Co-President Gan Ping Sieu on The PM's View That Racial Inequality Is Hampering National Development
Tuesday, December 03, 2019

It is not inequality among the races that hampers our effort to achieve developed nation status, as opined by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday. It is the institutional abuses leading to the entrenchment of a political patronage culture, government leakages and indiscriminate social handouts that are to be blamed.

Many multiracial countries, including neighbouring Singapore have achieved developed nation status. In those countries, racial inequality was never an issue.

Over the decades, including during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's first tenure as the Prime Minister, an ecosystem that thrives on whipping up race and religious issues had been allowed to take root. This has only created division among the people while meritocracy took a backseat.

Government leaders, past and present, have to look hard and honestly at past policies and deviations and abuses that had contributed to the disparity in economic development. After the New Economic Policy and other similar iterations, the government should realise that such policies had not achieved the desired results.

In fact, the wealth disparity within the Bumiputra community has consistently shown to be among the worst. Help should be accorded to all disadvantaged groups, regardless of race and religion. Only then can we truly progress.

Moving forward, we need to focus on access to technology, enhance our education system and ensure equitable access to opportunities for our youths.  We are a nation with links to major world civilizations, hence our "Malaysia Truly Asia" reputation. We should capitalise on our rich diversity and strength instead of embarking on race bigotry and the blame game.

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