Federal Government should implement poverty-alleviation policies equally to all regardless of race or religion: DAP Sec-Gen Guan Eng

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 29.9.2021:

Are Foreigners More A Part Of The Malaysian Family Than Non-Bumi Malaysians?

The increase in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) by 54% from RM260 billion under the 11th Malaysian Plan to RM400 billion, would require the Federal government to borrow an additional RM400 billion over 5 years. Based on expected reduced revenue estimates and increased expenditure requirements, the government has no choice but to tap into the local domestic debt market to fund the RM400 billion development expenditures or RM80 billion yearly.

With the RM400 billion increase in government debts, there is concern that the 12MP will be politicised with pro-opposition states being denied and discriminated against in development funding. Further leakages and abuse of power from the practice of crony capitalism, where projects are granted to certain parties without public open tenders and due diligence. The revelation of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament that RM2 billion was spent on foreign consultants to prepare the 12MP is one such shocking example.

That states like Penang are denied any projects announced by the Prime Minister in his speech in Parliament and the refusal to state how much each state will be allocated as done by previous 5 year Malaysian Plans. To deny Penang their rightful development when Penang is the third largest tax contributor is simply not right and unacceptable. Can the government clarify what are the projects available under the 12MP for Penang?

Instead, the 12MP continues to play the issue of race when poverty and economic development cuts across racial lines and affects every Malaysian. How can the Prime Minister convince the rakyat about the sincerity and commitment to his Malaysia Family concept that is inclusive and unites all Malaysians when he talks of protectionist policies for bumis but not for non-bumis vis-à-vis foreign ownership.

The exemption granted to foreign International Integrated Logistic Services (IILS) from complying with the 51% bumi equity but requiring Malaysian-owned IILs to give up their shares and ownership control, only highlights the extent of such discrimination and injustice. Or are foreigners considered more a bigger part of the Malaysian Family than non-bumi Malaysians.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob also announced that the sale of bumiputera shares or companies to be offered only to other bumiputera consortiums, companies or individuals. Ismail said the holdings and disposal of ownership by bumiputera companies will be regulated by the relevant ministries and agencies as sector regulators.

Does this mean that listed companies in Bursa Malaysia will have two categories of shares whereby non-bumi and foreign owned shares can be transacted openly without restriction, whilst bumi-owned shares only amongst bumis? Many bumis have complained to me that this will make their shares either not being able to be sold for lack of buyers or sold to politically-connected bumi cronies at way below-market rates incurring huge losses for the very same bumis that the government is supposed to protect.

As of 2019 in terms of corporate equity holdings, bumiputera shares was 17.2 %, with non-bumiputera 25% while 45.5 % was held by foreign entities and 12.3 % were nominee shares. If bumi shares are to be ring fenced to “protect” bumi shares, then the failure to do the same for Malaysian owned shares vis-a-vis foreign owned shares raises questions as to why the government is not interested in protecting “Malaysian’ shares.

Should not the government be focused on increasing Malaysian owned equity when foreigners own the biggest chunk at 45.5% of listed corporate equity? Again this raises the question whether non-bumi Malaysians are lesser members of the Malaysian Family compared to foreigners.

The government should implement poverty-alleviation or income enhancing policies equally to all regardless of race or religion. There should be no discrimination with a different policy for a poor Chinese or Indian different to another poor Malay or orang asli.

Every Malaysian regardless of race or religion will support efforts to eradicate poverty, which are mostly from the bumis and the native population in Sabah and Sarawak. However, why is the government hiding the poverty and income levels of orang asli and the native population of Dayaks, Iban, Melanau, Kadazan Dusun Murut and Bajaus in Sarawak and Sabah?

The government appears to be worried that if the figures are differentiated between the Malays and the native population in Sabah and Sarawak as well as orang asli, it will reveal their lower income levels and higher poverty rates compared to the Malays. That is why fighting poverty levels and increasing the income levels should have a clear and concerted programme for orang asli and the native population of Sabah and Sarawak.

What Malaysians want is equal opportunity in education, economy and employment so they can realise their full potential and enjoy success with hard work. Unfortunately the 12MP falls short in inspiring a brighter future for our children where the country remains blighted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession.

LIM GUAN ENG


民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2021年9月29日在吉隆坡发表文告:

相较于马来西亚非土著,外国人是否更像是大马一家的一份子?

