The national policies and the revival of the NEP (Flashback Part 4)
By Chua Jui Meng
The National Development Policy (1990-2000)
The deliberations and findings of NECC-1 resulted in the formulation of the National Development Policy (NDP) that ran from 1990-2000.
Although the 2 (two)-pronged policy of the NEP i.e. poverty eradication and social restructuring continued, NDP was FAIR AND LIBERAL TO ALL RACES resulting in PLENTIFUL ECONOMIC AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL.
This resulted in increased foreign direct investment (FDI), spurred domestic investments and created strong economic growth.
This liberalised environment caused the non-Bumiputera community to give overwhelming support to the BN, giving us decisive electoral victories in the 1995, 1999 and 2004 General Elections.
The National Vision Policy (2000-2010)
In 1999, the then Prime Minister convened NECC-2 which came up with the recommendations that resulted in the National Vision Policy (NVP) – once again a policy that was fair to all races. The rakyat rewarded the BN’s fairness and the new Prime Minister’s promise to fight corruption with an extraordinary election victory in 2004 where we secured 91% of all parliamentary seats.
The Revival of the NEP – A Regression
In 2004/2005, Umno Youth called for the ‘REVIVAL of the NEP’ which I opposed. I was invited by TV3 to a public debate with Khairy Jamaluddin to articulate my opposition on behalf of the Malaysian Chinese community.
During the debate, I pointed out that before the NEP was to be ‘revived’, the Government must first establish a multiracial committee of independent experts such as senior accountants, actuarists and economists to analyse the national economic data to determine the actual economic achievements of the Bumipeteras and non-Bumiputeras to ascertain whether the Malays in particular had achieved the 30% corporate equity target. Khairy agreed to this.
This is crucial as studies, including those undertaken by Professor Fatimah University Malaya and Dr Lim Teck Ghee, formerly of ASLI, confirm that the Bumiputeras have already achieved the 30% target.
Unfortunately, when the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) was announced, the Cabinet agreed to revive the NEP and to extend it till 2020, without convening NECC-3 and without an assurance that the NEP would be abolished at 2020.
This was a major policy shift in the middle of the NVP, AFFECTING ALL RACES and sweeping away all the work undertaken by the MCA and the BN in the 1980s.
From then on, the support of the non-Bumiputera community began its slide downwards until the 2008 General Elections.
The Bumiputera community also grew increasingly discontented as they perceived that the negotiated tenders of the 9MP projects were benefiting only a select number of Bumiputeras.
With allegations of corruption on the Internet left unanswered, and with the Opposition parties seizing the moral high ground in seeking to terminate the NEP, the BN brought upon itself the political tsunami in the 2008 General Elections.
Establish NECC-3, End Restructuring of Society in the NEP and Restore the Constitutional Rights of all Malaysians
MCA must once again rise to the challenge, as it did once in 1988.
We must guarantee the rights of the rakyat as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
As President, I will ASK FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NECC-3 IN 2009 TO BRING CLOSURE RO THE RESTRUCTURING OF SOCIETY IN THE NEP and DELIBERATE A NEW NATIONAL POLICY CONSISTENT WITH THE RIGHTS OF ALL MALAYSIANS AS DEFINED IN THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.
We will maintain only the poverty eradication aspect of the NEP, but ensure that it is sensitive to and blind to race and religion.
What Malaysian needs now are POLICIES THAT WILL PROMOTE THE MALAYSIAN RACE – POLICIES THAT GUARANTEE EQUAL ACCSS TO A FREE MARKET ECONOMY, LEGISLATION THAT MANDATES FAIR ACCESS FOR ALL EDUCATIONAL AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, PLANS TO UNITE ALL THE COMMUNITIES and take advantage of all our unique linguistic and cultural heritages for the greater good of Malaysia in the global arena.
E that a fair and open economic policy will bring in greater FDs, stimulate domestic investments and recreate the strong economic performance we had in the 1990s, and restore the confidence and support of the rakyat.
Upholding Freedom of Religion
Article 11(ii) of the Federal Constitution guarantees every person the right to profess ad practice his religion and, subject to State and Federal Territory laws, to propagate it.
However, the Courts have interpreted the law differently and now abrogate their right to hear the cases of Muslim converts who wish to reconvert to other religions, giving these converts no other recourse but to endure being subjected to the Syariah Courts and possible detention for rehabilitation.
This is a violation of the clear provisions of Article 11(i) which provides this ABSOLUTE RIGHT to ALL MALAYSIANS.
As Malaysia continues to mature as a multiracial community, the increased interaction between the races and religions will lead to intermarriage and conversion of religions.
This exchange will continue to build a unique and united Malaysian identity.
However, it is imperative to protect the religious right of family members of people who have converted to Islam and to uphold every Malaysian’s right to convert in and out of any religion.
This is an important issue and a proper definition of the jurisdiction of both the slamic Syariah court and civil court will help tremendously in this issue.
Religion will always be a sensitive issue and has the power to cause deep divisions and frictions between people of differing faiths.
Therefore, it is imperative for MCA to fight for BN to RESOLVE DIVISIVE RELIGIOUS ISSUES to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, all Malaysians.
Restoring Independence to the Judiciary
In 1988 Parliament amended Article 121 of the Federal Constitution, taking away the Judicial Power of the Federation from the High Court, contained in the 1957 Constitution.
This VITAL JUDICIAL POWER MUST BE REINVESTED IN THE HIGH COURTS to ensure the independence of the Judiciary as the 3rd Pillar of Government and the separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative and the Judicial Branches of Government.
NEXT: Guaranteeing Equal Access to Educational Opportunities (Flashback 5 – Final)