KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali rebuffed today Datuk Seri Nazir Razak’s criticisms of the New Economic Policy (NEP) by pointing out that the CIMB chief was also a product of affirmative action policies.
Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, the de facto leader of right-wing Malay groups fighting to maintain affirmative action policies as Bumiputera rights urged the prime minister’s brother to be fair in assessing pro-Bumiputera policies in Malaysia.
Yesterday, Nazir repeated his call for a review of the NEP, saying that the policy has been unfair to the majority of Malays.
Nazir, a younger brother to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said the time had come for the government to protect the interest of the majority of the Malays and not just a selected few.
But the controversial Ibrahim (picture) said today that the CIMB chief too had benefited from the NEP.
“That was his personal opinion and I believe he is a product of the New Economic Policy,” said Ibrahim.
“Bank Bumiputra, now known as CIMB, was a product of affirmative action policy,” he added.
“Everyone should look at what they have received so that they can be fair to others,” said Ibrahim.
In calling for a review of NEP-type policies, Nazir questioned the lack of transparency in the allocation of Bumiputera shares in listed companies and the awarding of APs.
Nazir told the influential Malay weekly Mingguan Malaysia that the NEP, which was introduced during his father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein’s administration to forge unity, had become a divisive policy.
“I would like to suggest to Datuk Seri Nazir to read the book ‘World on Fire’ by Amy Chua from Yale University,” said Ibrahim.
“If he reads the book, he will understand the reason behind fair distribution of wealth and the importance of policies like the NEP,” he added.
The book by Chua, a Yale University Law School professor, argues that free market democracy can increase ethnic conflicts when there is a market-dominant minority. The findings of the book have been disputed by many scholars.
Ibrahim said Nazir may have viewed the matter from a banker’s point of view.
“Maybe Datuk Nazir was looking at it as a banker, but he is not a politician like his brother Datuk Seri Najib,” said Ibrahim.