Wednesday, February 27, 2013

‘Economic reforms will benefit all races’

G Vinod

February 27, 2013
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli admits that Indians have specific problems but says that the matter must be addressed in totality.

PETALING JAYA: Structural reforms to the economy would benefit all Malaysians irrespective of racial background, said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli.
Speaking at a press conference here, he added: “When it comes to free education and healthcare policies mentioned in our manifesto, the Malays and Indians will benefit the most.”
He said this in response to questions on why the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto did not include specific programmes for the Indian community.
Also present were PKR vice-president Tian Chua, PAS central working committee member Dzulkelfy Ahmad and Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong.
Rafizi, however, admitted that the Indians had specific problems that needed attention but insisted that the issue must be addressed in totality.
“And our manifesto must be read together with our Common Policy Framework and the Orange Book,” he said.
Rafizi also explained why the manifesto had specific programmes for the Orang Asal and East Malaysians.
Orang Asal, he said, had land ownership problems that would require reforms to laws governing indigenous land.
“As for East Malaysians, the economic gap between them and West Malaysians is huge. In addition, it is also about upholding their rights as per the Malaysia agreement,” said Rafizi.
Commenting on the matter, Tian Chua said that Pakatan strove to break the racial and religious barrier that has divided Malaysians for long.
“So when we talk about university intake, all qualified will get a place irrespective of your background,” said the Batu MP.
He added that that Pakatan government would continue to uphold the affirmative action but tweak it to become need-based instead of race-based.
On Indians, Tian Chua assured that the community’s problems such as those stateless would be resolved.
“As for our manifesto, rest assured that it is not cast in stone and we are open to feedback,” he said.
~ Free Malaysia Today

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