Anwar: Economic reforms must be needs-based, should not neglect the poor

11-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:00 AM Print This Post

While Putrajaya pushes for economic reforms to attract greater foreign direct investment (FDI), the poor and marginalised must not be forgotten, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

During his speech at the “Malaysia: A New Dawn” conference today, the PKR president-elect said any investment policies coming from the government must be inclusive, clear and transparent, while ensuring the poor are included in these plans.

Anwar also said that affirmative action policies must not be race-based, but needs-based instead.

“Some see the opening up of pro-market reforms as at the expense of a large segment of the Malays or Bumiputeras, and of course, some suggest the country’s marginalised poor may suffer. We cannot propel economic growth without making Malaysia thrive with FDI.

“Such policies should warrant an inclusive, clear and transparent policy, but it doesn’t mean we neglect the plight of the poor. It’s not a zero-sum game. If we choose to embark on market reforms, it shouldn’t be an excessive capitalistic notion ignoring the poor and the marginalised,” said Anwar.

He added that the government must do away with thinking that Malays cannot compete with other races, and that as a Malay, it is an insult when these stereotypes are continually perpetuated.

“The lack of opportunity transcends race. By sheer numbers, probably Malays have more problems, but clearly the issue of poverty and inequality is not a notion affecting a particular race.

“The sooner we Malaysians acknowledge that, the better for the country as a whole to be deemed as inclusive or more dynamic and inclusive,” said Anwar.


Category: Malaysia

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