"We will run the government administration free from the New Economic Policy (NEP) that breeds cronyism, corruption and systemic inefficiency," said Lim Guan Eng, whose Democratic Action Party (DAP) took control of Penang state after Saturday's watershed elections and was sworn into office on Tuesday.
The four-decade NEP was meant to fight poverty by steering resources to indigenous people, including Malays, whose politicians dominate the ruling national coalition. They get preference in state contracts, jobs, university seats and financial aid.
But many Malays say the plan has strayed from its original aim of fostering economic competition and is enriching a small elite, while rural Malays live hand-to-mouth in wooden huts.
In Kuala Lumpur, de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim also took aim at the "Bumiputra" (sons of the soil) policy.
"We consider the NEP is obsolete," Anwar told reporters.
"I always say the NEP benefits the few family members of the ruling establishment and their cronies. So we stop this practice of awarding tenders, projects and privatization to family-related companies and cronies only at states where we are in charge."
Many in the country's large Chinese and Indian minorities have criticized the policy as unfair. It has also been widely criticized abroad and was a key stumbling block in five fruitless rounds of talks with the United States on a free trade deal.
Anwar said the opposition's version of the program, which he called the Malaysia Economic Agenda, will protect the interests of "the Malays, the poor and the marginalized" but will be a "competitive, merit-based system."
Acting Law Minister Nazri Aziz confirmed that opposition-ruled states did have the power to scrap the NEP.
"Anything to do with federal government projects, which come under our jurisdiction, then the NEP applies. But if it's a state government jurisdiction, then it's up to them," he told Reuters.
SOMBRE CIVIL SERVANTS
The Edge Financial Daily said in an editorial on Tuesday that cronyism was a major issue in Saturday's election.
"Indeed, one can say that one reason why the people voted so strongly for the opposition in the elections is to send a message that they have had enough of political cronyism and awards of contracts and deals to politically connected companies," it said.
Anwar's People's Justice party won 31 seats in the 222-member National Parliament, the most of any opposition party, and will share power in four of five states now under opposition control.
The National Front won the most seats, but lost the two-thirds majority it has enjoyed almost without interruption since independence in 1957.
The strongly Islamist Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) will lead or share power in four states, including three -- Kedah, Perak and Kelantan -- that share borders with Thailand, which has been battling an Islamic insurgency with historical links to Malaysia.
PAS Vice President Husam Musa told reporters on Tuesday the opposition intended "to create an investor-friendly atmosphere ... and that foreign investment and interests are guaranteed in the states where we are in power."
New Penang state Chief Minister Lim said he would lobby the prime minister to use cash from state oil company Petronas to fund a new $940 million bridge project. The giant oil firm has long been a cash cow for National Front building projects, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
The election aftermath spooked financial markets. Malaysian shares closed up 2.84 percent on Tuesday after plunging 9.5 percent on Monday, wiping out some $30 billion in market capitalization, probably the biggest single-day loss in the market's history.
Analysts called Tuesday's partial recovery a short-lived rally, given the uncertainties ahead.
Prime Minister Abdullah has a tricky task in fending off challenges, especially with his UMNO party, the dominant coalition partner, set to hold leadership elections in June.
He also needs to fill gaping holes in his cabinet, after four ministers lost seats in the weekend election.
The winning opposition parties also face a delicate task. The Chinese-dominated DAP has long harbored deep suspicions about the Islamist agenda of PAS, which advocates Islamic law for Muslims, including punishments such as stoning and amputations.
In their first test, DAP, PAS and People's Justice party were hammering out power-sharing arrangements on Tuesday in Kedah, Perak and central Selangor state. PAS kept power in Kelantan state and its government was to be sworn-in later on Tuesday. - Reuters
As I browse into msn news and read the news report, I felt release in my mind when Guan Eng told his commitment to breech the NEP in Penang. It is an accurate new ever since compare to national media where it was or still under government control. Truth must be aired or lie will be hide under the blanket of the Barisan Nasional. In fact, we the press and media are much control by the government to hide the truth from the rakyat. Not only that, the article must be scanned through so that the main issue can be manipulated by the Minister of Information. Example, Bersih rally was attended by only 4000 people but the real number was more than 10000 including those who were stuck in the traffic. HINDRAF has a connection with Sri Lankan tiger terrorist but CIA and Interpol have nothing to say about it. All those non sense news was aired so that the rakyat believe in every propaganda that is to glorify the Barisan Nasional power and goodness.
