Monday, December 01, 2014

Was Malay economic inequality discussed at the UMNO General Assembly? [Updated]

An activist send us a message containing issues of inequality which UMNO need to address. We forgot to pass the message around to the right people so that it will be debated. Anyway it is a wee bit late to get it passed by Jawatankuasa Usul.

Just wondering whether it was discussed and debated at length in the assembly. In Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speech, he quote the issue raised in a new book, "The Colour of Inequality." If not deliberated, the call for "Hidup Melayu! Hidup UMNO!" and talk to continue to pursue the Malay struggle is only in PWTC halls once a year.

That is what the widespread sceptical view is and not that the view of this blogger "bangang".


Did UMNO General Assembly debated it at length and "censorship" allowed the debate of such issue?

Read the message:

With the Umno General Assembly starting tomorrow, the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) believes that there are economic issues that require full debate to ensure the Malay community can participate in wealth sharing and increase their competitiveness.

Among these issues are housing, cost of living and the issue of poverty. Others include what the government has done in the past 5 years to alleviate conditions to assist the Malay community in excelling in growth and participation in the economy.

MTEM wishes to highlight 10 major issues that Umno should discuss in this coming week at its annual general assembly, which provides a platform for the party to discuss these topics to show the country that it is still relevant and evolving to represent today’s Malay community.

1.   Affordable and liveable housing

In the last Budget, it is seen that instead of controlling the price of housing, the government decided instead to focus on putting the onus on those wanting to buy a home. The recent announcement of issuing out 110 per cent loans can be construed as the continuing subsidising of developers instead of the Malaysian people.

The government should instead move to curb speculation on housing, the major cause that is keeping home prices high and beyond affordable for Malaysians at large.

The price of houses are too high, with new developments too far from economic centres and without concern for accessibility.

If Umno insists it is for the Malay community, where are  the initiatives to set these right?

2.    Economic Sabotage: “Ali Baba” companies and corruption

The release of the latest Auditor General’s report shows that leakages are still happening despite the pledge of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Datuk Nur Jazlan to put things right.

In addition to this, MTEM believes and has supported the need to blacklist companies that sell off government contracts. We also believe there is a need for a new law to disallow Ali Baba companies from tendering for Bumiputera only contracts.

Furthermore, we believe more new laws and amendments must be made for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Council (MACC) to be effective in its job. We also support the need for the anti-corruption agency to be answerable directly to Parliament.

3.    Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

We believe that there is a need for Umno to have an internal debate on whether this deal is –as its President continually says – “beneficial outweighing the costs”.

We at MTEM believe that the TPPA will be a loss for Malaysia, impacting the Bumiputera affirmative actions in place and also increasing the cost and limiting access to medication and medical treatment.

Furthermore, the TPPA will have cause the dwindling of Malay and small and medium industries (SMIs).

We also believe the cost benefit analysis should be debated openly. In addition, the RCEP, AEC and FTAAP are all viable alternatives for the TPPA because these provide non binding unilateral commitments within a multilateral framework, which is less restrictive on member nations.

It will provide a more level playing field ecosystem with regional ASEAN and Asian member nations respectively.

4.    Income inequality

The Department of Statistics (DoS) report on Salaries and Wages have shown that there is still an inter-ethnic gap in what companies are paying its employees. In the 2013 report, Malays were reportedly earning a median salary lower than the Chinese. Malays earn a median of RM1,500 compared to RM1,900 for the Chinese community.

Furthermore, the household income survey in 2012 showed that the median income for the Bumiputera household was only RM3,282, the lowest among the three largest population groups in Malaysia.

5.    Wealth inequality

One measure of economic mobility is the ability to generate and maintain wealth. In the “Colour of Inequality” by Dr Muhammed Khalid, we are shown that even the Malays have a large wealth gap within itself.

One in four Malaysians have no property assets, and 74.3 per cent of these are Bumiputeras. Further more, the average real estate value for the Bumiputera household is the lowest among the three largest ethnic groups.

6.    Employment inequality

In 2012, the issue was raised that the Malays were being discriminated in being hired not only by local and foreign companies, but also by government linked companies.

The study by Lee Hwok Aun and Dr Muhammed Khalid summarised that Malay job applicants were significantly less likely to be called for interviews even after controlling the applicants' academic achievements and positive attributes, job requirements and firms characteristics.

It added that there was stark racial disparity, as Chinese resumes registered a mean callback rate of 22.1 per cent steeply above the 4.2 per cent for Malay resumes.

