There will be no opposition to the New Economic Policy (NEP) if the true spirit of the policy has been practised, with no segment of the society feeling neglected or deprived of what is rightfully theirs, the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, said today.
“Today the time-tested policy is being questioned, a policy in principle was good and noble, has been blamed and demanded to be scrapped due to deviations at the implementation stage,” he said when closing the Third Islamic Congress.
He said the NEP was enacted with sincerity, with noble objectives to restructure society aimed at creating a balanced economy among the various races and to eradicate poverty regardless of race.
A policy that was carefully carved out, well planned, with noble intentions and implemented fairly and justly will continue to receive support to be retained, he said.
“It is a planned formula for economic development drawn up collectively by the multiracial Malaysian society after the racial clashes on May 13, 1969.
“The words used by (former prime minister) Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and (former deputy prime minister) Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, the two main architects, who drew up the NEP, did not say the policy was enacted to enrich a particular race or want to victimise a certain race.”
Raja Nazrin said this as a reminder to whatever reaction that might arise from the resolutions adopted on the final day of the four-day congress today.
“How the country’s leadership is to use their wisdom to manage this delicate situation in ensuring that when implementing the priority, must reflect fairness and when implementing fairness priority is not sidelined,” he said.
He said the NEP can be interpreted as a manifestation that emanated from the voice of the Malays at the first Bumiputera Economic Congress in 1965.
The Steering Committee of the First Bumiputera Economic Congress comprised 18 members headed by then Education Minister Mohd Khir Johari, including two committee members who were then Works, Post andTelecommunications Minister Datuk V.T. Sambanthan, and the then Local Government and Housing Minister Khaw Kai Boh, he said.
The presence of the two non-Malay members symbolically reflected that Malaysians from the Indian and Chinese origins were brought together to at least undertand the voice of the Malays, he said.
Six main themes — capital formation, services, marketing, training, industries and land — were discussed, he said.
Recollecting past developments, Raja Nazrin said the late Tun Dr Ismail, when speaking at the closing of the Second Islamic Economic Congress 37 years ago, had reminded that those enjoying special treatment from the special Malay and Bumiputera rights and privileges must practise them modestly and according to regulations that preserved the dignity of the Malays and Islam.
“These words are words of wisdom, a valuable reminder and a priceless will. A message that should serve as a do’s and don’ts; a will that must be adhered to and respected at all times,” said Raja Nazrin.
“So short is the memory of the Malays, Tun Dr Ismail passed away in 1973,” he added.
The will of Tun Dr Ismail is as though buried at the National Mosque; forgotten and not being practised, he said.
“When forbidden practices are ignored, when a will is sidelined, then the respect for a race will be tarnished, the sanctity of a religion will be smeared and disaster may befall on the people, he added. — BERNAMA