Husni: Wealth distribution for long-term stability
KUALA LUMPUR: The government's aspiration to distribute one third of the country's wealth to Bumiputeras is not to discredit the other races but for the nation's long-term peace and stability, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
"We cannot have long-term peace and stability until the Bumiputeras have economic security and that sense of security can only come when there is no longer inequality in the distribution of wealth in this country," he said.
The government's Bumiputera Economic Empowerment programme, he said is still championing the objective of the New Economic Policy launched in 1970, that is to create a more level playing field for the 69 per cent of Malaysia's population.
Husni said a survey of the advanced nations has shown that the majority ethnic group holds the majority of their countries' wealth.
"The Bumiputeras are not asking for a 50:50 distribution, just one third of the wealth for two-thirds of the population and they accept this definition as equitable distribution," he said.
Husni said this in his speech at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2013, themed "Growth with Inclusion in an Age of Paradox: Same Game, New Players," organised by the government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
"I will speak plainly. A simple survey of any advanced country will tell you that without long-term peace and stability, there will not be sustainable economic growth."
He said history too has shown that peace and stability cannot be secured for the long term if there is an inequitable share of the nation's wealth.
He cited the "general unhappiness" among average Singaporeans who feel they are being marginalised and the perception that only naturalised Singaporeans and permanent residents there are enjoying the country's prosperity.