In the same year, there was an increase in the number of unemployed Bumiputera graduates from 39,300 in 2009 to 50,700 in 2012.

With this in mind, MTEM is pushing the government to make it mandatory for all public listed companies to publish their diversity in their respective workforces at all levels in their organisations.

We would also ask Umno to debate the need for an employment discrimination law that will address concerns regarding salary discrimination not only by race, but also gender and for the handicapped.

7.    Relooking poverty curbing measures and assistance

We would also urge Umno to discuss increasing the poverty level and to look at the ability of the Malay community to be economically mobile. Furthermore, we believe there is a need for the political party to look into the definition of poverty in Malaysia.

Are we still looking at someone who earns below only RM700 to RM800, or should it be raised and recalculated to show a more earnest figure? MTEM believes that this Poverty Line Index (PLI) is outdated. We also believe that the World Bank indicator used is from the 1970s, with better models available today.

Furthermore, MTEM believes we need to relook into our mechanism involving social transfers to assist these groups move out of poverty in a more sustainable manner than a one off payment annually such as the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) is being given out 4.5 million Malaysia who qualify - earning less than RM3,000 monthly.

8.    Debt, bankruptcy and second chances

MTEM finds it ridiculous that the head of debt counselling agency AKPK believes that “getting a second job” is the panacea of assisting those burdened with large debts.

Furthermore, there are those who were declared insolvent in the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis and even the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. While these are major crises, there are also those less fortunate who have yet to be able to raise up again due to lesser events.

We believe this raises the need to debate whether the government should come up with policies and laws that will grant these individuals a second chance.

9.    11th Malaysia Plan (RMK11)

We believe that with the 11th Malaysia Plan to be unveiled next year, Umno should be setting its goals and targets by this annual general assembly. What is the party’s target in the RMK11 master plan for the Malay community.

From MTEM’s side, we would look at the RM1.7 trillion gross national income (GNI) target of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to have a RM900 bil allotted specific for the Malay community. Currently, the Malay community has a GNI of RM190 bil of a national GNI of RM654 bil.

The current projection MTEM has shows that when Malaysia reach RM1.7 trillion GNI, the Malays would only have RM487 bil, slightly more than half the target we propose for RMK11. Another measure we would use as an indicator would be the median household income.

10. Agenda Memperkasakan Bumiputera

Announced in 2013 by the government, the Agenda Memperkasakan Bumiputera (AMB) had 33 initiatives in assisting the Malaysian Bumiputeras achieve greater heights. However, MTEM believes that the plan does little to address issues critical to the socioeconomic condition of the Bumiputera community.

And yet, nothing has been said and done to ensure that the activities have achieved or shown any results, which baffles us. Instead, the government has continually announced funds channelled towards these initiatives, but has never shown any results or had any engagements with civil society to ensure that the government is on the right track.

We believe that the plan requires more thorough and holistic initiatives that are outcome driven. Furthermore, we are perplexed by the lack in success stories from this government initiative.

Chief Executive Officer
Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM)

Affordable housing was discussed at PWTC.

PM, Dato Idris Jala and Dato Wahid Omar have been told of this problem before the recent budget. Unfortunately, the budget hardly addressed the root cause.

The neo-liberals will blow their head off should there be any tampering with market forces. Korporat didahulukan. Kaum peniaga diutamakan. Only measure was to raise RPGT by a bit and assist first time young buyers. Purely political move.

Maybe that was the underlying message by one Wanita UMNO debator from Bandar Tun Razak that said something like RM46.5 billion of money was spent by Teraju but we do not feel it.

We may not be quite up-to-date with the latest development on Teraju but at one time, CEO Teraju, Dato Husni Salleh said in an exclusive ANSARA event at MITI building that Teraju have no budget.

Adding to the list was Malay Reserve land. However it was touched by a lot of parties at the assembly. Hope it is not too late.

When UMNO was really powerful, some MBs said it is not profitable to have Malay Reserve land and mentioned the state will not replace it in the National Land Committee. The issue will be discussed in detail.

Transformation Plan

On top of that, did Dato Idris Jala's Transformation Plan remained a sacred cow never to be touched openly?

[Updated 4:07 PM] Actually it was not and Tan Sri Muhyiddin touched on it. FB Blue Ocean wrote in their FB, below:

Sehari dua ini BO peratikan ahli ahli UMNO sibuk membincang dan membandingkan ucapan Presiden Parti DS Najib dan Timbalannya TS Muhyidin di Perhimpunan Agung Umno. Dan kebanyakan topik perbincangan lebih tertumpu kepada gesaan TS Muhyidin supaya Akta Hasutan di kekalkan dan di susuli dengan ‘janji’ DS Najib untuk mengekalkan akta tersebut.

