Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bumi Equity Poser. Reveal Methodology Urges MIER. Will Or Can The Government Comply?

For all the heroics and bravado the government is putting up in this bumi equity guessing game, it looks like the people who really know economics and therefore can easily differentiate between observing methodological principles and outright fudging are not buying it.

Neither are they keeping their own counsel as we would have done during more repressive times under Mahathir. The highly respected Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), a private think-tank is one such body which has called on the government to reveal the methodology used by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister's Department to calculate bumiputera corporate equity in the country.

Its executive director, Emeritus Professor Mohamed Ariff Abdul Karim, said there was a need to do so to allow the public to examine the EPU methodology being used.

"We should examine how these averages translate in terms of distribution within the community before we can really judge whether the said policy has been successful or not successful," he said in reference to the New Economic Policy when commenting on the on-going debate on determining bumiputera corporate equity.

The Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) recently claimed in a report that bumiputeras controlled 45 per cent of the corporate equity in the country. Later, Asli retracted the report, saying the study was based on flawed assumptions and calculations and that its conclusions could not be vigorously justified.

Asli's original assertion of 45 per cent was rejected by the government, which maintained that the EPU's calculations showed that bumiputera equity ownership was only at 18.9 per cent.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in defending the official data by the EPU, had said that the government did not have any problems in making public the method used if there were still doubts.

Mohamed Ariff said there was no such thing as a perfect methodology and that there would always be some loopholes or shortcomings in the process. However, he said there was also a need to look at disparity of the review groups.

This was because there was still a lot of marginalised groups, both among the bumiputera community and the non-bumiputera community, he claimed.

"So, when one such marginalised group does exists, I think there is some basis for some kind of affirmative action but targeted at the marginalised group regardless of where, or which community they belong to," Mohamed Ariff said. He stressed that there was a need to provide assistance to people who were "still a long way behind the rest".

The 45 million ringgit question now is whether pressure will soon be put on Emeritus Professor Mohamed Ariff to issue a retraction ala Mirzan Mahathir? We'll find out in the near future. If that notorious former MB of Johor, what's-his-name Yassin says "rubbish" tomorrow, followed by Najib giving his 2,766th gag order of the year, then chances are our good Prof is in for a difficult time on economics by people who can't even spell that word correctly.

In the meanwhile all we, the ordinary citizens of this nation can do is to wait for the outcome. Will there be the usual farcical semuanya ok ending? I don't really know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 30% bumiputra equity ownership target is ONLY one part of the NEP. This methodologies argument is blinding us to the real beneficiaries of the RM300 billion bumiputra equity. Can we have names of the lucky owners of this RM300 billion.

12:08 AM GMT+8  
Blogger mob1900 said...

"Me, Myself and Khairee!"
- Bodowi

2:10 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever this issue of dispute or doubt on the % equity is raised by the non-bumi/non-Malays of the ASLI & Gerakan LKY & others, our PM/DPM/Umnoputra will deem it as sensitive issue.
It is now time for the open-minded Malays & marginalised Malays to speakup & demand for the truth. where all these Malay ownership equity goes. Reveal the methodology, even if it is only 18.9%, who are that few lucky Malays?? I hope not only Emeritus Professor Mohamed Ariff alone is voicing his opinion, others like PAS & Keadilan Malay leaders should voice out, then PM/DPM have no excuses to brand this as racially sensitive issue.
Basically, for the past 20+ years under Tun M, the NEP has enriched the Umnoputra & their cronies. MAy be thats why every GE the Kelantanese Malays keep voting for PAS?

9:31 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will comply only "when there are still doubts..." (DPM)

Maybe they will reveal the methodology after the "kampung scientists" managed to find a reasonable explanation for the unreasonable numbers.

The facts are too hard to swallow? Told you! Should have taken the University's Maths seriously and not rushing for last minute submission, copying the answers from your poow fellow coursemates that have worked so hard for it right?

Poor guys, take your time to calculate, nobody can save you this time. No lecturer can give you any tips to help you pass your grades, and there is no margin for baseline adjustment like how it is always instructed by the faculty to "create" more kampung jaguh, or kampung jagung. Damn.

9:46 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One minute he cried for the Malay and wanted them to do without crutches. Now he warned those who challenge the bumi equity to be prepared for another 513. That's our ex-PM.

One minute he wanted all to silent on the % issue. Now after he came back from Mecca, he said the government was not in the business of cheating,... That's our present PM..

Looks like they are not sincere at all. Why bother what they said?

12:42 PM GMT+8  

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