SHAH ALAM: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday (Sep 8) the new Pakatan Harapan government will ensure that the Malays do not misuse assistance given to them.
He said the current government will work towards the success of the Malays, including in the financial aspects to reduce their economic disparity with other races.
"We will create policies, opportunities and facilities for the Malays to improve their performance. But this time, we will ensure what is given to the Malays will not be abused by them. The re-sale of what is given to them will not be allowed.
"We will make sure that they are trained in ways of managing, especially money management. We will sow their hearts with noble values. We will not hesitate to take action against them for misappropriation," he said.
He said this in his speech in conjunction with the second anniversary of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) at the Malawati Stadium on Saturday.
Also present were Mahathir's wife, Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali; Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir; PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali; DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai; Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Mohd Shafie Apdal and Selangor chief minister Amirudin Shari.
Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, said the government and leaders of the Pakatan Harapan will determine that only those who were trained or experienced would be given consideration when evaluating their offers during the tender process.
"Their CVs will be considered, especially their credit rating, including PTPTN loans (National Higher Education Fund Corporation)," he said.
He also assured that the PH leadership including Bersatu, would not seize any rights or assets of any individual and will emphasise more on equality.
Touching on economic issues involving the Malays, Mahathir said under the New Economic Policy, the Malays were given many opportunities to succeed.
"Hence, the significant difference between their economy and those of other races was somewhat minimised. The programme achieved very little and was unsatisfactory. However, efforts to reduce the economic disparity should be continued,” he said.
"The question is, why did the New Economic Policy with its affirmative action fail to achieve its goals. It is our inclination to accuse others. It is our inclination to accuse the government, accuse other races, and many more. They are all wrong when we fail. We are never wrong. If we can admit that we have done something wrong, then we need to correct our mistakes."
The Langkawi MP then called on the Malays to join in Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu’s struggle for the betterment of the race.
According to Mahathir, by adhering to noble values, and with the willingness to sacrifice for the future, goals they had outlined for the nation, religion and nation could be achieved.
"Bersatu is part of the government. This provides the opportunity to Bersatu to play a role in the development of the Malays, so that their share in this country is protected, just like the other races that are taking care of their own people," he added.
Mahathir said Bersatu was a new Malay and Bumiputera party set up because UMNO went astray and could not be fixed from within.
He stressed that Bersatu would not be like the previous administration led by UMNO and prioritise progress for the country which everyone could enjoy.
"Bersatu will not become (like) Najib (Razak)’s UMNO. We will prioritise our own interests. Our priority is to advance the nation to become a developed country. Our focus is to distribute the earnings of a developed country in a fair and equitable manner," he said.
At the event, Mahathir also presented a prize to the party’s division from Bachok, Kelantan, for signing up the most number of new members.