KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 ― The Najib administration has successfully transformed Malaysia's social structure from a “pyramid” shape to that of a “diamond”, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
He proclaimed this social engineering change a “success” of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s educational policies that started under the previous prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi which then continued under the incumbent leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Our society before this was like a pyramid, where there were too few rich people and too many poor people, and the rich controlled those below them.
“The success of the government under the previous prime minister and the current prime minister is we have changed this shape to a diamond,” he said in his speech at the 35th anniversary celebration of non-profit educational institution Sri Murugan Centre (SMC) in Brickfields here.
He explained that the diamond shape means Malaysia’s middle class has expanded far bigger than either the rich elite or the hardcore poor.
“This is the success of the government which used education to shape a middle class society.
“The middle income group is created by an excellent education system,” he added.
SMC, which conducts classes for underprivileged Indian students to help them academically, has so far helped 250,000 families and helped produce more than 25,000 graduates.
Ahmad Zahid who is also home minister reiterated that he is “colour blind” when it comes to tackling urban poverty.
“If poverty affects a Malay or a Chinese, it is still poverty. It is something that has to be addressed,” he said, adding that he has been tasked with chairing a special Cabinet committee on urban poverty.
He also reiterated his loyalty to Najib, and pointed out that he has known the prime minister for 35 years and will continue serving the latter “as long as he needs me”.