KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Malay businessmen are not keen on the equity safety net announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad told the Dewan Rakyat today.

The Opposition lawmaker claimed that his corporate friends described the policy as “suicidal”.

“I just want to express the views from corporate friends and the Malay business community especially, who said that when the prime minister said only Bumiputera will be able to buy Bumiputera-share firms, they then immediately sent me WhatsApp messages saying: ‘This is the worst policy’.

“They said it seemed like a good idea, but if killing the Bumiputera companies economically is the intention, this is a sure way. It is suicidal,” the former health minister added during debate on the 12MP.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri said that Malaysia has yet to achieve 30 per cent equity for its Malay and indigenous demographic group.

As such, he said the government will introduce a safety net for sustainable Bumiputera equity ownership, where Bumiputera companies or Bumiputera shares only offered and sold to other Bumiputera consortiums, companies or individuals.

Holdings and disposals of ownership in Bumiputera companies are also to be regulated by related ministries and agencies.

Ismail Sabri also announced funding to improve Bumiputera businesses’ sustainability to hit 15 per cent contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) by Bumiputera micro, small and medium enterprises in 2025.