The New Empowerment Policy (NEP 2.0)
Out of the blue Najib announced the empowerment policy for the Malays. Like all previous initiatives, UMNO will again fail in uplifting the Malays and you can bet on it. All the efforts that UMNO leaders have tried and will continue trying will be in vain, just like the efforts by the US to close a peace deal between Palestine and Israel. The deals failed from the start.
However, since the empowerment must have been planned by the various Najib/UMNO think-tanks let us give it the benefit of the doubt that indeed this initiative is viable and those in the think-tanks are not numbskulls.
The First Empowerment: ENABLE BUMIPUTRA HUMAN CAPITAL.
When we talk about human capital, it must involve skill and knowledge. This can only be brought about by education and training. Thus the basics of our education must be in order and the standards must be upgraded or at least maintained.
However it is recently reported by the QS World University ranking that Malaysian public universities continue to fall. There are many ‘Profesor Kangkung’ in our universities and the standard of English has degraded to a level which can never be brought back to what it used to be, even by importing pure Oxford graduate English teachers. But even with this dire situation, UMNO is planning to import English teachers from India!
When there is great competition to attract direct foreign investments in the region, whatever skill that UMNO managed to impart on the Malays would be useless because good jobs are scares. For the past 56 years UMNO managed to create more jobs for the Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Vietnamese, Pakistanis, Nepalese and other foreigners. The Malays will have to be contented with whatever is available but would not be the jobs they are trained for.
Just look at the internship scheme implemented by UMNO, the students waste their time doing some menial works and making drinks in the office pantries. Some female students even faced sexual harassment during the stint.
Second Empowerment Focus: STRENGTHENING THE BUMIPUTRA EQUITY OWNERSHIP IN THE CORPORATE SECTOR.
How would UMNO achieve this? UMNO will issue more shares by forming some business ventures like the FGVH and UMNO leaders will definitely be given the bulk of the shares; they are after all Malays.
But one thing is sure; more projects and businesses will be given to Syed Mokhtar. But Vincent Tan, Francis Yeoh, Ananda Krishnan need not worry because UMNO leaders are always grateful with them.
Third Empowerment Focus: STRENGTHENING BUMIPUTRA NON-FINANCIAL ASSETS.
Please note that based on what has been defined, properties like houses, land, vehicles are non-financial assets, but surely without money you cannot have them. So what ‘non-financial’ assets is Najib talking about? Even with the ‘bumiputra quotas’ and 5% discount, many houses could not be sold, how on earth Najib is going to strengthen the Malays?
Maybe Najib will allocate more money for the 2-room, corrugated roof and without ceiling ‘PPRT’ houses for the poor Malays to be given free built on the own land. By the way, many do not have ceilings as most probably the money had been siphoned out or diverted away by the UMNO middlemen.
The majority of the Malays has so far managed to own Proton and Perodua made vehicles and of course the ‘kap chai’ motor bikes the Malay youths use to compete in illegal racing; ‘rempeting’! This will at least provide the ‘commerce of scale’ for Proton. Perodua at least produce better cars.
But UMNO will not be able to increase the income of the Malays and the only alternative is to reduce the price of the cars and motorbikes. This is also good news to the ‘Mat Rempit’ who will be able to afford cheaper ‘kap chai’ and more will die or disabled. Although this 3rd empowerment equates to zero, UMNO is happy with it! They will twist and hype this foolish effort as something of great substance!
Fourth Empowerment Focus: ENHANCING BUMIPUTRA ENTREPRENUERSHIP AND COMMERCE.
UMNO must realize that until now whatever business enterprise that it has created for the Malays are in the form of cottage industries either in producing traditional Malay food or medicine. The rest would be road side stalls or simple foldable plastic table with a large umbrella selling burgers or nasi lemak. Then there are the ‘pasar malam’, ‘pasar tani’ and ‘pasar ramadan’.
May be UMNO will provide more cheap loans (which will not be collected back, to win votes) or just improve the packaging.
Fifth Empowerment Focus: STRENGTHENING THE SERVICE DELIVERY ECOSYSTEM
So with the present civil servant and their boss in more interested in serving UMNO leaders, can the delivery system be improved? Come on Najib, be more realistic!
Well after the reversal or abrupt stop of the various transformation programs, Najib wants to try something else to leave his own legacy even if this new initiative has the same abbreviation as the failed New Economic Policy (NEP).
Najib must take heed that like the previous NEP, this NEP 2.0 will fail because the people involved in making the policies and in implementing them are still the corrupt lot; UMNO and the care less civil servants as reported by the Auditor General. This is just another version of the same NEP which is doomed from start!