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10/07/2006

mine is mine, yours also mine

When the NEP was first conceived, its target was for the bumiputras to own 30% of the nation's wealth. How this was defined was still as hazy as the Indonesian haze today. A figure of 30% Malay ownership by 2020 is now the official target. But 30% Malay ownership of what? The official govt figure is that the Malays only owned 18.9% and this is defined as all the 600,000 registered companies. An independent study by Asli came out with a 45% ownership. And quoting this figure is even seen as being irresponsible by Badawi. What has in fact been the case is that Malay ownership of GLCs, which are the meaty companies as they were huge, are not considered as Malay ownership in the bumiputra definition of the word. The official bumiputra definition of Malay ownership is that what is mine is mine and not counted. What belongs to the non bumis only can be counted. Jusr consider all the stocks in the KLSE alone, assuming that the GLCs eventually grow to 50% of the size of the stockmarket, it is still counted as zero Malay ownership. So when they achieved 30% of the balance 50% of non bumi ownership, they would in fact controlled 65% of all the stock value in the stock market. To think that mathematics is not their forte, they seemed to be able to count everything to their advantage. Or is this modern maths? Malay ownership means what is mine is mine and what is yours is 30% mine. Using this bumi definition, the 2020 target of 30% ownership is unlikely to be reached till the end of time as any company that is big enough could be bought over and become GLCs. The non bumis will be left with all the small and medium companies. And they are not marginalised.

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