Tetapi malangnya, ramai yang TERLEPAS PANDANG mesej yang lebih penting yang ingin di sampaikan oleh TS Muhyidin. Iaitu mengenai KEGAGALAN PELAN TRANSFORMASI DS Najib. Kegagalan DSN menjaga PERIUK NASI Melayu.

Jika kita perhalusi, itu lah MESEJ UTAMA yang cuba di sampaikan oleh TSM di dalam ucapan nya pada Rabu lepas, sehari sebelum ucapan dasar Presiden Parti. Ucapan selama dua jam yang sarat dengan ANGKA ANGKA dan STATISTIK untuk MENIDAK KAN pencapaian Program Tranformasi DS Najib, terutama di dalam mengangkat mertabat kaum Melayu di segi ekonomi. Malah tanpa segan silu TS Muhyidin seolah olah mengesa supaya DS Najib ‘ MEMANSUHKAN ’ pelan Transformasi Ekonominya.

Berikut adalah antara ANGKA dan STATISTIK di dalam ucapan TSM yang menidak kan pencapaian Program Transformasi DS Najib selama ini…
1. 24 tahun selepas pelaksanaan DEB kita kembali mendengar keluh kesah dan gundah gulana orang Melayu.

2. Median pendapatan bulanan isirumah Bumiputera sebanyak RM3,282 jauh lebih rendah berbanding kaum Cina, iaitu RM4,643 dan kaum India RM3, 676.

3. Dalam kumpulan isi rumah berpendapatan 40% terendah, 75.5% adalah Bumiputera.

4. Di dalam pemilikan tanah hanya 36.3% transaksi bangunan hartanah kediaman, 2.37% hartanah industri dan 7,85 hartanah perdagangan yang melibatkan bumiputera.

5. Bumiputera masih menerima layanan yang tidak saksama dalam sektor swasta. Dalam setiap seorang graduan Melayu yang di panggil untuk temuduga, 5.3 lagi calon adalah dari kaum Cina.

6. Data rasmi juga menunjukan kadar pengangguran adalah tertinggi dalam kalangan tenaga kerja Bumiputera iaitu sebanyak 70.3% manakala graduan menganggur sebanyak 66.9%.

7. Di sektor swasta yang di kuasai oleh kaum Cina pekerja Bumiputera menerima gaji 20 sehingga 40 peratus lebih rendah berbanding bukan bumiputera.

8. 4 juta daripada 6.5 juta pekerja yang mencarum dalam KWSP berpendapatan kurang dari RM2,000 sebulan.

