KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Having safeguard Bumiputera interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a significant achievement, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said this affirmative action of the New Economic Policy (NEP) introduced by his late father, the second Prime Minister of the country, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, was to ensure that Bumiputeras were not left behind.
"We have joined this agreement (TPP) on our terms and with affirmative action policies enshrined in an international treaty," he said at a Special Commemorative Seminar on Tun Abduk Razak (Father of Malaysia's Development) here today.
Najib also launched a book by Tun Abdul Razak University Chancellor Tun Ahmad Sarji, who is also Permodalan Nasional Bhd Chairman, which touched on the achievements of the second prime minister.
Also present was former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Since the inception of the NEP in 1970, Najib said overall poverty had come down to a mere 0.6 per cent in 2014 from 49 per cent in 1970 while the number of Bumiputera professionals had increased markedly during the same period.
"Among doctors, for instance, Bumiputeras went from 3.7 per cent to 46 per cent in that period, and among engineers, the share increased from seven to 35 per cent," he added.
In May 2015, the United States Trade Representative Michael Froman said that Malaysia's pro-Bumiputera policies would not be affected in the TPP as it was deemed as a "sovereign decision".
Froman said the US recognised that each country in the agreement had its own way of dealing with poverty and growth.
The one-day event was organised by Yayasan Cemerlang and the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute. — Bernama