KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lamented that his fellow Bumiputeras are not efficient when it comes to managing their finances, and tend to spend on unnecessary things.
This, he said, is why the existing 30 per cent Bumiputera shareholding quota in listed companies is necessary.
In an interview with Focus Malaysia, the Langkawi MP said the Malay community must also realise that it is by doing business that they can alleviate their economic standing but this also required discipline.
“What is the alternative? As far as I can see, the Bumiputeras are not business oriented, while the other communities are very business oriented.
“The Bumiputeras still do not know how to handle or manage money, because money to them is something to spend, not to invest.
“So even when they borrow money for capital, part of the money is spent on buying things that have nothing to do with the business,” he told the business weekly.
Dr Mahathir, however, said that he has now pinned his hopes on the younger Bumiputeras who have displayed promising traits.
He said that there is hope that this group would be able to change their value system and practices so that they can be better business managers.
“They can even design airplanes. The younger people give us much hope but they must also remember that they are doing business to also reduce the disparity of income between the Bumiputera and the others.
“The best thing is for the Malays to realise that only through business can they prosper and business requires discipline,” he added.
Dr Mahathir also said that the PH administration has also decided not to engage in direct negotiation with companies, especially Malay companies.
However, he said that the Malay community is marginalised as they do not receive contracts from the private sector and cautioned of a greater disparity between races.
He said that without the direct negotiation practice or limited tender, “almost invariably the Malay companies fail”.
“Invariably, if anyone in the private sector wants to build a bridge, the Malay companies never get it, except when they are attached to some non-Malay companies,” Dr Mahathir said, lamenting that the alleged practice is also not questioned.
“The private sector contracts do not go to the Malays and the government contracts also do not go to the Malays. What you are going to see is greater disparity between the races,” he added.