“Privileges that are meant to raise the economic well-being of the Bumiputeras have been used to only enrich the elite and therefore widened the income disparity between the rich and the poor,” said Anwar today. Yes, that is precisely what we told him 30 years ago. So why is he repeating what we said? And who is this “rich elite” that he is talking about…other than himself?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Anwar Ibrahim’s statement today is the most dishonest and insincere statement ever (READ THE NEWS REPORT HERE). This is a sign of someone who is very desperate for “recognition” and someone who wants to appear like he is the champion of his race.

It was Anwar who abolished subsidies for poor fishermen and farmers when all over the world governments are subsidising the agriculture and fishing industries

Anwar said while policies and initiatives to help the Bumiputeras were welcomed, plans would continue to fail if they did not help those truly in need. The government needs to do away with policies that only benefit an elite few, argued Anwar.

“Privileges that are meant to raise the economic well-being of the Bumiputeras have been used to only enrich the elite and therefore widened the income disparity between the rich and the poor.”

Anwar is a fraud of the first degree. He makes a few “intellectual” statements to give an impression he is learned and a philosopher. But if you were to scrutinise most of what Anwar says throughout the years since he joined Umno in 1982, you will find that everything he says is hollow, vague, superficial and mere rhetoric without substance.

In short, the Malays would call Anwar a “tin kosong” — hot air and loud sound, just like fart.

Why won’t Anwar call a spade a spade and admit that the Umnoputeras of the Mahathir-Daim-Anwar era have stolen billions from the Malays?

First of all, how does Anwar measure success and failure? What formula is he using? Just like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar’s measurement of success and failure is based on how much money you have in the bank. The more millions or billions you have the more successful you are.

Mahathir once said the Chinese are successful because 90% of the personal income tax is paid by them. Actually, only the employed Chinese pay their real dues. The self-employed or businessmen do not pay their full income tax. Hence the Chinese should be in the 95% or more category and not the 90% category.

Anyway, that is not the point. The point is, the Chinese are successful because they have a lot of money while the Malays are failures because they do not have a lot of money. This is how both Mahathir and Anwar look at things.

Mahathir and Anwar measure success by how much money you have in the bank

Is that all there is to life, a lot of money in your bank account? And is success and failure measured only in terms of money, and the more money you have the more successful you are?

Basically, this is what Mahathir and Anwar are telling Malaysians. And they have been telling the Malays this for 50 years since 1970 when the New Economic Policy (NEP) was first mooted and Mahathir’s book, “The Malay Dilemma”, was first published.

To get rich is glorious, to quote Deng Xiaoping. Money, money, money (it’s a rich man’s world), to quote ABBA.

Let us analyse the “failure” of the Malays.

Before World War II, the (British) government had to import English language teachers from India to teach in Malayan schools — Mahathir’s father being one of them. This is because locals, especially Malays, did not have a good command of English.

In fact, Malays could only hope to receive an education up to standard six (the late Tun Ghafar Baba being one example). Very rarely would Malays go to secondary school or receive a higher/tertiary education unless they were children of the ruling elite or royalty. The masses would never dream of such privileges.

The British changed this when they established a proper education system and opened up education to all who wished to receive it. The British also established a rural development authority, which today is known as MARA. Basically, the British dragged Malayans, Malays in particular, kicking and screaming, to “British” schools.

In 1909, the British decided to bring the Malays out of the kampongs and give them an English education

The British did not choose to leave out the Chinese and Indians. The problem was, most Chinese wanted Chinese schools while the Indians wanted Tamil schools. Only the Malays were smart enough to see the value of a British education (although many Malays also wanted their children to attend Malay schools or religious schools — like Tun Ghafar).

By the time of Merdeka, Malaya — next to India, of course — was the best English-speaking nation in Asia. I remember my late grandfather, Raja Sir Tun Uda, spoke English just like Sir Winston Churchill did, slang and all.

