BPC to empower Bumiputera economic agenda

The council will be helped by Teraju which will act as the main coordination agency for this development

pic by BERNAMA

PRIME Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to push the Bumiputera agenda and empower the community through the Bumiputera Prosperity Council (BPC).

Muhyiddin, who is also the council’s chairman said, the council aims to uplift the community’s socio-economic development as recent government statistics showed that poverty among ethnic Malays and indigenous people were more prominent at 7.2% compared to the Chinese (1.4%) and Indians (4.8%).

The council will be helped by the government’s Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju), which will act as the main coordination agency for this development.

“The entrepreneurship culture will continue to be nurtured in an integrated manner through the roles of various agencies such as Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd, Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Tekun Nasional, as well as Bumiputera-mandated agencies,” Muhyiddin told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He said this in response to a question by Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Pakatan Harapan-Parit Buntar) on measures to improve the community’s economy, in light of recent spikes in the country’s unemployment rate.

Muhyiddin said the Bumiputera unemployment rate was 5.2% compared to the national average of 5.1% in the second quarter of the year, while the percentage of Bumiputera equity as of last year was only 16% and has been on the decline for over a decade.

“Therefore, what matters most are the measures taken by the government and our commitment to do better than before,” he said.

“Through the council, the government will study and scrutinise sectors where Bumiputeras have lagged far behind, and to integrate data collected by Teraju to allow for more focused action,” he said in reply to a follow-up question by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’ (Barisan Nasional [BN]-Bagan Datuk).

Meanwhile, on a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin (BN-Rompin) who inquired about potential economic cooperation between Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera, Muhyiddin said the proposal will be considered in a framework that is being planned.

“It is an option we can consider as a way to combine capital between the Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera communities via genuine partnerships, not by way of ‘Ali Baba’ methods practised in the past and practices that are not in line with our policies,” he said.

The federal government introduced the National Economic Policy (NEP) following the racial riots in 1969 which would see wealth redistributed in favour of the Bumiputera community. One of the long-held targets of the NEP was to have a 30% Bumiputera equity share in public-listed companies.

It was recently revealed that the country has not only failed to achieve the target in the last 50 years, it has instead backtracked from 23% in 2011 to 16% in 2015.