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Monday, September 27, 2021

Where’s the political will to create inclusiveness, says MP

 

Racial quotas still exist despite the talk of inclusiveness, said William Leong of PKR. (UM Facebook pic)

GEORGE TOWN: An MP today questioned the agenda of shared prosperity and inclusiveness underpinning the 12th Malaysia Plan, saying it would remain lip service without the political will to make sure it happens.

William Leong of PKR, who is MP for Selayang, said the past five-year plans have had similar aspirations over a shared society concept but race-based policies continued unfettered.

Leong cited a recent furore over a proposed 51% Bumiputera shareholding requirement for freight forwarders, and racial quotes on admissions to public universities as examples that went against aspirations of a more inclusive society.

“We cannot hope to share our prosperity if we cannot first learn to share our society. We cannot speak of social cohesion and inclusiveness when our country’s dominant groups do not fully include others into the society,” he said.

William Leong.

Leong said political leaders continued to exploit fears and prejudices based on differences and insecurities among people, deepening divisions that are against the shared society concept.

“Hence, it is hypocritical to talk of a 12th Malaysia Plan providing a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable country,” he said.

Leong was speaking at a forum on the 12th Malaysia Plan hosted by an all-party parliamentary group.

He said the shared society concept was raised after 64 years of Merdeka, while some people were still called “pendatang” and are reminded they were second-class citizens.

“The tragedy is those who make these statements are allowed to get away with it and will appear to be allowed to repeat them with impunity. The real test lies in the political will of those implementing the programmes under the 12th Malaysia Plan to carry out the reforms needed,” he said. - FMT

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