Then came Education Minister Anwar Ibrahim who dismantled all this and “Malayed” the education system — and today many Malays cannot even string a sentence in proper English. The “successful” Malays of the Merdeka era are now failures when it comes to an English education because Anwar screwed up the education system.

Around the Merdeka era, you could park your car outside the shops along Batu Road (today called Jalan TAR) and dance in the middle of the road because traffic was non-existent. You could drive from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar or Kota Bharu and not come across any other traffic for half an hour.

Very few Malays owned cars during the Merdeka era, a privilege reserved for only the Malay ruling class, Malay elite and royalty. Today, there are more than 31 million cars on the road in a population of only 32 million. That is almost one car per Malaysian, babies included. And many of those cars are owned by Malays.

So, again, how do you measure success? Before Merdeka, very few Malays received a secondary or higher/tertiary education. Today, more than five million Malays are a product of a secondary and/or higher/tertiary education. Is that not success even though maybe only a very small handful of these people are millionaires?

In Ghafar’s time, the “grassroots” Malays could only hope to receive a “standard six” education

When Anwar first became the Finance Minister 29 years ago in 1991, we from the Malay Chamber of Commerce met up with him to discuss the “Malay dilemma”. At that time Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister, Tun Ghafar Baba the Deputy Prime Minister, and Rafidah Aziz the Trade and Industry Minister (who we all also met).

Tun Ghafar had announced that the NEP has failed to meet its 30% target (30% Malay share of the corporate wealth). From 1970 to 1990, the Bumiputera share increased to only 20% (from 1% in the 1960s). Even then, only 3% of this was in private Malay hands while 17% was being held by “trust agencies” or GLCs (PNB, LTAT, LUTH, Pernas, MARA, the various SEDCs all over Malaysia, etc.).

We pointed out that this figure is wrong. The 17% being held under the trust agencies do not belong to the Bumiputeras and hence should not be included in the category of “Malay wealth”. These belong to the nation or to the taxpayers. And if a non-Malay government were to take over the country, they can sell off these so-called “Bumiputera” assets being held under the trust agencies, and hence it would no longer exist.

True enough, as predicted, when Pakatan Harapan took over the federal government in May 2018, Lim Guan Eng and his cohorts sold off what they considered “Malay wealth”, the Tabung Haji assets being just one of them.

Rafidah was one of those Umnoputeras who stole billions of what was meant for the Malays

Furthermore, we told Mahathir, Ghafar, Anwar and Rafidah, the so-called 3% private equity of the Malays is actually Umnoputera wealth, not Bumiputera wealth. These are the wealth of the top Umno leaders, cronies and family members.

Hence, almost 100% of that 20% is owned by government-managed and government-linked trust agencies (GLCs) and those individuals who walk in the corridors of power. Very little is owned by the “man-in-the-street”. And it is NOT because the “man-in-the-street” is stupid or lazy but because the wealth and opportunities are being stolen by the government and by those individuals in power.

We told the government back then (30 years ago) that we did not need any NEP or so-called government “help”, which is all bullshit anyway. What we need is for the government to stop being an obstacle to the Malays.

Our biggest problem is not competition from the non-Malays. The Chinese and Indians we can compete with. Our biggest problem is competition from Umnoputeras and GLCs. They are the ones stealing all the opportunities meant for the Malays and bluffing us by calling it “Malay wealth”.

Tengku Razaleigh smiled and clapped when we said we do not need any government help, just get out of our way

We know how to climb the coconut tree, we told the government. We do not need help from the government to climb the coconut tree. What we need is for the government and those in power to not tie barbed wire around the tree that will cut us and injure us when we climb the tree. Don’t help us. Just get out of our way.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah can probably remember us telling the government this because he smiled and clapped when we said it.

“Privileges that are meant to raise the economic well-being of the Bumiputeras have been used to only enrich the elite and therefore widened the income disparity between the rich and the poor,” said Anwar today. Yes, that is precisely what we told him 30 years ago. So why is he repeating what we said? And who is this “rich elite” that he is talking about…other than himself?

 

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