9. UMNO perlu memberi perhatian secara lebih serius kepada usaha meningkatkan kemahiran tenaga kerja Bumiputera. Data terkini menunjukkan 64.3% tenaga buruh Bumiputera mempunyai sijil SPM dan ke bawah. Hanya 27.8% berpendidikan tinggi.
SINDIRAN TAJAM di sertai fakta oleh TSM mengenai masalah perumahan Melayu di Bandar…
“Mengenai isu perumahan, ada ahli UMNO di akar umbi yang mengatakan kepada saya, rumah-rumah yumah-rumah yang dibina dengan harga RM400,000 sebenarnya bukan rumah mampu milik, tetapi rumah mampu tengok sahaja. Menurut Kajian Khazanah Research Institute, harga rumah mampu milik yang sewajarnya adalah 3 kali median pendapatan isi rumah, iaitu bagi kumpulan pendapatan isirumah 40% terbawah dengan harga RM70,000 dan kumpulan berpendapatan sederhana pada harga RM160,000 atau pada purata harga RM130,000. Rumah-rumah yang dibina dengan harga yang terlalu mahal, terutamanya di kawasan-kawasan bandar dan pinggir bandar, sudah tentulah tidak mampu dibeli oleh rakyat berpendapatan rendah dan sederhana”.
TSM mempersoalkan sasaran Pelan Transformasi Ekonomi DSN di dalam menaikan taraf ekonomi Bumiputera….
“Pencapaian sasaran Pelan Transformasi Ekonomi dengan nilai GNI RM1.7 trillion, dengan pendapatan perkapita RM48,000,dengan penambahan 3.3 juta pekerja berkemahiran dan RM1.4 trillion pelaburan daripada sektor swasta dan kerajaan, BERAPA KAH daripada jumlah sasaran ini akan turun mengalir menjadi milik kaum Bumiputera? Dalam KEGHAIRAHAN kita meletakkan sasaran besar untuk mencapai status negara berpendapatan tinggi, kita juga harus menetapkan sasaran yang jelas untuk kaum Bumiputera dan memastikan kekayaan negara kita dapat diagihkan kepada semua rakyat baik di kota mahupun di desa, di semenanjung mahupun di Sabah dan Sarawak, baik kumpulan berpendapatan tinggi mahupun kumpulan pertengahan dan 40% terbawah, semuanya – kulluhum ajma’in – perlu dipastikan mendapat peluang yang adil dan saksama”
Dan yang kita tak perasan langsung di dalam ucapan TSM tersebut adalah gesaan beliau supaya DSN ‘MEMANSUHKAN’ Pelan Transformasi nya...
“Saudara-saudari, kita sebenarnya amat memerlukan satu MODEL EKONOMI yang benar-benar dapat memastikan pertumbuhan disertai dengan pengagihan yang saksama. Kita tidak boleh membiarkan majoriti rakyat negara kita terpinggir dan tersisih daripada arus kemajuan ekonomi negara. Apatah lagi, ketidaksaksamaan dalam masyarakat kita hari ini bukan lagi merupakan masalah kaum semata-mata, tetapi juga masalah kelas. Kita sedang menghadapi masalah jurang yang besar antara golongan kaya dan golongan miskin, jurang antara etnik dan intra etnik,jurang antara Semenanjung, Sabah dan Sarawak, jurang antara masyarakat bandar dan luar bandar, jurang antara CEO, pengurusan kanan syarikat dan pekerja bawahan. Semua ini jika dibiarkan berterusan akhirnya akan menjejaskan pencapaian ekonomi negara kita secara keseluruhan”.
Cadangan TS Muhyidin supaya Umno menjadikan Agenda Bumiputera sebagai Agenda Nasional bukan agenda kaum…
“Oleh itu, kita perlu menjadikan Agenda Bumiputera sebagai Agenda Nasional, BUKAN agenda kaum. Majlis Ekonomi Bumiputera yang dipengerusikan oleh YAB Presiden mempunyai peranan penting untuk mengkaji secara terperinci kedudukan ekonomi Bumiputera, merencana hala tuju masa depan ekonomi Bumiputera, termasuk memperkukuhkan instrumen dasar, institusi dan inisiatif memajukan ekonomi Bumiputera. Saya ingin mencadangkan supaya Agenda Bumiputera serta dasar dan strategi merapatkan jurang ekonomi dijadikan teras utama Rancangan Malaysia Ke-11 yang merupakan lonjakan terakhir Malaysia untuk menjadi sebuah negara maju. Agenda Bumiputera sebagai Agenda Nasional tidak boleh dilaksanakan secara PICISAN atau terpisah daripada kerangka besar ekonomi negara. Ia mesti dilaksanakan secara inklusif, komprehensif dan merentasi semua sektor ekonomi. Saya juga mencadangkan satu Dasar Ekonomi Nasional yang baharu dirangka untuk memacu inisiatif kesaksamaan ke hadapan”.

We know it is not easy to be Prime Minister, as a friend said. It seemed we do not know the full picture. If so, then tell us, communicate, and engage to make us understand in order to defend you.

Otherwise, what is out there will the one that form public opinion. Answering it late like in 1MDB does not improve perception.

The position of Prime Minister comes with the expectations. So live up to it. Dato Najib wanted the job so he has to live up to it.

For us, we remember and will hold on to what Dato Najib said Government does not know everything. So it is our job to tell and remind him. Be it politely or subtly or openly, it is our job and responsibility to let him be aware.

Sometimes being brutal and face his wrath is necessary to get his attention and action.


Anonymous said...

May be you were not paying attention to the Left Wrist of those in the GA. If you did not please do the next time. That will answer your question.

Anonymous said...

Najib fell for the neoliberal's false hope.

He did not think hard enough and did not seek for truly creative policy proposals that could serve to save the Bumiputera and yet provide opportunity to all.

He was too lazy to think.

thenewwizardofoz said...

Good, good.

Now, while you are expounding about inequality, ask yourself what the country's institutions, specifically the education system, are doing about it?

It's specious to talk about inequality without talking about competition for investments and jobs.

Do you believe, honestly, that permanent solutions to the problem of inequality can be achieved in a vacuum, with a cavalier disregard for external forces?

Perhaps you should be reminded of the adage - there's no such thing as a free lunch. And that someone somewhere down the road has to pay the bills for these free lunches.

The ensuing financial denouement won't be pretty!

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