Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore, soc.culture.malaysia
Subject: Malay extremist groups wary of 1Malaysia model
By G. Manimaran
Bahasa Malaysia Editor
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 - Worries about an impending “overly liberal” New
Economic Model has prompted nearly 80 Malay groups to form the Malay
Consultative Council (MPM) to push the government to maintain
affirmative action for the country’s dominant race.
A Malay leader revealed that the MPM wants the Umno-led Barisan
Nasional government to maintain a “guided” New Economic Policy (NEP)
that protects the Malays and Bumiputras, saying the community was
worried about moves to abolish subsidies and other forms of aid.
“We don’t want an economic model that is overly free or overly
liberal... we want a model that can lead the interests of the Malays,”
the leader told The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity after
attending the MPM launch in the Sultan Sulaiman Club yesterday.
The Malaysian Insider understands that the MPM is disappointed with
the government for not having comprehensive discussions with Malay
groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) about the New
Economic Model (NEM), to be launched next month in line with Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept and global
There were also several Malay NGO leaders who felt the current
problems are due to a weak government that was meeting the demands of
other races in the economic sector. Najib had freed 27 economic sub-
sectors from mandatory Bumiputra participation last year and also
reduced quotas for Bumiputra equity in initial public share offers.
The MPM felt that Malay political leaders themselves are sidelining
Malay interests, the leader said without identifying these
It is understood that while MPM was formed to defend and protect Malay
rights and Islam, it will initially focus on the economy.
Among the prime movers in MPM are Perkasa, ex-Umno lawmakers council
Mubarak, Peninsula Malay Students Confederation (GPMS), Malay
Professional Thinkers Association and Cuepacs.
The MPM will organise a round-table conference for its members on Mar
7 to discuss the future economic direction of the Malays and an
introduction to the NEM which Najib had promised would lead to higher
income based on innovation and creativity.
“Yesterday’s meeting was focused on protecting Malay interest in the
economy, we don’t want the Malays to continue being sidelined by open
“To ensure that the NEM has affirmative approaches to help the Malays
and Bumiputras because we hear this element is missing in the new
model ... this was the emphasis by the NGOs supporting the MPM,” he
The leader said a majority of NGOs in the MPM had disclosed that
Malays and Bumiputras feel their position was threatened as the
country’s economy is still being controlled by minority groups.
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali yesterday said MPM’s role is to
protect and be the frontline against quarters that continuously try to
undermine the rights, privileges and economy of the Malays, position
of Islam and Malay Rulers in the country.
He said the MPM will play its role as a pressure group to the
government to ensure it does not stray from the core principles in the
Federal Constitution, particularly Article 153 that protects the
Earlier this month when opening the 1 Malaysia Economic Conference,
the prime minister had asked local industries to accept changes that
are occurring without expecting much protection from the government.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, is battling to reduce deficits
and steer the economy out of the recession.
He announced last week that the country’s economy grew 4.5 per cent in
the fourth quarter of 2009 with overall growth shrinking 1.7 per cent
against earlier gloomier estimates of 3 per cent.
However, the Najib administration is also battling to keep the economy
afloat as foreign direct investments continue to fall.
International Trade and Industry deputy minister Datuk Mukhriz
Mahathir promised last week that the NEM would make appropriate
concessions for the Bumiputras in line with previous policies,
including the NEP.
He admitted to have received visits from NGOs representing various
industries and sectors who had expressed worry that the NEM would be
too open and reduce opportunities for Bumiputera entrepreneurs and
Mukhriz said that the government would give the appropriate
consideration for all quarters in its policies.