The concept of sons-of-the-soil or Bhumiputra in Malaysia is something that i have written about before. Its a classic case of discrimination to push forward one part of the population compared to others. Obviously, when this is done on a race, religion or ethnicity, it causes major angst on part of the people who are not part of this equation. For example, in the USA, they decided to help out the black population by doing affirmative action, but this meant that the white, brown and Hispanic population complain that they have been unfairly targeted and discriminated against. You cannot win, can you? In this case in Malaysia, they discriminated for the Malays against the economically dominant Chinese, but in return, the ethnic Indians were really put upon. Result? Race riots, corruption and the like. Anyway, seems like there are signs of hope. I quote:
When he assumed power as Malaysian prime minister in April, Najib Razak was dismissed as a defender of the status quo. He was seen as a staunch supporter of the interests of the United Malays National Organisation, which has led the country’s coalition government since independence from Britain in 1957.
He was expected to continue the legacy of his father, who as prime minister in the late 1970s introduced the divisive policy of giving preferential treatment to the ethnic Malay majority in business and government jobs under what was known as the New Economic Policy.
The prime minister on Tuesday took a big step towards dismantling the pro-Malay economic policy by ending a long-standing rule that ethnic Malays must hold a 30 per cent stake in companies in most industries. The equity quota will be reduced to 12.5 per cent and new rules for additional rights issues will dilute it further.
Good step, it will make Malaysia a much fairer and just society. I have to congratulate the courage of the PM to take on the entrenched interests in the interests of all Malaysians. He has started to break the narrow domestic walls, which you can still see in so many different countries.