By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 7: Malaysia needs to fix its biased policies if it is to realise its vision of becoming a developed nation by 2020.
Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang said that if Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was genuine in wanting overseas Malaysians to return and help Malaysia, he should not have insisted on continuing with the New Economic Policy (NEP).
“Our Prime Minister of six months, Tun Dr Mahathir visited China and saw for himself how China has grown into an economic giant in a span of just over 40 years after their ‘Open Door Policy’ was implemented. He asked Malaysians there to return to help rebuild Malaysia, a country which he said is at the brink of an economic disaster,” he told the august House when debating the Chief Minister’s address in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.
“Instead of spelling out how to improve this policy of attracting overseas Malaysians back, he (Dr Mahathir) returned home only to pass more discriminatory remarks on why it is important to continue giving special rights,” he added.
The NEP, he pointed out, has been in place for decades but the outcomes were not beneficial for overall society because the policy was the cause of unfair discrimination instead of helping all the poor from all races.
“We can see for ourselves how many poor Bumiputeras there are in Sarawak. How is our PM going to achieve a developed status by 2020?” he asked.
“We are all in this together. If any help is to be rendered, it should cut across the board regardless of race. I am saddened to hear that the Prime Minister had reaffirmed this policy yet again in a recent BBC interview,” he added.
Lo emphasised that Dr Mahathir should practice a fair and just policy for all races and help all Malaysian citizens based on needs and not race.
Pakatan Harapan (PH), he criticised, had banked on the policy to win the election by stating fairness and justice for all but after they won, many including PH members from this august House had kept quiet even when the Prime Minister’s policies were against their beliefs.
“With unchanged policies, talented overseas Malaysians will not opt to return. Such unfavorable policies have caused and is causing many to migrate. So, I can safely say, that even though this is a brand new government, we still have the same old policies,” he said.
“When a government reaches out to help its people, it should do so to help those in need. We need the new government to provide good hospitals and medical facilities, good schools and affordable education and housing within the reach of every citizen. Job opportunities should be given to capable and qualified people. Competition shapes character. It will enable all to strive and work harder,” he stressed.
Only then, Lo said, will wealth in a nation multiply for the private sector is the prime mover of the economy while the government of the day facilitates and regulates.
“Is this so difficult for the new government to comprehend and to implement?” he questioned. — DayakDaily