BN did not do enough for Bumiputera entrepreneurs, says Khalid

Meor Riduwan Meor Ahmad and Amira Eizan Azman

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) did not do enough to help Bumiputera entrepreneurs during its 60-year rule, says Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.

He added that, if BN had done so, Bumiputera entrepreneurs would now be independent and be able compete with other races, without needing assistance from the government.

”BN did not defend Bumiputera (entrepreneurs) very much. We want to help Bumiputeras to be self-sufficient as stated by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Bumiputera Congress (last Saturday), that they cannot rely heavily on the government, sell contracts and APs (Import Permits),“ he said at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Training Centre, here, today.

He also commented on the issue raised by a contractor of whether the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government might put a stop to programmes that benefited Bumiputera entrepreneurs and contractors, in stages.

Khalid said the government was committed to continuing the agenda of helping Bumiputeras so that they could really be independent and able to compete with other races.

“I believe that everyone should rise and be independent, so that there’s no need for a special policy to help the weak race. That is our hope,” he said.

“But for now and as long as it (policy) is necessary, there is no attempt to cancel programmes that help Bumiputeras and those in need.”

He said rumours that the government would abolish aid programmes for Bumiputeras was propaganda from the opposition to divide the Malays.

”That is impossible because we (Bumiputera) are 70 per cent of Malaysians. Only crazy people will undermine the majority of the people,” he said, adding that his ministry and DBKL would ensure that only contractors who did a good job would be awarded maintenance contracts.

“End the culture of going to the Umno division leader to get a letter of support to apply for a contract,” he said.

“All contractors have to work and show their best performance, and as long as they can do that, they will get DBKL’s support.”

Khalid also added that he would not sack contractors over their political preferences.

“The outcome of a contractor’s work is much more important, and rumours that we are not paying Umno contractors are not true,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd