Introducing a new petrol subsidy scheme: Abandoned
“It is time the rakyat accepts the fact that Malaysia has one of the cheapest fuel prices in the world and the government cannot keep on subsidising.”
Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Deputy Minister Datuk Tan Lian Hoe, commenting on the government’s announcement to introduce a new petrol subsidy scheme beginning 1 May 2010.
On 7 Jan 2010, Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Malaysians would be charged petrol prices based on their vehicles’ engine capacity, and socioeconomic factors. Foreigners would be charged market price with the new scheme. (Source: Najib to announce fuel hike mechanism in May, The Malay Mail, 10 Feb 2010)
A month later:
“We have heard the people’s voices and now we have proven that we are willing to scrap the plan because the rakyat does not want it to be done.”
Ismail Sabri, declaring on 4 March 2010 that the government had abandoned its plan to introduce the new petrol subsidy scheme because of negative public response. (Source: Tiered fuel plan officially scrapped, no increase for now, The Star, 4 March 2010)
Implementing the New Economic Model (NEM): Sidetracked
“[T]here will be a renewed affirmative action policy in the NEM, with a focus on raising income levels of all disadvantaged groups … The New Economic Policy (NEP) has been a milestone of our society for decades … Its original objectives are still relevant, but it is time to review its implementation.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, when launching part one of the NEM, saying the new affirmative action policy would focus on the needs of all Malaysians regardless of race. He also said it would be market-friendly, merit- and needs-based, and transparent.
The NEP, which was introduced post-13 May 1969, was a race-based affirmative action policy aimed at eliminating poverty and identifying occupation with race. It was supposed to have ended in 1990 but has continued to influence current government policies.
The NEM, however, has drawn flak from the Malay Consultative Council (MPM). The council, which is led by Perkasa and consists of 76 Malay non-governmental organisations, called on Najib to revamp the NEM to protect Malay interests. (Source: Full text of PM’s speech at launch of NEM, The Star, 30 March 2010)
Two months later:
“It is impossible that I, the son of NEP’s founder, will betray his father’s fight. It is impossible. In my heart, I want to see the Malays rise and prosper.”
Najib, giving the closing speech at the Bumiputera Economic Congress organised by MPM in May 2010. He said as Umno president, he would continue to take care of Malay Malaysians.
Subsequently, one of the NEP’s key features – achieving 30% bumiputera equity in business ownership – was retained in the 10th Malaysia Plan that Najib revealed on 10 June 2010. The NEM was supposed to have been reflected in Najib’s 10th Malaysia Plan, not the NEP. (Source: Najib vows to never betray NEP, Malaysiakini, 30 May 2010)
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