The day when the richest Malaysians are truly Malaysians February 18, 2010Posted by zhiyuan in Politics, Society.
Top Ten Richest People in Malaysia (as at 15 Jan 2010)
1) Tan Sri Robert Kuok (Kuok Group)
2) Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan (Telecommunication)
3) Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng (IOI Corporation Bhd)
4) Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow (Public Bank)
5) Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (Genting Group)
6) Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan (Hong Leong Group)
7) Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary (Al-Bukhary Foundation)
8) Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua (Genting Group)
9) Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King (Rimbunan Hijau Group)
10) Tan Sri Vincent Tan (Berjaya Group)
Take a look at the latest list of the ten richest people in Malaysia (or see above) and you might begin to wonder if there really is a pro-bumiputera economic policy in Malaysia. With eight of the top ten in the list are of Chinese ethnicity, it would be difficult to believe that the pro-bumiputera NEP (Malaysian New Economic Policy, ended 1990) & NDP (National Development Policy) economic policy had been in existence for nearly forty years.
You might argue that the list represents the reason of the continuous existence of NDP (National Development Policy) until today; or you might argue that the richest people list is hardly a fair enough indicator of the real income distribution among different ethnicity in Malaysia (in fact it might just be fair enough – average Chinese household income are significantly higher than of other ethnicity). However, both arguments could not hide the fact that the forty years old NEP & NDP policy should have done better in terms of ethnicity distribution in the top ten richest people list.
Most of the news articles on the list that I read do not seem to touch on the blatant obvious element of ethnicity inequality. The mainstream (or government-linked) newspapers appear to be taking a direct, no-nonsense journalistic approach by briefly introducing the top ten people and the new comers; while Malaysiakini’s article title certainly beats others in emphasizing the appearance of political-linked businessmen in the top forty list (“Dr M’s son, Najib’s brother among richest M’sians”).
What worries me most is the first impression I got from reading the top ten richest Malaysian list – ethnicity inequality. Not the inequality part, but the very thought of ethnicity inequality still appears first in my mind whenever I look at statistical data in Malaysia. After fifty-three years of independence and an average Malaysian like myself still thinks ethnicity first, nationality second. Will the day when the richest Malaysians in Malaysia are TRULY Malaysians ever arrived?
Will the day when the richest people on earth are TRULY earthlings ever arrived?