Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To Slay a Giant

I say hurray for PM Najib Razak - for being brave enough to kill a sacred cow like the New Economic Policy (NEP) which, while achieving some of its original aims, has probably introduced more problems over its 22 year history. What is the content of the New Economic Model? Well, I don't think it has been fleshed out, and as they all say, the devil is in the details. Some are even suggesting that it may be old wine in new bottles, that the NEM is nothing but a new and sophisticated wrapper for the NEP.

The problem is NEP has become so entrenched into the politics of the ruling class - the UMNOs and the Malay supremacists and what have you's. It will take a person of tremendous political clout, significant underlying Malay support, and persuasive powers to slay this giant money generator for the bumiputras and raise one that is more equitable in its place. It is said that the NEM will place more emphasis on needs and merits. That is the way it should have been. Hopefully, that is the way it is going to be, if we believe in Najib Razak. You do not have to look far for an example, Just look south of the Peninsula, in a tiny little island called Singapore, to be convinced that this is the right thing to do. But of course it requires a person also with a strong political will to realize the proposed changes. Does PM Najib Razak have it - the political staying power to roll back what his father put into place back in 1971?

Only time will tell.