Enough with that. Ever since we were exploited and discriminated by the NEP which is benefited only the Malay as the bumiputera and not the Sarawak and Sabah bumiputera. I do not see nay news stating that DAP will fight against the NEP. Not even news strait times or Berita Harian. The non Malay will able to enjoy the equality of the national wealth from the government contract which was much given to the Malay contractors as before. There will be equality in Pulau Pinang and maybe some of the Malay contractors will withdraw from Pulau Pinang due to the serious fight against nepotism and cronyism.This is a brave start for the DAP to introduce the economic equality among the Malaysian. It is not a racial revenge but a crucial claim since the independent of Malaysia. The beginning of the new economic agenda and the wealth distribution which as at the Malay side. Malay fight against hardcore poverty is now over since they are now 0% poverty among them f. The proves are the quotas and special rights (scholarship and Ketuanan@ supremacy) which was practiced since the declaration of independent an they enjoyed it for more than 50 years.
Indeed the effect of NEP is so much to the non Malay bumiputera and the list is too long to gone through. The non Malay have no choice but to keep on silence due to many risk they may face (ISA) if the right is questioned. Since it is a sensitive issue to ask and question about the supremacy and special right of the bumiputera, the non bumiputera work very hard to gain as much as they can to put themselves at the same level with Menteri Besar and "Menteris". The different is that one side worked very hard and another one used or fully utilized the right and the supremacy to build their caste in the towm.
The Indians have to rely on their leaders to be their voice to fight for their welfare but it is sad to say that MIC has failed to do so. Maybe it is because of self interest as it is happening to the bidayuh leaders too. The defeat of Samy Vellu is the prove of the Indian rejection against timidity and arrogant which has destroyed the trust and hope the Indians.
For Bidayuh, NEP is out of the topic as long as the government do not withdraw our citizen. This is a wrong perception because our right is more comparing to the non bumiputeras. It is stated in the federal constitution that the right of the bumiputera is preserved and well taken care. Just because of our leaders do not dare enough to claim and therefore we are far left behind in terms of infrastructure development and economy. For instance, the borneo highway is not considered a highway compare to the PLUS highway. Maybe because there is no toll both to collect fund for the new highway. The new railway from Tanjung Aru to Beufort is now under construction. The only mistake is that the contract is not belong to the Sabahan but KTMB peninsular contractor . They should build the railway themselves but maybe Musa Aman is scared of AAB.
Through the full support by the Bidayuh for Barisan Nasional, it is an obligation that our right must be restore and prioritize so that we are not only well taken care as the aborigines but to be a "tolerate" representative to the government. But is is up to our leaders too bargain this because we are not eligible to do so. Therefore our leaders must take this opportunity to be at least a Feederal Minister for we are more supportive compare to the Chinese and Indians. Bidayuh and Iban agendas must be reviewed since have seen that the Malay has neglect UMNO as the most influence party ever since. Therefore it is a great opportunity to grab the BN attention on our agenda.
By this bargaining process only than we will able to reduce the hardcore poverty index among the bidayuh. I fell not comfortable whenever I watch the program BersamaMu TV3 when the hardcore Malay even riding a motorbike whereas the bidayuh has to ride their own feet. It is unfair right? There are FELDA resettlement but SALCRA only planted oil palms and not building the house for the people. Thought the SALCRA is to help the people of Sarawak but the truth is that the people is loosing their land and they get no return from it as per Jabu promises to the "land donators". Why? Because Sarawak belongs to Barisan Nasional and every peace of land are their. They have power ( not right) to scattered us away as what is happening to Kampung Belimbing.
Based on my experience and understanding, those who are effected by the PLUS project earned hundred of thousands and bidayuh will get 10K to 20K for Tun Razak Settlement which is just enough to build a temporary paper box hut. We are the same as the animal in the jungle too. When there is a time of logging, they are just flee them self to find a new habitat or they have to face "instinction" if they have to remain where they are.
We are not the animal because we have demand and right which was well prepared by the government. Therefore, Bidayuh must not be the same again. The physical development must be pursue as what was promised by the Malaysian plan or at least by the fund that is distributed for every constituencies. The natural resources must not be raped by only one party but it must be a benefit to the owner (Bidayuh). We are not condemns the NEP to a certain level of radical act because we are minority but let condemn any act of discrimination and misused of power by our representative as the root patriotism will begin with us.