AP, contracts sold to third parties will be cancelled - PM

Syed Umar Ariff, Luqman Karim and Mohd Iskandar Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR: Contracts sold to other parties with the aim of reaping easy profits will be cancelled immediately.

Announcing this, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said many have refused to follow the example of those who held ownership of their approved permits (APs) and contracts.

"Do not sell off the opportunities (and) contracts given to you. We hope that the new government will help us, but help will not be given to those who want quick gains.

"If someone is awarded with a contract, that is what he will get. If you pass it or sell it to others, then the contract will be cancelled.

"If you are not able to execute it, do not try to get contracts, (especially) if it is only to be sold off later.

"The contract will then be invalid and cannot be executed," Dr Mahathir said at a question-and-answer session during the Congress on the Future of the Bumiputera and Nation 2018 (KBN 2018) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Saturday.

The session was moderated by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. Also present was Dr Mahathir's wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Dr Mahathir said the desire for instant riches was also among the reasons why the New Economic Policy (NEP) failed to achieved its aims.

"NEP was created to ensure the economic success of the Malays. But the ones who have succeeded are not Malays. They (non-Malays) use the opportunities before them - they get to buy the contracts and APs, set up businesses, generate wealth, expand their companies and become millionaires.

"In my 22 years as prime minister (in Dr Mahathir's previous administration), I never announced good news. Instead, I had to lecture the Bumiputera community to improve their economy, but the effects are negligible.

"We may regard this as something normal. In this country, the cities do not belong to us (Bumiputera). We are the rural folks, and it appears that we have accepted the sentiment that we do not belong in cities.

"In the cities, only businessmen can be rich. You can be officers and clerks but you cannot be rich, unless you steal." © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd