Najib: Bumi economic empowerment is "equitable"

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today defended the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment agenda, stating that it is "equitable and inclusive".

Last Saturday, the prime minister announced the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment agenda, saying this was to steer the country’s future development and progress.

Speaking during The CNBC Conversation, at The CNBC Summit Malaysia 2013, he stated that 67% of the Malaysian population comprises bumiputras.

“If the vast majority are marginalised or feel they are not getting a fair share of the country’s wealth, that may affect long term stability. I believe in equitable growth, being fair and inclusive,” said Najib in response to a question.

He highlighted that the bumiputra equity share was at 23% but the goal of the government is to raise to 30% by 2020 via the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

“Currently, bumiputras hold an approximate 23.4% equity in the corporate sector. But the definition of wealth is all encompassing. It has to be seen in a bigger context,” said Najib.

“It would include the ownership of landed property, bank savings and other assets.”

The Malaysian premier said the bumiputras are not performing well as compared to the Malaysian Chinese.

“Something more should be done to alleviate the bumiputra community, but not at the expense of others (non-bumiputras),” said Najib.

CNBC's interview with the prime minister will be aired on CNBC channel, at 5pm tomorrow.

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