SHAH ALAM, Nov 20 – The recent announcement by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri to set a quota for the number of Bumiputera-owned businesses in strategic locations to increase competitiveness is yet another move that is not in synch with the Keluarga Malaysia stance promoted by the prime minister, says Selangor state assemblyman Ganabatirau Veraman.
In a statement issued here today, he said setting such a quota implied that the other races in the country, namely Chinese, Indians and others are “stealing the business opportunities of Bumiputeras”.
Many businesses are owned by Bumiputeras but unfortunately they are not ordinary Bumiputeras, he said.
“Rich cronies and elite Bumiputeras are the real owners in major locations.
“Most of these businesses are also rented out to foreigners, Chinese or Indians. These foreigners or other local Malaysians will pay commission to the Bumiputera owners. This is a sad reality of business in Malaysia,” said the Member of Parliament for Kota Kemuning.
The non-Bumiputeras are meanwhile competing with each other and hence the latest suggestion from the Prime Minister will destroy the businesses of non-Bumiputeras, he said, citing the plan to enforce a 51 to 49 percent Bumiputera ownership in the logistics business as one of them already.
“The government also intends to review the management of shopping malls owned by government-linked companies (GLCs) so that these malls will be managed by local companies to ensure that priority will be given to the Bumiputera traders to run businesses in these malls.
“What about the non-Bumiputeras?”
They are also citizens of this country, he said, adding that the reasoning provided by Ismail Sabri that Bumiputeras are less likely to get business premises due to high rental rates made no sense.
He said everyone had to pay rentals and no discounts are given.
On the other hand, Bumiputera businesses receive more support from various sources such as the SME Bank and Corp, Tekun Nasional, state governments, and even GLCs compared with non-Bumiputeras.
He also called for more transparency in the matter of calculating the business equity of all races in the country. There needs to be a review of how these statistics are arrived at and the process must include the income of former prime ministers, government linked heads, ministers and prominent business owners.
The MP also expressed disappointment that Ismail Sabri as a prime minister has not talked about equality among the races and how the country can be developed together with all its citizens in line with his slogan of Keluarga Malaysia or Malaysian Family.