Sunday, May 13, 2007

Second Malaysian Bank Retracts Planned Privileges For Malay-Owned Legal Firms

Much has been said and discussed about this issue and there is no need for me to add to what I've already posted earlier. However the following report from the International Herald Tribune is published here as an update and for your information.
A second Malaysian bank has scrapped plans to offer privileges to law firms at least 50 percent owned by ethnic Malays following widespread public criticisms, reports said Saturday.

AmBank Bhd., the country's fifth biggest lender, has withdrawn all letters sent to legal firms requiring firms on its panel of solicitors to have at least one Malay partner with a minimum stake of 50 percent, the New Straits Times said.

It issued a statement Friday to apologize for misunderstanding that arose, the report said. AmBank officials could not be reached Saturday for comments.

The move came just days after top bank Malayan Bank Bhd., or Maybank, retracted a similar policy following strong protest from politicians, lawyers and ethnic Chinese business leaders who said it smacked of racial discrimination.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said the government didn't instruct Maybank, which is controlled by government fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd., to set such conditions and has told the bank to be fair and just in its policy.

The issue highlights sensitivities over decades-old affirmative action policies benefiting Malays through government jobs, contracts, housing and other privileges aimed at boosting their corporate ownership. Ethnic Malays comprise nearly 60 percent of Malaysia's 26 million people.

Malays now own some 19 percent of corporate wealth, and ethnic Chinese control 40 percent, according to government statistics. The Chinese form about a quarter of Malaysia's population. Ethnic Indians constitute nearly 10 percent.
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Anonymous TG said...

the racial harmony in malaysia is wafer thin pretentious affair. this episode gonna reflect badly in the world's eye.

btw, love ur blog.

4:37 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lessons learnt. No. I don't think so. The damage is done. Arrows shot out is impossible to withdraw.

8:58 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough! Just close the accounts.

12:05 PM GMT+8  

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