“NEP has been “Mastura-ised” to produce unthinking robotic PhD holders who perpetuate falsehoods”

TWO things happened in this month which will decide whether we are in the trajectory towards a failed, divided and kleptocratic state or whether we can reverse the national decline in the last few decades to rise up again to become a great world-class nation.

Royal Education Award recipient Nahvin Muthusamy has called for meritocracy in education and the protection of minorities in his award acceptance speech and the “Mastura-isation” of the New Economic Policy (NEP) producing unthinking robots and even MPs who purvey lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech instead of producing scholars of excellence.

The National Council of Professors chairman Prof Shamsul Amri Baharuddin has called for further engagement on the issue of meritocracy in the higher education system.

But there is no better response for the Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and the National Council of Professors to commission a study to restore meritocracy and end the “Mastura-isation” of the NEP in producing unthinking robotic PhD holders.

When the New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced in 1971, it was meant for a time-span of 20 years. It is now 52 years since the launching the NEP. Are we ready for a review of the NEP and return to the days where meritocracy is not a dirty word and to end the Mastura-isation of the NEP?

Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang

This is what I said in Parliament 53 years ago in February 1971:

We are dedicated to the abolition of poverty and economic backwardness regardless of race. We want to create a classless community of Malaysians based on fellowship, co-operation and service, where there is no exploitation of man by man, class by class or race by race.

We support any measure which will help better the lot of the Malay poor. But we are strongly opposed to the use of Malay special rights to enrich the new Malay rich to make them richer while the mass of peasantry and poor are exploited as ever.

There is gross social injustice and grave unequal distribution of wealth and income in Malaysia. Over the years, the feudal-compradore and tycoon class have become richer and richer while the mass of peasantry and workers become more and more downtrodden.

The problem in Malaysia is complicated by an ostensible double coincidence. Firstly, the class divisions in our country appear very often to coincide with communal division; secondly, the disparity in incomes and productivity between urban and rural areas appear also to coincide along racial lines as towns are predominantly non-Malay while the mass of Malays live in rural areas.

Such urban-rural economic disparity and imbalance, however, is not a phenomenon peculiar to Malaysia. Similar social, economic and cultural disparities as between rural and urban areas also confront other developing countries. This is indeed a universal problem, reflecting the slower pace of socio-economic process in the rural as compared to the urban areas.

The key to bridging this urban-rural imbalance is to promote greater and faster economic growth in the rural areas, and not by embracing and implementing an evil, pernicious and racialist doctrine equating economic disparity and imbalance with the racial division in the country.

The basic problems in Malaysia are an economic and class one, and not a racial problem.

Every Malaysian will support special rights to help the poor Malays, just as every citizen will support any special assistance to non-Malay poor on the basis of need and not on the basis of colour or race.

Are we prepared for a reset of nation-building policies in accordance with the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara principles to end the abuses and deviations of the NEP like the “Mastura-isation” to realise the Malaysian Dream to be a world-class great nation? – Nov 23, 2023


Veteran lawmaker and retired DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang was Malaysia’s longest-serving opposition leader (29 years on three separate occasions).

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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