第12大马计划将拨款4000亿令吉,相较于第11大马计划的2600亿令吉,增加了54%,使得联邦政府需在接下来5年内再借贷4000亿令吉。基于收入将会减少和开支需求增加的预测,政府别无选择,只能通过本地债务市场来获取这4000亿令吉或相当于每年800亿令吉发展开销所需的资金。

随着政府债务将增加4000亿令吉,有者担心第12大马计划将会被政治化,使得反对党在发展资金方面遭受拒绝和歧视。裙带资本主义的做法将进一步发生泄密和滥用权力事件,即在没有公开招标和尽职调查的情况下将项目颁布于某方。反对党领袖安华在国会揭露,政府支付20亿令吉予外国顾问以完成第12大马计划报告一事,就是个让人震惊的例子。

槟城并未被列入首相在国会内所宣布的任何项目中,而首相也拒绝说明每个州属所获得的拨款数额,这与前5年大马计划的做法有异。当槟城所缴付的税款是全国第三高时,否认槟城的发展权利是不正确和不可被接受的做法。政府能否说明第12大马计划下有哪些槟城项目?

相反的,当贫困和经济发展是个跨种族的课题并影响着每一名大马人时,第12大马计划却继续玩弄种族课题。当首相谈到对土著的保护主义政策,却未提到非土著相比起外国所有权时,首相要如何让人民相信他所提出的大马一家精神的诚意和承诺,即旨在包容和团结所有马来西亚人?

豁免持国际综合物流服务(IILS)执照的外国业者无需遵照51%土著持股规定,但却要求本地的IILS持有者放弃股份和控制权,只会凸显出条例的歧视和不公程度。抑或是,相较于马来西亚非土著,外国人更被认可为什大马一家的一份子?

首相依斯迈沙比里也宣布,土著股权或公司的买卖,只能限于土著集团、公司或个人。依斯迈指出,无论是要持有或出售土著公司,  将交由相关部门和机构作为行业监管者,实施监管工作。

这是否意味着大马交易所的上市公司将拥有两类股份,即非土著和外商持股可不受限制的公开交易,而非土著股份只能在土著间进行交易?许多土著纷纷向我抱怨,指这将导致他们的股份要么因缺乏买家而无法出售,要么则只能以低于市场的价格出售给有政治关联的土著朋党,从而导致政府本来要保护的土著却因此而蒙受巨大损失。

2019年的企业股权数据显示,土著股权为17.2%、非土著25%、外国人45.5%和12.3%的代持股东。如果土著股权要被圈定起来以“保护”土著股权,那么相较于外国人持股,政府却未能援引同样方法来保护大马人持有的股权,从而引发疑问,即为何政府没有兴趣保护“马来西亚人”股权。

当外国人拥有上市公司最大份额的股权,即达到45.5%时,政府难道不应该专注于增加马来西亚人拥有的股权率吗?这又再次引发同样的疑问,即相较于外国人,马来西亚非土著是否更像是大马一家的次要成员?

政府理应不分种族或宗教,一视同仁地对所有人实施扶贫或增加收入政策。对于一个贫穷的华人或印度人,他们不应该有着不同于跟另一名贫穷马来人或原住民的政策。

每一名马来西亚人,不论其种族或宗教背景,都将会支持消除贫困的努力,而贫困对象多是来自沙巴和砂拉越的土著以及原住民。然而,为什么政府要隐瞒沙巴和砂拉越土著,和原住民如达雅族、伊班族、马莱诺族、卡达山族—杜顺族—穆律族和巴瑤族的贫困和收入水平呢?

政府似乎是在担心,如果将马来人与沙巴和砂拉越的土著和原住民的数据区分开来,人们就会发现相较于马来人,沙巴和砂拉越土著和原住民的收入水平更低,贫困率更高。这就是为何政府需要为沙巴和砂拉越土著和原住民制定一个明确而一致的计划,以帮助他们对抗贫困水平和提高收入水平。

马来西亚人想要在教育、经济和就业方面拥有平等机会,以便他们可以充分发挥潜力,并通过努力工作获得成功。遗憾的是,第12大马计划未能为下一代创建更光明的未来,而这个国家依然受到新冠大流行和经济衰退的影响。

林冠英

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