Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A new Malaysia for the next generation

I cannot imagine a Malaysia that is free of racial politics but I can celebrate when that day comes!! We can take on the world and be among the most progressive and competitive country when we cease to play petty little racial politics.

Anwar vows to dismantle racial politics
Feb 26, 08 7:19pm, Malaysiakini

Opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim has vowed to end race-based discrimination policies in Malaysia, making it one of the major planks of his party's manifesto ahead of March 8 polls.
Anwar, who was deputy prime minister until being sacked and jailed in 1998, said long-running policies favouring majority Malays had only benefited cronies of the ruling Umno.
"The New Economic Policy has been abused to enrich the family of Umno leaders and their cronies," said Anwar who is campaigning for the PKR formally led by his wife.
"If you really want to deal with the issue of poverty, why can't we just say we have an affirmative action policy helping the poor and the marginalised. It should not be racially based."
Malaysia has pursued an affirmative action program for Malays and indigenous groups known as bumiputeras since the 1970s to close a wealth gap with the minority Chinese community.
However, it has been criticised for failing to pull a large number of Muslim Malays out of poverty, and of ignoring the minority ethnic Indian community, which is also disadvantaged.

Battling rising inflation
The manifesto entitled 'A New Dawn for Malaysia', centred on battling rising inflation, which has triggered public anger and rare public protests as the prices of food and fuel edge higher.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said the government cannot afford to continue spending RM43.4 billion annually to subsidise essential items.Anwar said Abdullah was "in denial" over the state of the economy.
"PKR promises to lower the price of petrol ... as well as manage the prices of basic goods to ensure a consistent supply. Tolls and tariffs will also no longer be raised," he said.

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