger in the…
Mr. Speaker: Member from Bakri, I asked you to sit! The member from Pasir Mas would like to speak, if you please.