THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Monday, August 20, 2007

12. Joint Venture Priority

In a major policy shift, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has mentioned that future Government contracts will be awarded to joint venture companies comprising a minimum of at least two races. This most welcome announcement will see more such companies in future bidding for contracts. It not only ensures racial harmony but also ensures that equi-distribution of national wealth. This is a positive move and should earn the praise of the people. Do away with Bumiputraism and replace it with true and genuine Malaysianism. A heartening news for Malaysia's 50th year celebrations. But he also cautions against Ali Baba ventures which is an unrespectful business practice. This will certainly see a rush for joint venture companies coming in the future. It is also an opportunity for Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and other indigenous races to come onstream in the development of the country. Tenders should also be transparent and advertised in all major dailies. Put an end to cronyism and be open. We want more such sincere and genuine leaders of all races who put the nation's interest first and foremost in developing this country.

The Government will give top priority to award contracts to genuine joint-venture companies comprising various races, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

"I'm not saying there must be 30 per cent Bumiputera participation. You decide yourselves. This must be a genuine cooperation... Malay-Chinese, Malay-Indian, Chinese-Indian, everyone.

"We'll give them priority consideration to secure projects," he said when opening the 54th MCA General Assembly at Wisma MCA.

Present were Barisan Nasional (BN) component party leaders.

Abdullah said priority consideration for contracts would be given only if the multiracial joint-venture companies were truly genuine, that is, everyone works together to develop their company.

He said everybody must play their role to make profit, face the losses and risks together.

Abdullah said he had reiterated many times that joint ventures in the form of "Ali Baba" was not acceptable.

Abdullah also urged genuine joint-venture companies to bid for projects abroad. He gave an assurance to support Malaysian genuine companies, with joint venture participation of Malays, Chinese and Indians, seeking business opportunities overseas.

The prime minister's assurance received thunderous applause from the floor.

He said genuine joint-venture companies were still negligible as many were not inclined to setting up such entities.

Abdullah, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, also stressed the importance of the country having sincere leaders, taking into account the interests of all races, fair and just in their actions and considering the feelings of others in their decisions.

"Leaders should not harbour intentions to isolate or discriminate any race. This should never be done. If a leader tries to isolate a certain race, he is not fit to be a leader in this country," he said.

The prime minister said the government steadfastly held to the principle of mutual understanding and consensus in resolving an issue.

"If you see how the cabinet discusses all sorts of issues, you will feel proud as leaders exchange views on diverse issues openly," he said.

Abdullah also said the government did not want to see the public and private sectors being dominated by a particular race.

"This is particularly important to negate the current perception that the civil service is monopolised by the Malays and Bumiputeras while the private sector by the Chinese and Indians," he said.

The prime minister also expressed his concern over the requirement to be fluent in Mandarin as a prerequisite to join the private sector as this would prevent many who could not speak the language from getting jobs in the private sector.

"There is no policy to Malaynise the public sector, similarly there is no policy to privatise the private sector to the Chinese.

"All sectors are for all races. This policy must be upheld at all times," he added - BERNAMA.