THE implementation of the New Economic Policy should be reviewed so it does not undermine economic development, a prominent banker said. Speaking on the sidelines of the fourth World Islamic Economic Forum, CIMB Group chief executive officer Datuk Nazir Razak, who is also WIEF Young Leaders Network chairman, said the time had come for a re-examination.
“My worry is that when the government is trying so hard to help the Bumiputeras, it may hamper and undermine their future and achievements. When you give them contracts and money easily, you are actually undermining the spirit of entrepreneurship.”
Nazir argued that the monies should be spent on education. “We should be spending more on education. And in terms of financing, access to it should be extended, not giving out free financing. This subsidy thing is just not right. You are actually encouraging a subsidy mentality.”
He said a review of NEP was inevitable. “What is good, what is not so good, what has failed or what has actually undermined Bumiputera development; we should be looking into all this. There are so many things we can learn from other countries.”
While there is no denying that the NEP had been successful, Nazir questioned its sustainability. “Is it not the time now to review the policy? Everybody accepts the need for some kinds of affirmative action but it must be implemented in a way that does not undermine economic progress. What is important is to apply the correct policies in this day and age. Nowadays, the world is open to just anybody.” he said.