Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 9th March 2010:
Has Najib’s New Economic Model been hijacked by Neo-NEP Umnoputras like Perkasa forcing another delay in its announcement?
The assurance by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that no Malaysian would be sidelined in the New Economic Model (NEM) is not convincing when from all indications, the NEM has been hijacked by Neo-NEP Umnoputras like Perkasa, forcing another delay in its announcement.
When Datuk Seri Najib Razak became Prime Minister last April, he announced that the government would introduce a new economic model for the country to ensure that Malaysia makes a quantum leap to escape the middle-income trap to become a high-income country through greater emphasis on innovation, creativity and competitiveness.
In May last year, the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the new economic model would be announced in the second half of the year.
Time is clearly of the critical essence to launch a new economic model as Husni subsequently admitted in a very frank speech in December that the country had lost a decade in economic stagnation.
In actual fact, Malaysia had lost not only one decade in economic stagnation but four decades in failing to fully realize the economic potential of the rich natural and human resources of the country, resulting in Malaysia losing out not only to other countries including Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea but at risk of being overtaken by an increasing list of other countries like Vietnam, Thailand and even Indonesia.
However, the time-line for the announcement of the new economic model has been repeatedly deferred, from last year to the beginning of this year, then to this month to coincide with the completion of Najib as Prime Minister and now to June when the 10th Malaysia Plan will be presented to Parliament.
The disruption of the plan to announce the new economic model to commemorate Najib’s first year as Prime Minister is a setback for Najib’s 1Malaysia as well as a competitive and innovative new economic model and a success for the plethora of Neo-NEP Umnoputra NGOs and NGIs to whom have been outsourced the agenda of Umno’s NEP-putras.
Malaysians and the world are wondering what new economic model of greater innovation, creativity and competitiveness could be formulated by Najib against the backdrop of reactionary and extremist pressures with irresponsible and baseless alarms like “the Chinese community will take over the country in the next general elections” and that Article 153 of the Constitution would be trampled upon with Malay interests (when they mean Neo-NEP Umnoputra interests) sidelined.
I call on the Cabinet tomorrow to make a bold policy decision to make public the draft New Economic Model and invite public consultation and input and not to allow irresponsible interest groups inimical to the 1Malaysia concept and vision to hijack and monopolise the formulation of the New Economic Model.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor