Shah Alam, Saturday, 14th September 2013. Two days before Malaysia Day, Najib launched the new Bumputera Economic Empowerment Council (BEEC), a transformation of an erstwhile entity called the Bumiputera Agenda Action Council (BAAC) presumably to carry out what used to be whispered as the Malay Agenda.
He said the government is the government responsible for all Malaysians of all levels regardless of background, whether they are Bumiputeras or non-Bumiputeras, Muslims or non-Muslims. But since the Bumiputera form the majority of the nation, the agenda to empower the Bumiputera (the Bumiputera Agenda) should be considered the national agenda (National Agenda?).
He announced that the strategy to enhance the Bumiputera economic power is through five areas: human capital, equity ownership, non-finance assets, entrepreneurship and delivery system.
1. Human Capital
A RM1 billion MARA Education Fund in the form of a "matching fund" to meet financial requirements for training programmes, education, entrepreneurship, research and development and innovation.
The government will increase skills upgrading programmes for youths with low academic and skills qualifications to offer them a second chance so that they would have more opportunities to get a job.
Re-skilling programmes for Bumiputera youths will also be increased. Additional allocation will be given to MARA Activity Centres to buy latest technology to conduct the taining programmes.
The number of programmes conducted by the national youth skills training institutes will also be increased by adopting the two-shift training session approach.
The government has significantly increased the positions of Bumiputera students in local and foreign tertiary learning institutions."The next phase is to empower the Bumiputera human capital to match manpower and skills requirements to suit market needs." On jobless Bumiputera graduates, the government will intensify training programmes to address the employability problem so that training programmes were compatible to industrial needs.Programmes such as 1Malaysia Training Scheme, Graduate Employability Management Scheme and Skills Steering Programme will be expanded to increase the number of beneficiaries.
To increase the number of highly-qualified Bumiputeras, related agencies such as the Public Service Department and MARA will expand their post-graduate education programmes to meet market requirements particularly in critical and high technology disciplines. The Professional Steering Programme under the Bumiputera Education Steering Foundation and similar programmes will be intensified in efforts to create more Bumiputera professionals.This will help them gain recognition as qualified professionals especially in critical fields such as to become accountants, specialist doctors, architects, engineers and actuaries. The government plans to increase UiTM's student enrolment to 250,000 by 2020 from 180,000 currently. More UiTM branch campuses will be opened nationwide.
2. Equity Ownership
To enhance bumiputera equity ownership in the corporate sector, the Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 will be launched by Permodalan Nasional Bhd with 10 billion units, while Ekuiti Nasional Bhd will take over the role of steering the Skim Jejak Jaya Bumiputera to assist bumiputera-owned companies to be listed on Bursa Malaysia.
Targets for all chief executive officers of government-linked companies (GLCs), including for projects awarded to vendors. All ministries to create a Bumiputera Development Unit, responsible for formulating proposals and implementing bumiputera agenda initiatives.
4. Delivery System
To ensure the bumiputera socio-economic development agenda is effectively implemented, the delivery system will also be strengthened to create an efficient, comprehensive and constructive ecosystem.
5. Non-Financial Assets
Various measures have also been outlined to help bumiputeras, who still lag behind in the ownership of non-finance assets such as houses, industrial premises and commercial complexes. Syarikat Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) and Syarikat Perumahan Negara bhd in cooperation with state governments will build more affordable houses for bumiputeras nationwide.
UDA Corporation will help to develop properties including houses, business complexes and spaces, as well as industrial and commercial buildings in urban areas, said Najib.
GLCs and government-linked investment companies involved in property will also give emphasis to bumiputera property development especially of housing, shophouses and commercial premises.
To optimise the value and benefit of non-finance assets such as property for Muslim bumiputeras, the Yayasan Wakaf Malaysia will be turned into a corporate wakaf entity.
Property institutions such as Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd, Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd will be strengthened in order to develop or acquire commercial and industrial properties, especially in strategic locations nationwide.