Chef Engineer
Source : The New Straits Times

Dropping Bumi quota not without risks

THE decision to drop the 30 per cent Bumiputera quota in 27 services sub-sectors will have far-reaching impact.

The big picture is one of a positive outcome as removal of the quota, for one, represents also the removal of red tape. It means investors planning to do business in the 27 services sub-sectors now have one less requirement to adhere to and, ultimately, can start operations sooner.

The need for speedy business approval process cannot be over-emphasised, especially in navigating through the current weak economic environment and to face the anticipated stiff competition in attracting new investment once the economy recovers.

Removal of the 30 per cent Bumiputera quota announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Wednesday can also be seen as one of the early steps towards restructuring the entire Malaysian economy.

The government has been looking at ways to create an environment of higher technology in business operations and one where workers enjoy higher wages. One of the fastest ways to do this is to let businesses be set up and operate based solely on commercial considerations.

Foreign commercial entities, especially, are expected to welcome the liberalisation and are likely to view Malaysia positively in their plans to locate their businesses. This means more job opportunities.

It could also result in open competition between them and the domestic players, and customers and consumers are expected to benefit the most.

Najib, when making the announcement, also said more liberalisation was to come, including in the financial services sector.

But the decision to do away with the Bumiputera quota is not without risks as it can be turned into issues not necessarily concerning business.

While the bigger picture would be one of a more vibrant Malaysian economy, there is the risk that the Bumiputeras would view it differently.

The 30 per cent quota is part and parcel of the New Economic Policy (NEP), a policy the Bumiputeras will defend vigorously and for them, the bigger picture may be one of the beginning of an end to the NEP itself.

If such is the case, it is not too remote a possibility that the removal could have some political implications if not explained well.

Najib, however, has given an assurance that the government would continue to support domestic industries in capacity-building and in opening up new export markets.

So far, Bumiputera business groups have been silent on the issue.

Akal, Mata dan hati :-

Betul ke atau kita menggunakan cara 'try n error'? Adakah dgn langkah ini akan menjadikan bumiputra dapat bersaing? Memang benar jika ini akan menjadikan Malaysia ruang bagi pelabur untuk melabur dan seterusnya akan memberi ruang kepada rakyat peluang pekerjaan. Namun begitu kita masih lagi belum pasti adakah bumiputra akan mempunyai ruang dalam merebut peluang ini.

Dengan 30% ekuiti yang diperolehi dengan DEB, Bumiputra juga tidak dapat menggunakan peluang yang ada adakah dengan ketiadaan ekuiti sebanyak 30% bumiputra akan sukses? Taraf hidup akan menjadi lebih baik. Lebih ramai usahawan - usahawan bumiputra akan dilahirkan? Dahulu bumiputra sinonim dengan label ali baba dengan peluang yang kita perlolehi. Kontrak yang besar diperolehi melalui rundingan terus dengan harapan kerajaan agar mereka ini lah yang akan membantu dan meningkatkan taraf hidup bangsanya. Namun akhirnya bumiputra dikhianati oleh bangsa sendiri.

Apa - apa pun kita tunggu dan lihat apa yang akan berlaku pada nasib bumiputra.

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