KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia needs to eventually scrap Bumiputera quotas, said Prime Minister Najib Razak, who added that the government must continue to support the Malay community’s best talent to ensure a more competitive business environment.
Speaking at an economic forum on Tuesday, Mr Najib pointed out that the New Economic Model (NEM) promotes affirmative action based more on meritocracy and said “the right Bumiputera” must be promoted.
He said offering quotas would breed complacency, bury Bumiputera talent and hamper economic growth.
“We have not promoted the right kind of people. We want to do away with quotas but we must support them (Bumiputera entrepreneurs) in a way that would allow them to grow,” he said. “If we give them quotas, what will happen is they will rest on their laurels and, eventually, not gain expertise.”
Mr Najib said the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity target “does not mean anything”, particularly if entrepreneurs decide to sell off their shares when prices soar, leaving little in the hands of the Bumiputeras.
He said the government was now moving on a different footing by seeking “good, tested and dedicated” Bumiputeras and supporting them in a manner that could help them become more competitive.