The paradox of the NEP was that it was designed to help the Malays. As it stands now, I think that it is being implemented in a way which ultimately harms the intended beneficiaries. How so you might ask? Let me count the ways:
1. Too many unqualified graduates are produced by the local varsities. This results in a high unemployment rate in the country.
2. The stress on Bahasa Melayu to the detriment of the English Language in schools. Like it or not, English is still the language of commerce. A poor command of English is a sure recipe for graduate unemployment.
3. The policies of NEP make Malaysia an incredibly unattractive place to invest in. The result: a rapidly shrinking economic pie.
4. NEP fosters the development of a crutch mentality and a sense of entitlement. This inevitably leads to a lack of self development and confidence. Also, there is a lack of ‘hunger’ to succeed. This makes it hard for our young people to compete with the young people from China or Vietnam.
As I see it, the NEP and its ill effects is becoming a vicious cycle. The smaller the economic pie, the more demands will be made for a more aggressive implementation of the NEP. Everyone ends up fighting for the crumbs of the incredible shrinking pie. It is far better for us to work together to enlarge the economic pie together. But I wonder – is there a way to break out of this vicious cycle?