Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Article 153 and NEP - the distortions and deviations

The “Mother of All Issues in Malaysia” is the economy which is bedeviled by the Fat Cat Syndrome – read the politics of patronage – fostered by gross distortions of the marketplace initiated by the ruling elite in Umno.
Again, the favoured parasitical few of their Political Masters from Umno are leeching off the rest of the nation and sucking our blood dry through the Licence Raj – inspired by the long discredited Socialist India model – of permits, concessions, quotas, Applied Permits and the like so that a few can “makan atas angin” in perpetuity.
This is a revisiting of the ancient caste system of India where the temples became centres of great wealth and the Brahmins, the priestly class, lorded over the great unwashed masses for several thousand years. In Malaysia, it’s a case of a small group of Muslims, forming the ruling elite, distorting the message of Islam to foist a latter day caste system of sorts on the country.
The Fat Cats and their political masters are the new Brahmins in Malaysia.
'Constitutionalized' plundering
The formula that is driving the Licence Raj basically calls for plundering the public treasury through government procurements and contracts which finally cost the tax-payer anything between double, triple to ten times what it should actually cost them.
To pull the wool over the eyes of the people, while the plundering is going on, Umno indulges in the politics of distraction and disruption by twisting and turning every issue into a racial issue. The hidden agenda is to scare the Malays into circling the wagons and gather under one political platform – Umno – so that the Fat Cats and their political masters can continue to live it up at the expense of all.
In short, the Federal Government is running amok in the marketplace through deviations and distortions in the implementation of Article 153 in the Federal Constitution, and by extension, the New Economic Policy (1970-1990). (scroll below for the full definition as laid out in the Constitution)
The NEP, if seen correctly, reads well on paper. In reality, it’s not worth even the paper it’s written on.
The 3rd prong of the NEP, observed more often than not in the breach, calls for the eradication of poverty irrespective of class, race or creed.
The 2nd prong of the NEP, again observed more often than not in the breach, calls for the elimination of the identification of race with economic function and place of residence.
The NEP and where it has taken the races
The vast majority of Indians, when not in the squatter areas, continue to endure slave-like existence in the estates and have since been joined by the Dusuns and Dayaks. The Malays who are not in the shanty towns are still in their kampung shacks, while the Chinese remain in their dilapidated houses in the new villages which haven’t seen many improvements since the British left.
The 1st prong of the NEP is an extension of one of the four pillars of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution i.e. that the Orang Asli, natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Malays – not described as Natives by law – should be provided with a reasonable proportion of business opportunities created by Government.
The 1st prong itself of the NEP speaks of the Orang Asli, natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Malays “owning, controlling and managing 30 per cent of the nation’s corporate economy – publicly listed companies – by 1990. Soon after the NEP was announced in 1970, the Orang Asli and the Natives were given the short end of the stick by the ruling elite and the percentage was re-read as 30 per cent of the entire economy.
The other business opportunities created by Government under Article 153 should go to the non-Malay communities. The second part of Article 153, the power over which is vested solely in the King, speaks of the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malay communities.
Sapu bersih
In reality, the ruling elite usurped the power of the King over Article 153 and made it and the NEP into a sapu bersih (clean out) policy for themselves and their favoured few, the Fat Cats.
The other three pillars of Article 153, like the fourth, speak of a special position for the Orang Asli, the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Malays. The special position translates into reserving for them a reasonable proportion of jobs in the civil service; intake into institutions of higher learning owned by the Government and training privileges; and Government scholarships.
The emphasis is on a “reasonable proportion”. This is the special position which Umno has distorted to read as special privileges. Today, ninety percent of jobs in the civil service, an example, are monopolized by members drawn from one community. Likewise, intake into institutions of higher learning owned by the Government and training privileges is monopolized by the same community.
It’s the same story with Government scholarships. This brings us to Hindraf Makkal Sakthi’s beef with Umno on Article 153 and the NEP as implemented in its distorted version. If nothing else, this ad hoc movement has had the courage to point out that Article 153 had a shelf-life of 15 years from independence in 1957.
Likewise, the NEP was to have ended in 1990. Obviously, the Fat Cats and their political masters in Umno are not going to end the deviations and gross distortions of Article 153 and the NEP. Obviously, the Fat Cats and their political masters in Umno are not going to do away with Article 153 and the NEP.
Therein lays the dilemma for all Malaysians as they go to the polls for the forthcoming 13th General Elections.

Malaysia Chronicle

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