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Friday, August 27, 2010

Dr M gives Najib an earful on NEM


Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his “constructive criticism” to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the latter's New Economic Model.

“I have made my views known to the prime minister,” said Mahathir, without elaborating when and how this was done, when met at the national mosque after Friday prayers today.

NONEIn addition, Mahathir said, he had also written to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala on the same topic.

Mahathir said this when asked about his open criticismof certain aspects of the NEM - the Najib administration's plan to develop Malaysia into a high-income economy - such as the gradual peeling away of pro-bumiputera affirmative action policies and merit-based policies.

Mahathir added that it was normal for people to have differing views and it was acceptable for him to share his thoughts with the two individuals.

Moreover, he pointed out, even Najib had appealed to the public for input on the 2011 Budget.

“I'm not saying that my views are right. Even during my time as prime minister, people criticised my ideas,” he said.

NEP proven to work

Mahathir also disagreed with critics that meritocracy was necessary, as opposed to the affirmative-action policies outlined by the NEP.

He rubbished claims that affirmative-action policies had stunted the country's progress, stressing that Malaysia had recorded highest growths earlier than the other developing countries.

NONE"So you cannot say NEP (and the protection of rights of the Malays and bumiputeras) are an obstruction (for growth)," he said.

On claims of growing support for Malay rights pressure groups such as Perkasa, Mahathir said such groups are increasingly popular because of Umno's short comings.

He also said that Umno, the party that he had led for 22 years, had failed to protect the rights of the bumiputeras, leaving its followers increasingly disenchanted.

On the string of protests outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta, Mahathir described them as “stupid”.

He said the actions should not be condoned and he believes that some of the protesters may have been paid to do so.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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