Thursday, February 4, 2010

Perkasa seeks Bumi equity, quotas in Najib’s economic model

By Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Influential Malay right wing group Perkasa will push for racial quotas and the continuation of Bumiputera equity targets in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s new economic model which is set to be unveiled later this month.
The Najib administration is expected to come under some pressure as it seeks to chart the country’s economic direction amid heavy competition from regional neighbours and the demands from Malay groups like Perkasa for affirmative action to continue.
Yesterday, Perkasa leaders met with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to present their views to the government on the new economic model.
Led by Datuk Ibrahim Ali (picture) the group spent about two hours with Muhyiddin reminding the government not to abandon the New Economic Policy’s (NEP) target of increasing Malay ownership in the new model.
The country’s new economic model will be announced by Najib at the end of this month and will form the basis and direction of the country’s economy in the future.
“It does not matter what it will be called, but the new model when presented, the Malay agenda must be defended, they still have to address the issue as it is enshrined in the constitution,” said Ibrahim in his office here today.
“The objective of achieving 30 per cent Malay equity ownership must not be dropped,” he added.
Ibrahim said the education minister was also advised to continue defending the Malay quota in awarding scholarships and enrolment in public universities.
The Najib administration has been introducing various liberalisation moves in an attempt to win the support of the non-Malays and to improve the country’s competitiveness.
But with Perkasa’s ranks now swelling with grassroots members and backed by a number of senior party leaders, Najib could be forced to accommodate the conservatives in Umno.
The 36 members of the Perkasa supreme council and state chiefs also discussed security issues with Muhyiddin.
“It was a two way dialogue, he corrected some the points we raised and he also listened to our concerns,” Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider.
The group told Muhyiddin that the Internal Security Act (ISA) which is currently being reviewed by the government should be retained.
“Security decisions must not be influenced by political needs, just because of fear of losing votes, some detainees were released,” said Ibrahim.

* This article is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The blog owner does not endorse the view unless specified.

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