Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Since Najib needs more time, it would be better for him to leave

PETALING JAYA, Feb 11 — The business community should strive to be more competitive and focus on economic growth instead of fighting over the country’s economic distribution, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

“We want to grow the economic cake. It is pointless fighting about how this cake is split when the real issue that we should be addressing is how we can make the cake bigger, in a world where business borders are becoming irrelevant,” the prime minister said after meeting members of the Small and Medium Industries (SMI) Association of Malaysia.

Najib went to great lengths today to maintain that the government would do its best to cater to all sections of the business community, stressing that negativity towards the government’s economic reforms was counter-productive.

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” he said.
Najib also assured the business community today that his administration was ready to provide opportunities to create “new wealth” but pointed out that technological innovation was the only way to maximise profits.

The launch of the government’s Special Innovation Unit (Unik) will help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) achieve that goal, he said.

Najib said Unik will assist the commercial owners in finding new forms of technology or innovations from universities and research institutes, so that the discoveries can be marketed for profit.

“You, the SME sector, have to change your approach regarding innovation... you have to make technology adoption an integral part of your business strategy,” he added.
Najib has come under fire recently over the launch of a new unit created to enhance Bumiputera economic participation, Teraju, which Pakatan Rakyat (PR) claimed contradicted the spirit of New Economic Model (NEM).

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua accused Najib of abandoning the purpose of the NEM, which is to restructure the affirmative action programmes to benefit the bottom 40 per cent of income earners regardless of race.

When launching Teraju on Tuesday, Najib had said that the unit will lead, co-ordinate and drive Bumiputera economic participation through new and existing initiatives, propose institutional reform to increase effectiveness and act as the secretariat for the Bumiputera Agenda Supreme Council (MTAB) that oversees Bumiputera economic development.

Najib had in the past promised that reforms to the economy would still see to the needs and interests of the Bumiputera community, which is comprised of the majority Malay population as well as indigenous people such as the Orang Asli.
He had said Bumiputeras account for 73 per cent of the 2.4 million households in the lowest 40 per cent income bracket.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also denied accusations that the NEM had been “watered down” with the launch of Teraju.

In 2009, Najib had done away with regulations requiring a 30 per cent Bumiputera stake in 27 service and financial sub-sectors and limited the purview of the Foreign Investment Committee that oversees Bumiputera equity.

A 30 per cent Bumiputera stake in the national economy has been an objective of the government since the implementation of the NEP in 1970.
Official statistics state that Bumiputera-held equity in the country stands at 18.7 per cent as of 2004. - Malaysian Insider
At the recent SMI meeting Najib was asked by the public how to grow or share an economic cake when there is not a slice in sight since the whole cake had been given to the APs holders and UMNOPutras? Everyone present cheered and clapped in support of that question. Najib turned red and was shocked. Najib then timidly asked the public to give him more time as he started his premiership not too long ago.

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