UMNO has projected itself to the forefront in championing the Bumiputera economic agenda after a comprehensive 10-point proposal was tabled by a delegate at the partyâ€™s annual General Assembly here yesterday.
The proposals, including the creation of a National Entrepreneur Development Policy (NEDP), are expected to be adopted as a catalyst to further the Malay and Bumiputera economic standing.
It was also proposed that all trust agencies and government-linked companies implement a corporate waqaf scheme by creating shares exclusively for Muslims to ensure that their assets are protected.
Another major proposal was for amending the National Land Code to enable Malay reserve, waqaf and customary land to be developed and generate returns.
Datuk Dr Adham Baba from Tenggara Umno, Johor, in tabling the 10-point proposal during the debate on the economy, also suggested that Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (Teraju), under the Bumiputera Economic Council chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, be strengthened.
He said the NEDP would provide a lifeline for Bumiputera folk as it would allow entrepreneurs access to monetary and venture capital from financial institutions.
He said it would also create opportunities for Bumiputera businessmen to venture into domestic and international markets.
â€œMore importantly, the government will also have to establish a value chain for the Bumiputera business community in every sector of the economy.
â€œTraining and guidance, through mentoring and coaching, among others, will take into account the requirements of the â€˜last mileâ€™ to fulfil the market demands and returns to young entrepreneurs.â€
Through Teraju, Adham said the government should formulate a strategy for Bumiputeras to take part in the private sector, which controls 70 per cent of the countryâ€™s economic activities, especially in the industrial, property and trading sectors.
Adham said Bumiputeras possessed the competitive talent, like creativity and innovation, in fields such as the creative industry, healthcare, bio-economy and environment, as proven by those who had graduated from Terajuâ€™s â€œCarve-Out and Competeâ€ programmes.
Under the programme, the government had allocated RM23.5 billion to support 11 mega projects, each costing more than RM500 million, and 37 packages under the MRT Corp projects where the Bumiputera portion totalled RM9.1 billion up to September this year
â€œEfforts to safeguard the economy of Bumiputeras is a national agenda aimed at upholding social justice for the sake of unity.â€
Adham also proposed that immediate action be taken by the government to modernise the rural sector by improving infrastructure and providing a conducive environment to spur investment and transform it into an industrial centre.
â€œThis will not only provide employment opportunities but also encourage the involvement of statutory bodies, such as Felda, Mara, Ecer, Risda and Felcra.â€
Adham also suggested that more initiatives, such as the 1Malaysia Peopleâ€™s Aid, 1Malaysia Peopleâ€™s Housing, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, Yayasan Permata, Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia, Klinik 1Malaysia and Pusat Asuhan 1Malaysia programmes, be introduced to help low-income earners in urban areas cope with the high cost of living.
He also proposed that the agricultural sector be enhanced through a productive and innovative land management system, capital allocation and the development of a supply chain.
â€œThe cooperative institution should also be strengthened to transform traditional farmers into modern farmers who are knowledgeable, such as what the Young Agropreneur Scheme has achieved,â€ he said, adding this would help stop the migration of youths to urban centres.
Adham also proposed that the government improve and encourage the development of Islamic-oriented products to boost the participation of Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the halal industry.
â€œThe government should also improve the issuance method and process of the halal certificate and strengthen the role of the Halal Development Corporation so that it can focus on marketing products manufactured by Muslim entrepreneurs locally and globally.â€
He said the government should also take drastic measures to end corruption and abuses of power, subsidies and fund allocations.
â€œThe government must take tough action, not only against corrupt officers but also bribe-givers as well.â€
The debate on the economy continues today.-NST