It is heartening to note that the Government is committed in making the NEM all- inclusive and one that embraces all races in the country. It also recognises that there should be more transparency in Government policies and the private sector remains the engine of growth.
There will also be less direct state participation in the economy.
The MCA fully agrees that price control and subsidy have distorted the market of goods and services, rendering Malaysia less competitive.
Quality education and skill enhancement for Malaysians is an important component for us to add value to the various sectors of our economy. The Government needs to address the long -standing issue of ensuring fair and easy access to quality education. The skill enhancement programmes needs to be enhanced as well.
The Government also needs to re-look at the incentives and ensure that training programmes are market oriented.
There is a need to review the implementation of the NEP to ensure that the twin objective of NEP will not be derailed. Hence, MCA is delighted to note the renewed affirmative action will be merit and need based, transparent and market friendly.
Race should not be the main criteria in implementing economic and social-economic policies.
With that, only the government is seen to walk the talk of 1Malaysia. The Government must show its political courage and wisdom in addressing the weaknesses of affirmative policies and there should be no politics of patronage and tolerance for rent-seeker.
We need to develop new sources of revenue. We have a good start in green technology and it is time that we tap into high value green industries and services. We can never hope to be a world financial centre but we have great potential to be a hub of integrated Islamic financial services.
The NEM has not adequately addressed the issue of Malaysia’s over-dependence on foreign workers. The Government needs to draw up a master plan on manpower requirement for the next 10 years. We must upgrade our workers to be highly and multi-skilled labour or else it will not be easy to overcome our dependence on cheap unskilled foreign labour.
The Government must also seriously look into the implementation of the minimum wage in some of the sectors with growth potential but dependent on foreign workers. Until then, we will face an exodus of skilled Malaysian workers to foreign countries.
The brain gain policy has not been successful because it is more on the very minimal monetary gain for the individual involved. We have to attract not only the individual but also his family. Hence, living environment, security, access to quality education, potential to develop their entrepreneurial skills and transparent Government policies are also important consideration.
The NEM has generated hope and excitement. Public and private cooperation is vital. The MCA believes that improving the efficiency and the quality of public delivery system is crucial. However, the MCA has no doubt about the political will of the Government to achieve the goals of the NEM.