KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Nov 2008: A comprehensive database is to be developed at the end of the Ninth Malaysia Plan to monitor the progress of bumiputeras in the corporate sector, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.
He told the Dewan Rakyat the database, aimed at updating government data, was expected to provide more detailed information on the structure of corporate ownership.
Information garnered by the government on equity ownership along ethnic lines was restricted to several general categories, such as bumiputeras, Indians, Chinese and others, he said in a written reply to Charles Anthony Santiago (DAP-Klang).
Santiago had wanted to know the status of bumiputera equity in the corporate sector, similar to that contained in the mid-term review of the ninth plan, according to the categories of Malays in the peninsula, Orang Asli in the peninsula, and Orang Asli in Sabah and Sarawak.
Abdullah said information on equity ownership by bumiputera ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak was lumped together under the category of bumiputeras, with sub-categories according to ownership by individuals, institutions and trust agencies.
Abdullah said the government’s efforts to bring development to the people in Sabah and Sarawak were not restricted to mere equity ownership.
“The government believes that education programmes and improving access to various amenities as well as aid will enable the people to function more effectively in the economy and generate income and accumulate wealth, including through equity ownership,” he said.
Abdullah said the government realised that much more had to be done in Sabah and Sarawak and expressed confidence that a consistent approach would bring more meaningful development to the people in the two states.
He said the country’s policy of distribution was generally aimed at bridging the economic gap among the various communities and especially between the bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras.
“It is the aspiration of the government to see all bumiputera ethnic groups in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak enjoy the benefits of development fairly, and to help narrow the economic divide among these ethnic communities,” he said. — Bernama