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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Anwar’s policies, red tape cause of Malays lagging in business, says Daim

The Honorable Tun Daim Zainuddin 

Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin said the lack of talented Malay entrepreneurs is due to the policies of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when the latter was the finance minister.

"I do not want to blame Anwar, but when he took over as the finance minister in 1991, he changed the landscape.

"He took the easy option by giving out company shares and all of those who were close to him became rich," he told Berita Harian in an exclusive interview today.

Daim (pic) said Anwar's policies caused the Malays to think that it was easy to become rich and that there was no need to go into business.
"The mentality became support Anwar, support the finance minister, get shares. After selling the shares, they would become rich."

Anwar, the former deputy prime minister, was the finance minister from 1991 to 1998, when he was sacked by then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over allegations of moral misconduct.

"I do not know what else should be done to help the Malays become rich. Various affirmative action plans have been introduced to assist the Malays," said Daim, adding that agencies responsible for helping the Malays and Bumiputeras "are too bureaucratic".

"One has to fill up numerous application forms, there are simply too many agencies involved in the economic empowerment of Bumiputeras."

He referred to the Malay ownership of commercial land in the urban city centres.

"The majority of Malays cannot afford to purchase properties in the urban city centre. When land was given to UDA Holding Bhd, they sold it to the Chinese.

"When MRCB was given land in KL Sentral to develop, it turns out that almost no Malays bought any properties there," Daim said.

he said Malaysia was slowly evolving into another Singapore, citing the Iskandar Malaysia economic hub and Penang as examples.

"Do not talk about the Chinese, eventually all Malaysians will be priced out because the prices are in millions of ringgit."

He said even with the 1Malaysia Housing Programme Corporation (PR1MA) scheme, those earning RM4,500 a month could not afford it.

"What is the point of building such houses if the rakyat cannot afford to buy such properties?" he asked.

He said the abolition of the real property gains tax (RPGT) by former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had worsened the situation.

"This encouraged speculators to re-enter the property market. RPGT was never an instrument to increase taxes, it was to prevent speculating." – June 13, 2014.

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