Saturday, February 17, 2007

85% of bumi projects going to non-bumis... sure or not?

Have a read of the excerpt below.

Study Shows 85 Per Cent Of Bumi Contractor Projects Go To Others

BANGI, Feb 14 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said a study by the Works Ministry last year shows that on the average 85.37 per cent of projects secured by Bumiputera contractors went to the other communities.

"They do not want to work, do not want to learn, and give little importance to the opportunities provided by the government," he said in his speech... Abdullah said a community that lagged behind must possess the realisation to change and learn to improve itself.

He said the subsidy assistance to needy groups while fulfilling the moral obigation of the government, was inadequate for survival on a global level. "This approach will only make us hope and wait for aid and subsidy. Such a mentality thrives among the people, including Bumiputera petty traders and contractors," he lamented.

Abdullah said the government, as a responsible one, realised that this was detrimental in terms of competition and would not empower the nation in the long term. He said the government had to consider now how to facilitate the people who required assistance so that they could generate wealth exponentially and widely.
Sounds like Pak Lah knows exactly what's wrong (like Tun M did, btw) but so far, he hasn't deviated one bit from his predecessor's favourite solution of throwing more money at the problem.

And by the sounds of the last sentence in the excerpt above, his idea of a solution is simply too vague and uncommittal to signal that the money throwing will change.

I'm not going to repeat the "give the man a fish" speech. Everyone (except those who crave votes and/or govt contracts) know that the only possible solution to uplift the poor is to furnish them with education (not income) and to instil a spirit of self-destiny, tenacity and resilience by providing economic opportunities (not guarantees) coupled with realistic penalties for personal failure.

Back to this 'revelation'...

Firstly, is the Works Ministry's 85% as reliable as EPU's 18% or Asli's 45%? This needs to be answered definitively before we can even begin to take this number seriously.

Secondly, What's the definition of "going to" other communities? Does it mean 100% of the project is subcontracted out to non-bumis? Does it mean any percentage of it is subcontracted out? Does it mean that if a project has 10 subcontractors, but as long as 1 out of the 10 subcontractora is non-bumi, the whole project is considered within the definition of the 85.37%?

What about the value of the contracts concerned? In other words, how much is the 85.37% worth? How much is that worth in relation to the total value of all contracts?

We have to be clear about exactly what the number represents, so that it is not skewed and manipulated for selfish political or racial purposes by certain groups and individuals. Using the simple number of contracts without any regard to the value is akin to the EPU using par value to calculate bumiputra shareholding instead of market value. It is potentially absolutely misleading - in which case, it is ultimately meaningless and misdirects the govt's efforts.

Here's an additional question that the works ministry should provide an answer for:

Of the AliBaba contracts concerned, how much of the value as been retained by "Ali" as a commission for simply putting his hand out for the contract and then selling it on to "Baba"?

In other words, how much did the first tier class F bumiputra "contractor" keep for himself... for doing absolutely nothing all - except for being born Malay and possessing the necessary political connections?

This, my friends, is the true leakage,... the true cost of the NEP. This is what the govt needs to focus on eliminating!

No comments: