Monday, June 25, 2007

NEP and the EU

Well, we made it into international news for furious reasons today. This article in the BBC paints our country in a rather negative light. According to the article, the EC's delegation head in our country, made some controversial remarks about the NEP. This made some UMNO politicians a little uncomfortable and our government, in a courageous move, has summoned Dr Thierry Rommel to explain his statement.

According the the full text of his statement:

Malaysia practises significant protectionism of its own market (automotive sector, steel, consumer goods including agricultural products, services, public procurement) officially on account of the "infant industry argument" that the WTO indeed accepts for a certain duration. In reality, however, it is the Malay-centered Bumiputra policy that drives protectionist policies. In a dominant part of the domestic economy, there is no level playing field for foreign companies even when in a partnership with Bumis. Likewise, foreign players and investors cannot take for granted the predictable and non-discriminatory application of the rule of law.
Whether or not the NEP is a good policy is a subject that can be debated forever. However, as the EC's rep, it is his responsibility to highlight this fact. Any European investors who plan to do business in Malaysia need to know about the NEP. He did not say that the NEP was a bad thing for the nation. All he said was that it would be a problem for negotiating any Free Trade Agreements with the EU. That makes perfect sense.

However, our UMNO politicians have played this up too much and have made international headlines for furiously fighting for our sovereignity. NEP is protectionist, and is by nature, against the spirit of the free market. It doesn't reflect well on the nation when a foreigner is hauled up for simply stating the obvious truth. I think hoh, our UMNO politicians are just being too sensitive.

UMNO politicians, these Europeans arh, are so used to freedom of speech that they're not used to our style of silence. They just say whatever they want. They assume that since we're also a democracy, we have the similar rules with them. They don't understand, but as an understanding people, we should just let him say whatever he wants. We can show some facts to counter his claims and educated him a bit.

We can show statistics illustrating how the NEP has benefited the majority of the bumiputra and raised their living standards since it's inception. We can also show how the NEP has helped us build many of our multi-national companies and has increased the number of available jobs in the country. We can show how the NEP has raised the standards of education and benefited the bumiputra by giving them the necessary skills and training that they need for the job market. Just take out all the statistics and show. We need to show the world, how our country has become prosperous because of the NEP.

Idiots should not be allowed to simply say anything without challenge. Samseng should not be allowed to freely do anything they want. So, just challenge! Malaysia Boleh!


* * sHeReNe * * said...

Hi there Shawn,

I happen to surf on by your blog as I was googling "lame malaysian politician". :D

Thank you for your wonderful insights on current Malaysian "hot-topic" on NEP. I could not agree with you more over the lame excuses and weak validity our politicians are using to call on Rommel. It's not that they are too sensitive, but I say ignorance and the supposed MALAYSIAN BOLEH attitude in the most negative and backwards manner.

Keep on blogging!!

Shawn Tan said...


I see that you have fairly similar sentiments as well. Thanks for the encouragement and the link!

Congrats on your engagement!

KC said...

Did u read the latest comment by Rafidah? About Thierry Rommel having attitude problems? I believe Malaysians would have agreed with her during the Mahathir's era...not sure if they would now?...maybe coz a handful of Malaysians these days would agree that Thierry Rommel's comments may have some truths to them? Anyway, I truly appreciate Ramon Navaratnam's comments

"It was increasingly necessary for all Malaysians to carefully examine the criticism, besides professionally assessing the contents for its truth and relevant implications. It is imperative for Malaysia to constantly review its socio-economic policies to ensure they are effective in promoting real sustained socio-economic development for all Malaysians in the long run"

p.s. Is your comments link on your blog working? Doesn't seem to be updating itself.

Shawn Tan said...

it works, it just doesn't update itself immediately..