KUALA LUMPUR • The Malaysian government will review the decades-old affirmative action New Economic Policy (NEP) to align economic policies with needs and not race, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali said yesterday.
"We should... see how best our economic policies can benefit all Malaysians," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Parliament session, reported The Star.
The proposed review is expected to be presented some time in November, he added.
Datuk Seri Azmin had announced in Parliament on Monday that the government would review the NEP and the New Economic Model (NEM).
Malaysia introduced the NEP in 1971 after deadly racial riots in 1969, fuelled by anger over the economic gap between Malays and Chinese.
Geared towards eliminating poverty and socio-economic restructuring, NEP gives ethnic Malays cheaper housing and quotas for college scholarships, government contracts and shares of listed companies.
The Malays' average household income has grown the fastest among the nation's major ethnic groups since the NEP was introduced, but remains the lowest in absolute numbers.
The NEM, which aims to allocate resources based on need and not race, was introduced by former prime minister Najib Razak in 2010 with the goal of doubling Malaysia's per capita income by 2020.