KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is doubling down on its promise to dismantle race-based economic policies and the man tasked to press down on the accelerator is the next-in-line to be prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Currently the parliamentary caucus on reform and governance chairman, Anwar said he was asked to expedite the preparation of a new economic policy that is not race-based.
“I am equally, if not more committed in terms of reducing inequality and elevating the position of the poor. And to also check on this unbridled capitalism of helping the few conglomerates at the expense of the vast majority.
“It is not something of ‘Anwar’s programme’, it is of Pakatan Harapan’s, which has now started under (Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad),” he told the media after attending the Malaysian Economic Symposium 2019 here today.
The PKR president said the affirmative policy heavily favouring the Malays and Bumiputera that began as the New Economic Policy (NEP) is “obsolete” and must be removed.
He said the new policy will still be affirmative, but will be needs-based and involve the public and private sectors.
He gave an assurance that it will be done without removing the constitutional rights of the Bumiputera.
“PM made it very clear that the NEP must be seen differently from the special Malay privileges enshrined in the Constitution.
“I’m not here to question what has been enshrined in the Constitution, including privileges and quota.
“Our understanding after 61 years of independence [is that] we need to create this awareness that all Malaysians should be seen as one community with equal rights and privileges,” he said.
In March, the Economic Affairs Ministry said that it would draft a new Malay economic policy that prioritises growth and guaranteed quality as well as shared prosperity.
Earlier, the caucus and parliament Backbenchers Council and Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had coorganised an economic symposium, which was a first of its kind and set to be an annual event.
The event was set up as an engagement platform with stakeholders on the direction on Malaysia’s economy and review of the country’s economic performance.