Monday March 18, 2013
Businesses will grow if economy of bumiputra strong, says Naroden
KUCHING: Helping bumiputras earn a larger share of the economic pie will help all, said Assistant Bumiputra Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.
“The greater success of bumiputras will help ensure that the non-bumiputras will also prosper together. The numbers show that 70% of this state’s population are bumiputras, so as a consumer base, they comprise a large segment,” Naroden said.
Speaking at the official opening of 56 Hotel here, Naroden said it was not his intention to sound “racist or prejudice”.
“The bumiputra segment is the biggest (segment of the population), which means they are also the biggest (share of the) market.
“This segment, when they can spend more, will help the economy grow. They will be better able to patronise shopping malls, for instance, most of which are owned by the non-bumiputras. So it’s not going to hinder opportunities when we help bumiputras,” he said.
The assistant minister assured that the Government did not practise discrimination.
“The Government does not neglect. We are looking for balance. It’s true. Look at the figures again.
“Although the majority (of Malaysians) are bumiputras, more than 60% of loans offered by government-linked financial institutions last year were to non- bumiputras.”
Naroden said the Government was “fair” to bumiputras and non-bumiputras who had all enjoyed economic advancement since independent.
He also said that if the standard of living of bumiputras was not improved, the country would face of shortage of qualified workers.
“If that gets bad, then we’ll have no choice but to hire foreigners. That is also a fact.”
Naroden was the invited guest of honour at the hotel opening here yesterday. He was representing Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
The assistant minister began his speech by praising Disiland Sdn Bhd chairman Tong Guek Seng, owner of the hotel.
“I’ve known Tong since a long time ago. I know him as ‘Ah Hui’ and he is a role model businessman to all.
“He started out trading building materials in Simunjan but today he has a hotel in the state capital. To many of us folk from rural areas, to own a building — more so a hotel — is no easy task.
“Tong is tough and he has foresight. He is determined to succeed. I urge all, bumiputras or non-bumiputras, to be like Ah Hui,” Naroden said.