Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said yesterday that the quota system would eventually have to go but a way must be found to continue supporting Bumiputeras so they would not lag behind.
While affirmative action is still necessary, the Prime Minister said there was a need to eventually do away with the quota approach in building the capacities of Bumiputeras.
Fielding questions from the floor after closing the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2011 here, Najib said the quotas appeared to have hampered some capable Bumiputera entrepreneurs from developing their abilities.
“We want to do away (with) quotas but we must support them (Bumiputeras) in a way that will allow them to grow,” he told the gathering.
Najib said the downside of quotas was that it could breed complacency in Bumiputeras, blunting their effort to gain expertise to manage their businesses.
Najib said the government was now trying a different strategy, seeking out and supporting good, tested and dedicated Bumiputeras with a view to making them more competitive.
Najib alluded to the Bumiputera Agenda Coordinating Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department which had identified more than 1,000 companies that would be assisted to grow.
The Prime Minister also said the cabinet will decide tomorrow on the timeline for the proposed amendments to security and press laws to enhance civil liberties in the country and make Malaysia a more modern and vibrant democracy.
In his Malaysia Day message on Sept 15, Najib said the government would repeal the Internal Security Act 1960 and the Banishment Act 1959 and review other laws, including the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
Stressing that the government was serious about carrying out reforms, he said: “This coming Parliament session, you will see a slew of new legislation or actions.”