Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Delicate Balance: Growth and Distribution

The PM is going to announce major changes to the FIC gidelines - foreign investment guidelines as unveiled by his dad in 1974. It is expected that more liberalization of trade and investment by foreign investors will be made.

I just hope that the PM will not sacrifice the proverbial duck for the golden eggs. We all want economic and social development but the distribution and equity factor has
always been the key to national unity and harmony in Malaysia. There's a delicate balance between growth, equity and development in this multiracial nation. If the pursuit of growth and generation of wealth is allowed to go full steam without considering equity and redistribution according to the NEP, we might end up with a very
rich country but full of dissatisfaction and social turbulence. Some Malaysians would be eating out of golden plates and crystal goblets but others will be eating out of coconut shells and bamboo glasses.

Yes, you can say that hardcore poverty has been overcome and will continue to be vanquished.But remember. There're still thousands of empoverished families in the country and the media is slowly uncoveing and exposing them. The standards for being rich and poor have changed considerably and those quite well-off before have become relatively poor. Most important of all the ownership of priceless business centers and commercial buildings in the city and town centers can never be reallocated or balanced up by the ownership of some new-rich Bumiputera homes in the new residential areas. Our goal to restructure society to reduce ethnic and economic differences has not achieved much progress.

What's the point of becoming a very wealthy, sophisticated and prosperous nation if only the business and industrial communities can lay claim to its ownership, beside the political leaders in power, of course. Such an imbalance would not allow peace and harmony to prevail but rather precipitate unrest and turbulence.

Maybe we should slow down a bit and make sure that the equity and redistributive process catches up with growth and development.

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