Aid for Bumiputera companies has political agenda, economist says


An economist said there is a political agenda behind the Budget 2021 allocation which focuses more on giving aids to bumiputera companies.

Universiti Malaya dean of Economics and Administration Faculty Prof Edmund Terence Gomez said it is not the time to target an ethnic group, instead helping all Malaysian companies.

“Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said 80% of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are Chinese and non-bumiputeras, but much of the budget allocation goes to the remaining 20%.

“In the event of a general election, targeting an ethnic growth will provide support to the party during the poll,” he said at the UM post-budget analysis webinar yesterday.

He said the government is ignoring the firms which can save the country’s economy amid Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Finance Ministry deputy sec-gen of treasury (policy) Zakiah Jaafar said the department ensures that it covers all segments of society.
“The majority of our SME owners are non-bumiputeras and many of the government’s initiatives benefit them too.
“Our indicators and data also show that non-bumiputera businesses are the main recipients of these initiatives, hence the need to have additional assistance for the bumiputera owners,” she said at the webinar.
Read more on our print version on Monday