Income distribution challenge to Malaysian new economic model

19:50, August 18, 2010      

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Achieving equitable distribution of income among Malaysians irrespective of race is deemed the biggest challenge the Malaysian government faces when attaining the goals of the new economic model (NEM).

The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) made this remark in its survey report on economic situation of Malaysia for the first half of 2010 released here on Wednesday.

According to the report, 60 percent of the respondents chose the "not possible" category for the NEM's goal of equitable distribution of income, whereas the remaining 40 percent replied under the "maybe" and "possible" categories.

The main goals of the NEM include breaking through to high income status targeting 15,000 U.S. dollars per capita by 2020, as well as enabling all communities to benefit from the country's wealth.

However, local media reported that there were quarters, claiming to be representatives of bumiputeras, a Malay term embracing indigenous people of the Malay Archipelago, had rejected the implementation of NEM.

In 1971, the Malaysian government implemented the 30-year new economic policy (NEP) with the aim to reduce the socioeconomic disparity among races in the country.

While rejecting the NEM, some organizations have asked for the NEP to be continued as the majority bumiputeras are still poor, compared to other races in the country.

One of its goals was to achieve a 30 percent share of the economy for the Bumiputeras but at the end of the implementation period, the Malaysian government said the NEP had not achieved its goal.

The ACCCIM report said that 61 percent of the respondents had thought that the NEM would not benefit their businesses.

"Although the NEM is still at its infancy stage, it appears that the Malaysian government still has an enormous task at hand to clearly communicate and convince the business sector that the goals of NEM will benefit the people and businesses," said the report.

The ACCCIM represents more than 28,000 Chinese businessmen and trade associations in Malaysia.

As most of the prominent Chinese businessmen are the committee members of the ACCCIM, they can be taken to represent the Chinese business community in the country.

The total questionnaires sent were 670, while 44.2 percent or 296 questionnaires were returned.



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