Malaysian-Indian trade leader wants all-inclusive economy

February 21st, 2009 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 21 (IANS) A Malaysian-Indian business leader has urged that the country’s economy be “Malaysianised” to ensure participation of all races and better and faster growth.
Introducing a 30 percent quota for all Malaysians, instead of restricting it to bumiputras, the majority Muslim Malays, will enable the local companies to secure a bigger piece of the global economic pie, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry deputy president K. Ramesh said Saturday.

“Neighbouring countries are liberalising fast to attract investors. We must also open up… If doing away with the 30 percent quota for bumiputra is not possible, then, ‘Malaysianise’ the quota,” he was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper.

Malaysia has majority Malays, about 33 percent ethnic Chinese and about eight percent Indians forming its 28 million population.

Ramesh said experience showed many foreign investors were apprehensive to invest in Malaysia because they felt restricted by the 30 percent quota.

“But, if we turn it to 30 percent quota for Malaysians, the foreign investors are more comfortable because they have a bigger leeway to select their partners,” he argued.

He was supportive of a recent statement by Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Ong Tee Keat calling for the “quota-centric” system to be dropped so that local industries could survive globalisation.

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