Najib vows to continue empowering Bumiputera economy

31 Mar 2018 / 09:23 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak gave the assurance today that he would continue to empower the Bumiputera economy in the face of various challenges.
He said that up to now the federal government had distributed funds totalling RM77 billion to Bumiputera entrepreneurs through 13 primary agencies.
The funds included RM19 billion channelled through the Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, RM5 billion through Tekun Nasional and almost RM3 billion through Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad, he said.
"The Barisan Nasional government is always concerned about Bumiputera economic development. I will continue with this crusade whatever the challenges may be because this is my responsibility as the BN chief," he said in his address at the Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Assembly here.
Najib said that since being entrusted with the responsibility of the prime ministership in 2009, he had set his mind to continue with the legacy of his father, second prime minister the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who introduced the New Economic Policy in a bid to bridge the economic gap in society.
"For this purpose, matching grants amounting to RM500,000 will be awarded to each company listed in the Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programme (BEEP) under SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp)," he said.
He said an allocation of RM40 million would be provided under the Local to Global Corporation Ascend 800 (LGC800) programme that would benefit 80 high-performance Bumiputera SME companies in the form of easy loans of up to RM500,000 per company to transform their businesses.
Najib said RM60 million would be set aside for the Bumiputera Youth Entrepreneurs Tunas Programme (TUBE) to prepare and train 3,000 Bumiputera youths in 2019.
The Prime Minister said RM50 million would also be allocated for the implementation of the Wira eDagang Digital Free-Trade Zone for 10,000 Bumiputera SMEs within three years.
"This initiative, which will be jointly managed by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), SME Corp and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), is aimed at globalising Bumiputera e-commerce companies," he said.
Najib said RM50 million in incentives would be allocated for the SpeedMeUp programme under SME Corp to help Bumiputera startup companies to start business operations with matching grants of up to RM250,000.
He said another RM50 million would also be allocated under the Investment Incentive Fund to boost Bumiputera equity ownership in selected strategic sectors.
Najib said Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) would extend the Express Contract Financing Scheme (SPiKE) amounting to RM50 million for the benefit of 3,000 Bumiputera entreprenuers.
"Mara will also allocate RM50 million for micro and small business entrepreneurs," he said.
He said the allowance for increased exports for SMEs would be extended for or another two years until 2020.
"In the past, the number of Bumiputera traders was very small and they could only trade in bazaars, wet markets and weekend markets. The purchasing power of Bumiputeras was also very small, in line with the Bumiputera influence in the national economy at that time.
"Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), we can see a vast difference now. We are witness to the success of Bumiputera entrepreneurs who have created a name for themselves in business," he said, citing businesses run by Kumpulan Naza, Ramly Food Industries, FashionValet and Sate Kajang Haji Samuri.
Najib emphasised that the government would continue to support the policies providing for aid and incentives for Bumiputeras and it was his desire for all the people in the country to have the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful and comfortable life.
"With the unwavering support from all of you … I will continue to champion the National Bumiputera Agenda for our well-being from generation to generation.
"With God's blessings, I promise that the National Bumiputera Agenda will not budge as the main pillar of the national policy of our Malaysia," he said.
In the meantime, Najib criticised the Opposition's manifesto which he deemed to have taken the Bumiputera agenda lightly.
He said after examining the manifesto which contained 60 promises, only one promise mentioned the 'Bumiputera economy'.
"It's not the first promise, not the second promise, not the 20th promise, but promise number 30. I checked it further, it did not contain any substantive content to uphold, or strengthen the development of the Bumiputera economy in a holistic and firm manner.
"At the most, they have promised to table a report in Parliament on the equity holding of Malays and Bumiputeras. That's all. What do the Bumiputeras get out of this? The other things in the manifesto, all have have been fulfilled by the BN government," he added. — Bernama

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