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Najib Challenges Malays To Change Mindset To Become Great Race
"If the economic power is sturdy then, God willing, the political power will also prolong. And so, Umno's presence as the leading political administrator of the country will be beyond question," he said at the launch of the Gagasan Badan Ekonomi Melayu (GABEM) Selangor, here.
Najib said it was not that the Malays have not been successful in the economic sector but Umno wanted more Malays to become leading business figures because the Malays have yet to reach the desired pinnacle of success.
Furthermore, he said, the world was changing due to globalisation and liberalisation and the Malays could no longer be totally dependent forever on the quota system or Bumiputera privileges.
He said the Malays should be more committed and passionate in their job or business, such as Prince Al-Walid of Saudi Arabia who is one of the richest men in the world with assets estimated to be worth US$21.5 billion.
"We do not have focus, we are not dedicated, we are not passionate, may be we are passionate about other things. There are those who do not know how to become an entrepreneur or a division chief," he said.
Najib said there were among the Malays those who preferred to lobby for contracts from leaders they came across.
Unfortunately, after they get the contracts and reap the profit, they spend their money instead of investing to increase their wealth, he added.
Najib said the Umno leadership and the party's Supreme Council had set up GABEM, chaired by supreme council member Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, as a platform to economically empower the Malays.
At the function, it was announced that GABEM would be an economic and not a political wing of Umno, but Najib said there would be collaboration among Malay political leaders, government officers, businessmen and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to uplift the socio-economic status of the Bumiputeras.
GABEM was set up to consolidate Malay political power on the basis of economic strength, and also on the awareness that there remained only 13 years more for Bumiputeras to enhance their economic standard by 2020.
Najib said that apart from enhancing wealth by re-investing part of their profit, the Malays should explore new areas in business such as satellite technology instead of venturing into only one area until it became saturated and was no longer profitable.
He cited the National Service Training Programme as an example and said many wanted to run the training camps. If too many wanted to run the camps, their returns would be dwindle because the government only recruited 100,000 national service trainees annually, he added.
He also said that many Malays were keen on the construction industry, so much so that there were now 46,000 Class F contractors, which has resulted in the highest per capita of contractors in the world.
Therefore, Najib said, Malays should be bold enough to explore new areas to garner bigger profits.
At the function, Najib asked the state government to prepare a list of Bumiputera entrepreneurs who could be empowered to progress to a higher level, saying they should be subjected to the criteria of capability, legitimacy and business acumen to generate wealth.
"We will list those with potential because we assist on the premise of not `know who' but `know how', whom we can guide to progress to a higher level," he said.
Najib also said that the Malays should have the trust factor, that is confidence and consultation like the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans who have been more successful in business in the United States compared to the other coloureds there.
"Let's not be too hasty. Let's not be jealous. When one of us makes a profit, we must feel that that person's success is the success of the Malays," he said.
Najib said he hoped that the establishment of GABEM at state level would make the Malays successful in business in Selangor, that is in the Klang Valley, and inspire the success of Malays as a whole.