KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Jan 2009: The Muslims are in dire need of a strong and stable government that can administer efficiently and wisely, the Raja Muda Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, said today.
He said they also needed a government with a strong background, understanding and sympathy for the needs of the ummah to be able to devote attention to efforts to bring prosperity to them.
For Malaysia, in the 51 years since independence, the socio-economic achievements among a segment of Muslims had risen and in fact, the number of Muslims getting higher education opportunities had increased by leaps and bounds, swelling the ranks of Muslim professionals and technocrats in the country, he said.
He said this when closing the Third Economic Congress here.
Nazrin said that in fact, the number of Muslims who had achieved better socio-economic status in 2009 had clearly increased compared with 1957.
However, it did not prevent the Muslims from feeling worried and threatened when their achievement figures were looked at vis-a-vis those of the non-Muslims, which showed a widening gap, proving that their pace of achievement was slower than that of the non-Muslims, he said.
Nazrin said an even wider achievement gap would probably be found if one took into account the incidence of economic leakage and cases of equity holding by proxy.
“If economic leakage occurs and if equity holding by proxy becomes the norm, what’s the use of a policy formulated to champion the lot of the ummah if there’s derailment at the implementation stage,” he said.
Nazrin said that besides that, the achievement gap between rich and poor Muslims, urban and rural Muslims and Muslims with knowledge and those without should be given attention.
This was because such a situation could place the Muslims themselves on both ends of a widening pattern, he said.
The scenario “will worsen when Muslims who have become successful and wealthy get greedy, are not mindful of their obligation to help the society who are still lagging.”
He said the gap caused by geographical factors, wealth ownership, command of knowledge should be bridged and political differences set aside.
“The ummah, who are not so strong today, cannot run away from the fact that they need the government to play an important role in formulating a pragmatic policy followed by effective implementation,” he said.
He said the Muslims should not shackle themselves with low esteem and lack of confidence.
They had a duty to focus on and learn from the success models which had changed the fate and economic achievements of the ummah.
“Tabung Haji, Felda, the News Economic Policy, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Petronas are examples of the success of policies and national institutions which are crafted, developed, managed and developed by Muslims in the country,” he said.
Nazrin said Tabung Haji, which was set up by the government by an act of parliament in 1962, was today acknowledged at the international level as a business concern which was not only successful in the systematic running of haj pilgrimages but also in managing the Islamic funds with efficiency, wisdom and productivity.
“An idea germinated by Islamic thinker Ungku Abdul Aziz in the past was implemented with outstanding success, showing the prowess of the Muslims in managing funds totalling over RM17 billion with sophistication and productivity, in trust for 4.4 million depositors,” he added. — Bernama