I have written many posts on the importance of liberalising the economy and doing away with the restrictions under the NEP. One of the article, “Time for a moratorium on the NEP , perhaps? “ was published in MalaysianInsider on December 1st. I will qoute part of that article here:
There are still many cash-rich Malaysian companies and individuals. If these people can invest and be the engine of growth, we can create more jobs as well as stimulate growth to counter the global economic recession.
For the private sector to invest, there must be a few pre-requisites:
1) Cheaper access to funds. Bank interests and interest spread must be lowered.
2) There must be less regulatory interference in order for the companies to invest and grow. In this respect, we may have to do away with the NEP. If that is not immediately acceptable, then perhaps we should have a moratorium to suspend the NEP for a few years to see how our economy can benefit.
If this trial can prove that NEP is in fact a hindrance to the growth of the people, including our Malay brothers, then we can, at the end of the moratorium period, do away with the NEP completely and replace it with a needs-based economy.
3) Tax cut and incentives for investments in certain priority sectors, such as education, healthcare as well as transportation, biotechnology, nanotechnology and so on.
I ask our Malay brothers to accept my suggestion for a moratorium rationally. It is better for everyone to have an expanding cake than to have a cake that is rapidly shrinking. In the latter case, having a fixed proportion of the cake may be meaningless if the cake shrinks to half its former size.
On the part of the non-Malays, they should try to have a real economic partnership with the Malays, genuinely imparting skills and business know-how, and not just form an Ali Baba relationship to beat the loopholes in the NEP.
We need to think out of the box and adopt fast action to counter this economic tsunami. Already we have felt the first wave; subsequent waves will be more devastating and if nothing is done now, we are going to face a really bleak future.
Malaysia after 51 years of independence needs to have a economic policy that is based on competition and market forces, and whatever affirmative action needed should be based on needs. If the affirmative action is based on needs, then any ethnic group with a large proportion of the poor, will be benefited,and no ethnic group would be marginalised.
ANother advantage of having a competitive economy is that the economic cake can expand much faster. If the cake can be much bigger in a shorter time, everyone in the country would benefit ultimately since evryone’s share of the cake will be bigger.. The government would benefit by having a bigger tax base and more revenue from taxation, and more projects can be carried out which can help the people. The private sector would be more efficient and competitive, and by being competitive, it can expand world markets for Malaysian products as well as services. It will aso help move us up hte technological ladder, which we are now quite far behind those countries that were once behind us..
It is in this context that I welcome the announcement today of the liberalisation of the service sector in 27 sub-sectors in areas of Health, Tourism, Transportation, Legal services as well as computer industry. By doing away with this restriction, it would spur private investments in these fields.
I doubt that there would be “waves of foreign investments” as reported in some of the main stream media. To expect much foreign investments at this time when almost all foreign countries are in economic troubles is not really realistic, but it would definitely benefit us when the global economy starts to pick up. In the meantime, we can expect more private investments from private sector in Malaysia in these fields.
I hope there will be more liberalisation in other areas, in corporate sectors ,licensing , as well as in the placements of students in tertiary institutions.
Let us revert back to the original aims of eradication poverty irrespective of ethnic origins and let us become an egalitarian society based on merits and morals, with help being extended to the non-competitive groups and socially disabled.